It is as this spot that Alfred the Great king of Wessex built a Hlidan to protect his lands from Viking and Cornish raiders. Lydford went on to become a vital coin-minting centre producing the famous Lydford Silver Pennies.
Lydford village is replete with many archeological features that evince its historical importance. One can still see the earthen defensive works of the Saxon fort, and the inner tower of the later Norman Castle still stands today. This was once an important legal center and infamous prison. The Castle is now under the stewardship of English heritage and can be explored free of charge.
Lydford Gorge can be found at the bottom of a hill that formed part of King Alfred's defences, just below a stone bridge that crosses the River Lyd. This stretches 2.5 km from the dramatic "Devils Cauldron" at the bridge end to the impressive "White lady Waterfall" at its end. It is the deepest gorge in southwest England.