'Dartmouth Castle', c 1880.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photographic view, published by Francis Bedford & Co. Construction of Dartmouth Castle was begun in the late fifteenth century by local merchants wanting to protect their cargo. On the far bank of the estuary is Kingswear Castle. These castles acted as a double defence system when the area was under threat since a chain was extended across the river between the two to form a barrier. Bedford (1816-1894) was a prolific and well-respected photographer, best known for his numerous topographic and architectural views of Britain. In 1857 Bedford became a member of the Photographic Society and in 1862 he accompanied the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII (1841-1910), as official photographer on a tour of the Middle East. He was assisted by his son, William (1846-1893) whose work is almost indistinguishable from that of his father.