One of the largest and most striking castle ruins in the entirety of the South West, Okehampton Castle proudly overlooks a picturesque forested valley on the edge of Dartmoor, next to the River Okement. For particularly spectacular views of Okehampton Castle, take a trip on the Dartmoor railway, which travels right past the castle. The earliest mention of the Castle is in the Domesday Book of 1086, where it is listed as being the property of the Sheriff of Devon, and is actually the only castle listed in the Domesday Book of that year. However, it is believed that there wasn't a stone structure on the site until 1172 - around the time a stone keep was added to the original motte. For much of the next 450 or so years, Okehampton Castle was owned by the Courtenay family, and many new buildings and additions were made to the castle and its grounds, including extensions made to the stone keep.
In 1539, King Henry VIII had the final Courtenay - Henry Courtenay, the 1st Marquis of Exeter, executed for conspiracy against the crown. The castle quickly deteriorated after that, but there are still extensive ruins visible today, such as the Norman motte and the crumbling but imposing remains of the keep. Members of the public can enter the castle for a cost of £3.90 for adults and £2.30 for children.
It is rumored that the bloodthirsty ghost of Lady Howard roams the ruins of Okehampton Castle. During her living days, Lady Howard brutally murdered all four of her husbands, and now her evil spirit can be seen every night at midnight, travelling the 16 miles from Okehampton to nearby Tavistock. It is said that she rides in a carriage made of bones that is driven by a headless horseman and accompanied by a demon-like hound with red eyes.