Monday 21 December 2015 – Nunney Castle, Somerset.
My drive north east wards from the lovely church of St Michael on Burrow Mump took me through the historic town of Glastonbury, which I must confess to not expecting when I was vaguely planning my route over breakfast. I tried to stop at the tor, but some moron had parked their small truck almost completely blocking the road to the car park. Given this was a rental car I was not willing to bump the curb and squeeze through. I am sure I will return to Glasto one day. Though, music fan that I am, I will still be avoiding the festival (or maybe it is because I am a music fan…)
I was looking for the small village of Mells – and I did set the sat nav for this one as it is way off the beaten track. I was fortunate to pass through the town of Nunney, which conveniently has a small castle that is free to visit. Most excellent!
Nunney Castle was constructed in the 1370s when Sir John Delamare was given licence to build a castle by King Edward III after returning with a small fortune from the Hundred Years War. It is supposedly modelled on castles he had seen when on duty in France, though this has been hotly debated.
The castle remained in the extended family through the 1500s before finally being sold in 1577 to the Praters. Like many Catholics the Praters sided with the royalists during the civil war and the castle was severely damaged during a siege in 1645. It has slowly fallen into disrepair since, being gifted to the crown in 1926.
It is a lovely building, and was an unplanned and unexpected surprise bonus for the day. I took a walk around the outside.
From the car park entrance you cannot see if there is a bridge across the moat into the castle, so I was delighted when I walked around to the far side of the small castle to find there was a way in, through the walls destroyed in the civil war.
There is not a lot to see inside the ruin itself, for its height I was quite surprised how small it actually is inside the walls. It must have been awful living in here during the siege.
I didn’t expect to be visiting a ruined castle today, so even though it was raining and a bit unpleasant (again) this was an excellent mid-day stop – if only I had found some lunch!