Mel Stride

    CENTRAL DEVON MP Mel Stride was given a tour of Powderham Castle on Friday by the Earl and Countess of Devon, Charles and AJ Courtenay. The ancient Grade 1 listed fortified manor house dates back to 1391 and is a member of the Historic Houses Association (HHA).

    Mr Stride, who has a keen interest in history and is qualified tour guide for some of England’s most historic sites, including St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London, said:

    “It was very good to be brought up to speed on the research and restoration projects being undertaken as the castle, as well as the education programmes for school children, of which I will certainly be promoting within my constituency. I was delighted that Powderham hosted Radio 1’s Big Weekend last year, which was worth an estimated £3.5million to the local economy, as well as offering young people in my constituency - who often have to travel significant distances for this kind of event - a fantastic experience right on their doorstep.” 

    The Earl of Devon added:

    “We were very pleased to update Mel on the many renovation and research projects we are undertaking at Powderham, with the support of numerous local and national bodies, who include the HHA, universities of Exeter and Plymouth, local schools and councils as well as Natural and Historic England. We also discussed the fantastic range of community events we have on for all ages. Those interesting in our stories should visit or telephone 01626 890243 for more information.”

    Powderham Castle is located within an ancient deer park beside the Exe estuary, just south of Exeter. It is one of Devon’s oldest family homes. The Manor of Powderham came to the Courtenay family in the dowry of Edward I’s granddaughter. Her son, Sir Phillip Courtenay, began building the current Castle in 1391. It has remained in the family to this day, and recently became home to the new Earl and Countess of Devon, the 28th generation to move in.

    Photo: The Earl of Devon, Charles Courtenay, briefing Central Devon MP Mel Stride on the research projects being undertaken and educational programmes available at Powderham Castle.