This has been called the last castle
built in Britain. It really is a solid granite
castle, close in appearance to something from the 1500s, and like those intended to be a comfortable manor house
. It was built between 1911 and 1930, designed by the renowned architect Sir Edwin Lutyens
, and is now a National Trust
Castle Drogo is in Devon, near a town called Drewsteignton, near Exeter. It is named after Drogo de Teigne, a Norman baron, and ancestor of the castle's creator, Sir Julius Drewe (1866-1931). He made his fortune in commerce, and retired in 1899 at the age of only thirty-three. He commissioned Lutyens to create a castle on the site where his ancestor had dwelt.
It's a magnificent site, high above the thickly wooded Teign Gorge and above Dartmoor, with views and walks in all directions. The gardens of Castle Drogo are worth seeing, including a formal garden and a yew-edged croquet lawn, linked by rose beds, arbours, and serpentine paths. They were planned by George Dillistone.
Lutyens gave it certain touches that make it look post-modernist: useless decorations above the battlements, familiar now from the blandest of pink and ochre buildings, but an innovation then. But it's no folly, I think. There are few extravagant additions or excrescences in mediaeval style, apart from the portcullis and the bare fact that it is, overall, what it looks like.
It was the first twentieth-century house to come into the National Trust's possession, in 1974. It's one of Lutyens's masterpieces, and the surrounding land and scenery are marvellous.