DiCamillo Companion

Compton Castle (Compton Pole)

  • Earlier Houses: There was an earlier house on the site of the current house.

    House & Family History: Sir Humphrey Gilbert (1539-83), half-brother of Sir Walter Raleigh, set sail from England in June 1583 in an attempt to discover a sea route to China; instead, he landed in Newfoundland and there, at St. John's Harbor, founded the first English colony in North America. Sir Humphrey's life was lost on the return voyage to England, when his ship sank. Legend has it that Sir Walter smoked the first pipe of tobacco in England while visiting Sir Humphrey at Compton Castle, although this has also been said of other houses with a Raleigh connection. The Gilbert family sold the estate in 1785; in 1931, Commander Walter Raleigh Gilbert and his wife, Joan, bought the castle and six acres of surrounding land, restoring it to Gilbert family ownership after a 146-year absence. In 1951 Commander Gilbert donated Compton to the National Trust with the proviso that the family would always be able to live in the castle.

  • John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. II, p. 55, 1853.

    Country Life: CLXX, 1546, 1981.

  • Title: British Tradition and Interior Design
    Author: Piras, Claudia; Roetzel, Bernhard; Tenison, Rupert (Photographer)
    Year Published: 2001
    Reference: pg. 71
    Publisher: Cologne: H.F. Ullmann
    ISBN: 3829048513
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Grade I

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • "Sense and Sensibility" (1995 - as the exterior of of Combe Magna, Mr. Willoughby’s Somerset country house).
  • Current Seat / Home of: Gilbert family; here for 600 years.

    Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Sir Maurice de la Pole, 12th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Geoffrey Gilbert, 14th century; John Gilbert, until 1539; Sir Humphrey Gilbert, until 1583; Commander Walter Raleigh Gilbert, 20th century.

    Current Ownership Type: The National Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Visitor Attraction

  • House Open to Public: Yes

    Phone: 01803-661-906

    Fax: 01803-875-740

    Email: [email protected]

    Website: https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No


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