A medieval castle rebuilt in High Victorian Gothic Revival French-influenced style. The two periods can be roughly identified by different masonry: coursed or random rubble to the early work and coursed, dressed, snecked, sometimes tooled stone to the rebuild. Main roofs of small slates with plentiful lead flashings, stone tiles to roof of shell or curtain wall, overhanging sprocketted eaves and weather vanes with monograms; circular chimneys some clustered. Many wooden fittings and some structural elements of wood. Ground floor plan of central, near circular courtyard, round which are ranged 3 circular towers linked by a shell wall: Well Tower at NE, Kitchen Tower at SW linked by Hall Block to Keep Tower at SE with Drawbridge Entrance adjacent at E. Masonry has tiers of putlogs, very long arrow loops, generally small outward facing windows often with trefoil heads and metal armatures, some divided by transoms, tiered wooden shutters to embrasures with decorative metal fittings.
Anti-clockwise from NE, Well Tower has very deep lead-covered parapet with wide-spaced shuttered embrasures and at base water chutes. Above rises a steeply pointed turret roof incorporating small steeply pointed wooden dormers; courtyard-facing elevation has an attached but separate roof. In the angle with courtyard wall is a garde-robe tower. An exceptionally deep battered plinth, in the form of stone cladding to the motte wall above the moat, is equal in height to the shell wall which it supports; this has 2 tiers of arrow loops, a line of chutes and boarded embrasures overhung by the deep eaves of the pitched roof. Kitchen Tower comprises a round tower broached to a rectangle at base by one of the massive spur buttresses supporting the side of the castle; conical roof with single pitched swept roof dormers; windows at 2 levels, the top shuttered; attached to N side is a rectangular tower with boarded embrasures and arched culvert at base. Hall range along S side between towers has a deep part-battered plinth rising from rocky outcrop and 3 trefoil-headed undercroft lights with transom; above is a similar range of double lights. Keep Tower has conical roof, rectangular fireplace tower with clustered chimneys at angle with hall and separate circular chimney facing front; small lights on 3 storeys, at lower level with transom. Deep spur buttresses at base plunge lower to S as ground falls steeply, with further drainage culvert in angle. Attached at front is the 2-storey rectangular Entrance Tower with pitched roof, the overhang at gable end supported by brackets; double round stack at rear; at front a wooden guard chamber; all this on the top floor which is slightly corbelled out. Below is a polychrome statue of Virgin and Child in a shallow pointed arched niche and at ground floor is the wide double ordered segmental pointed main entrance with wooden drawbridge access. Portcullis section has 2 chamfered orders of outer arches, the chamfered machinery slot, then 2 lower inner arches also chamfered with gap for missile; portcullis in slot with arch behind and then a further two ordered arch with massive boarded doors with iron bands and studs. To right a small section of shell wall with stone cladding at base links with the Well Tower.
Inside the shell wall, the courtyard has a modern surface of end-on narrow stones in panels; shell wall has a ground floor arcade of pointed arches with voussoirs. At first floor level is an open inward-facing balcony, the bays created by king-posts supporting the pitched roof. Balcony extends in front of the Kitchen Tower and Hall providing main access to these rooms and links with roofed stairs to courtyard; the arched recesses below asymmetrically continuing the ground floor arcade which also incorporates a flight of stone stairs down to lower chamber. Roofs of Kitchen Tower, stairs, and Hall all adjoin, incorporating swept eaves and dormer and tall lateral stacks; hall roof and coping runs out into the Keep Tower with below a small 2-storey polygonal tower with pyramidal roof by steps; above is a flat roofed wing crossing the angle with 3-light trefoil-headed mullioned window and staircase tower behind; to left is the wooden framed braced and gated balcony to the bedroom with twin waterchutes below and pitched roofed hoist above. Below, the balcony continues with pitched roof in front of the Entrance Tower with the 3-ordered segmental-pointed arched inner face of the main gateway below; it continues at a slightly different level in front of the Well Tower which has inward-facing circular corner turret with conical roof adjoining the main tower and a short corble table site of former chapel; below at ground floor level is a pointed-arched entrance set in the battered plinth; further flights of steps down to lower chambers either side of gateway.