Berry Pomeroy Castle - the Seymours - opportunistic, rich, but ultimately more committed to the Queen than the castle.
On paper it looked brilliant, the Seymour family would invite Queen Elizabeth round to stay for the night and their reputation as a noble family would be sealed in history. The house would need to be massively enlarged, engulfing the previous house, and this new space would provide accommodation for the Queen. Easy money, as they say.
Berry Pomeroy Castle was to become a house to rival Longleat House in Warminster, and set the family up as an exceptionally well-connected noble bloodline.
The Seymours spent so much money on Royalist causes that the house was never brought up to spec, in fact it is doubtful that all fifty rooms were in a habitable condition upon their purchase of the building in 1547. They never got the house finished. They abandoned the castle in the 1700’s, and left for Wiltshire, where they own copious land and property.
The current senior Seymour is a permanent Lord in the House of Lords and the family rent many hundreds of houses locally and in Wiltshire.
The castle is a romantic ruin, complete with ghost stories and audio tour.
Interestingly the original house, built by the Pomeroy family, still stands (in carcass form) to its full original height. The outer castle, built by the Seymours, is in a much worse state of repair.
The Seymours - always on the make.
The house was inherited into the ownership of the Speaker of the House, who preferred to live in Wiltshire because it was closer to London. It is suspected that he sold bits and bobs to fund developments closer to his own home. Although there is no physical evidence of this happening, there is an inventory dated 1868 and much useful building material and all works of art and artefacts are gone.