Thursday, 1 December 2016

Nunney Castle

Nunney Castle is hidden away in the middle of the village of Nunney.  It is ruined but is very picturesque, as it is encircled by a water filled moat and accessed across a drawbridge.  It is now in the care of English Heritage, it is free to visit and open at all times.

Nikolaus Pevsner (author of the county by county Buildings of England series of books) had this to say about Nunney Castle: "Nunney Castle is aesthetically the most impressive castle in Somerset.  The emphasis is on the aesthetic aspects; for the castle is neither large nor distinguished by a commanding position. But it is designed with a view to monumentality by being designed to a strictly symmetrical plan."  Buildings of England: North Somerset and Bristol.

The castle was built by a local knight called Sir John de la Mare in the 1370s.  It was modernised in the 16th Century, probably by Richard Prater, who was a London merchant who bought the castle sometime after 1560.  The four towers were originally capped by conical towers. The castle remained in the hands of the Prater family until it was besieged by the Parliamentarians in 1645 during the English Civil War and was badly damaged by them.

The ruins were taken into the care of the state in 1926 and were cleared of plants and rubble.  The moat was excavated at this time.

Nunney Castle
 
Nunney Castle

Nunney Castle
 
Nunney Castle

Nunney Castle

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