Sitting alone atop an isolated, windblown English hill, Doyden Castle was created to be a secluded stronghold of sin where one wealthy businessman and his friends could get as debauched as they wanted to, the historic mini-castle is now a bucolic holiday home.
Built around the 1830s, the little stone castle was the brainchild of wealthy hedonist Samuel Symons. Symons was known as a drinker, gambler, and all around Bacchus who enjoyed getting together with his friends and acquaintances to just indulge. Looking to create a space where his vices could be carried out, away from society’s prying eyes, Symons purchased Doyden Point in the hamlet of Port Quin. The rocky bluff overlooked the sea, and was constantly buffeted by heavy winds, but it was perfectly remote for his purposes. Symons had his party fortress built in the style of a medieval castle, only much smaller. The castle only has two floors and a basement. The two overground floors were used for Symons’ parties while the cellar acted as storage, mainly for copious amounts of booze. Symons’ parties were legendary, but they couldn’t last forever.
While Symons and his revelers eventually passed on, Doyden Castle survived, like so many medieval ruins, thanks to its sturdy stone construction. Today the odd little castle still sits on that windy bluff, but its is now looked after by the National Trust. The interiors have been updated to modern standards and modern windows have been installed as well. Visitors can now actually rent out Doyden Castle as a vacation cottage. Although most would be hard pressed to party harder than its original owner.
Know Before You Go
Off the South West Footpath to the west of Port Quin.