History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: An almost perfect example of a moated 14th century castle
I mentioned earlier that Sir John de la Mare may have built Nunney anticipating fighting off a French siege. Nunney was eventually subject to a siege, but it was not for 270 years after it was built, and it was not the French, but the Parliamentarian army who threatened the defenders. In 1645 the Roundhead army besieged Nunney and its Royalist garrison. The Royalists held out for only two days before surrendering. Parliament decided to slight the castle to make it unsuitable for military use. This they did, though the walls were left almost intact, and the result is the evocative ruined shell we see today. Much of the outer shell is still intact, save the north wall, which was damaged during the Civil War siege and eventually collapsed on Christmas Day, 1910.
Though the castle is in now the care of English Heritage, it is open to visitors at any reasonable time, which essentially means whenever you fancy. I showed up before the crack of dawn because I fancied photographing the castle in the first light of morning, and I was able to stroll in and photograph to my heart's content long before any sensible person would have woken up.
Summing up Nunney
A beautiful example of a moated medieval castle, set in a peaceful village. A delight to visit. Architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner called Nunney the 'most impressive castle in Somerset'. Who am I to argue?
There are no facilities to speak of, but Nunney is still well worth seeing. Across the road is the delightful medieval parish church of All Saints, which is usually open daylight hours.
About Nunney Castle
Address: Castle Street, Nunney, Frome, Somerset, England, BA11 4LW
Attraction Type: Castle
Location: 3 m SW Frome, off the A361
Website: Nunney Castle
English Heritage - see also: English Heritage memberships (official website)
OS: ST737 457
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
We've 'tagged' this attraction information to help you find related historic attractions and learn more about major time periods mentioned.
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Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low-exceptional) on historic interest
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