Devonshire February March 17


Devon's Countryside, Wildlife, History and Events

the Courtenay family

Devon Champions for over 800 years

Powderham Castle is home to the Earl and Countess of Devon and their children.

They bear the illustrious Courtenay name, a family line that stretches back

over 1000 years, most of which has been spent in Devon.

Following the death of Hugh

Courtenay, Earl of Devon, and

the return of his son Charles, and

his wife AJ, to the family home at

Powderham Castle, we offer this

brief history of one of Devon's more

prominent families: the Courtenays.

Since the 1180s the family has been

at the forefront of our great county's

story, playing all manner of roles

from Barons of Okehampton, Sheriffs

of Devon, Marquises of Exeter,

and Viscounts, to Archbishops,

Bishops, Members of Parliament

and, currently, Earls of Devon. The

family has built and/or stewarded

many of Devon's most iconic castles,

houses and landscapes, including

at Okehampton, Tiverton, Exeter,

Forde House, Ugbrooke, Molland,

Colyton and, currently, Powderham

Castle on the River Exe.

In this article, we follow the family's

remarkable story, as its status, role

and wealth rose, fell, rose, fell and

rose again repeatedly over the past

8 centuries. Fascinating in its own

right, this one family’s journey

provides a unique reflection on

the story of Devon, the county to

which the family is so closely tied:


Countryside, History, Walks, the Arts, Events & all things Devon at: DEVONSHIRE

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