Medieval motte castle and later fortified house, covering approximately 238 ha, with 277 ha Park.
Noted in Saxon period as a frontier fortress against the Celts.
Belonged to Alunic at the time of Edward the Confessor. Included a fortified tower.
700 c: Settled by the Saxons. The last Saxon Lord was Aluric.
1066 c: Granted to William de Mohun who built the first structure on the site. The Tor was leveled and scarped and a timber castle built.
1086 Castle on site.
1135-1154 Between: William de Mohun supported Empress Matilda.
1138 By: Built in stone.
1138 c: William de Mohun held the castle against Henry de Tracy.
1138 Unsuccessfully seiged by King Stephen’s troops.
1141 William de Mohun was made Earl of Somerset by Matilda, but King Stephen never acknowledged the title.
1155 Before: Rebuilt in stone by William de Mohun.
1197 Described as a borough.
1222 Market was allowed to take place in the town.
1253 Reginald de Mohun allowed the local people to hold a market and fairs in the town.
1257 c; Sir Reynold de Mohun enlarged and strengthened the lower ward.
1265 Sir William de Berkeley attacked the area during the Baron’s War. The castle warden Adam Gurdon made them leave the area with a rebel force.
1266 Building included a hall, buttery, kitchen, pantry, bakehouse, chapel, knight’s hall, a prison and three towers. The lower ward had three towers and a granary.
1279 The Deer Park was called Small Park.
1330 The Deer Park was called the Hanger.
1376 Lady Joan de Mohun sold it to Lady Elizabeth Luttrell.
1404 Lady de Mohun died and Sir Hugh Luttrell set about laying claim to the castle and lands on 17th February. He married Catherine, daughter of Sir John Beaumont. Their children were John, William, Margaret, Elizabeth, Anne and Joan.
1405 Sir Hugh Luttrell took possession of the castle and carried out repairs. They also spent Christmas at the castle.
1420 Gatehouse built in front of the 13 C gatehouse by Sir Hugh Luttrell. Comprising of six small rooms. Each room had a fireplace.
1428 The Deer Park covered 100 acres. Buttresses were added to the east wall.
1428 24th March; Sir Hugh Luttrell died. The castle was inherited by Sir John Luttrell, married to Margaret Tuchet. Their children were John and James.
1429 c; John Luttrell was knighted.
1430-1449 Richard Luttrell was constable.
1449 c, February; Sir John Luttrell took possession of the manors. He was married to Elizabeth Courtney, daughter of Sir Philip Courtney, at Powderham Castle. Their children were Alexander, Hugh and Jane.
1455-1487 During the Wars of the Roses; Was seized by Edward of York as forfeiture of the Luttrell’s being Lancastrians, and given to Sir William Herbert, future Earl of Pembroke. He held the property until the death of Richard III.
1460 Sir James Luttrell was knighted. Later during the year he passed away.
1461 The manors were seized by Sir William Herbert under orders of Edward IV.
1463 Edward IV gave the lands to Sir William Herbert.
1468 Sir William Herbert’s son, William, called himself Lord of Dunster.
1468 Edward IV appointed Philip Beaumont as constable of Dunster Castle.
1472 Early: Edward IV gave the keeping of the Manor to his brother, George, Duke of Gloucester.
1472 Late: Edward IV appointed John Grogh Bailiff and Keeper of Dunster.
1475 Lady Elizabeth Luttrell laid claim to the Manor.
1485 Sir Hugh Luttrell won his petition to claim back Dunster and the Earl’s agents were evicted.
1485-1509 Between: The estates were restored to Sir Hugh Luttrell.
1493 Lady Luttrell died and her son, Hugh, inherited the castle.
15th C Mid; The estate was confiscated by Edward I.
15th C The sea receded away from the castle and the Deer Park was created.
1547 George Luttrell built the Yarn Market.
1571 Inherited by Sir George Luttrell, who employed William Arnold to build a house in the Lower Ward.
1589 George Luttrell built the main building.
16th C Mid; The Deer Park covered 76 acres. Luttrell heraldic panel placed on the gatehouse.
1617 William Arnold was commissioned by George Luttrell to build a new house on the site of the previous living quarters.
1633 Small boats were still able to make their way up to the castle.
1642 The Marquess of Hartford arrived in Somerset to gather support for Charles I, but found it was mostly Parliamentarian. Thomas Luttrell refused him entry to the castle. Lord Hartford tried to take it but failed.
1643 January; Welsh Royalists stormed the castle but were unsuccessful in taking it.
1643 7th June; Lord Hartford returned to the castle with Prince Maurice and Thomas Luttrell surrendered. Francis Wyndham became Governor of the castle.
1644 The castle was besieged for 160 days by Parliament before surrendering.
1645 The Prince of Wales stayed at the castle to avoid catching the plague.
1645 May: Charles I sent his son, the 15 year old Prince of Wales, to Somerset to gain support. His headquarters were to be at Dunster. He stayed for two weeks with Francis Wyndham.
1645 October: Parliamentarian Col. Robert Blake was sent to take the castle from Francis Wyndham, who was holding it for the king.
1645 November; The Siege of Dunster began.
1646 April 19: The siege ended after more than 5 months. Sir Francis Wyndham and his men left, peacefully.
1646 Sir Thomas Fairfax arrived and mines were dug under the castle and the walls were breached in one place.
1649 An order was given to demolish the castle but little demolition took place.
1649-1651 Between; William Payne was imprisoned at the castle for speaking out about the death of Charles I.
1649-1653 The fortifications and curtain wall were slighted. The only remains were the house.
1650 c: The order was given to stop the demolition. Only the gatehouse remained.
1651 Until; A garrison was kept at the site. George Luttrell paid a large recognizance and swore his allegiance to the Commonwealth in order to regain Dunster.
1680 Francis Luttrell bought his new bride back to the castle and they refurbished it including the oak staircase.
1690 Inherited by Alexander Luttrell. Improvements included forming a bowling green on the site of the old keep, making a new driveway.
17th C Most of the curtain wall was demolished.
1711 Alexander Luttrell died and his widow, Dorothy paid off some debts and leveled the keep. She also had a private chapel built against the south side of the house. Was inherited by his son Alexander Luttrell.
1720 Dorothy Luttrell started building a driveway which was completed by Henry Fownes Luttrell.
1737 Alexander Luttrell (2) died and it was inherited by his daughter Margaret Luttrell, who married Henry Fownes. Henry built a new approach to the castle, formed the Deer Park and built some follies.
1747 Margaret Luttrell married Henry Fownes and they moved into the castle. They created the Deer Park and built Conigar Tower, the folly on the hill opposite the castle.
1755 The Deer Park was improved.
1764 Green Court built by Henry Fownes Luttrell.
1766 Margaret Fownes died and Henry made some changes to the house.
1780 Henry Fownes Luttrell died and the estate was inherited by his son John.
18th C The Green Court was formed and the Deer Park was landscaped.
1816 John Fownes Luttrell (1) died and his son John inherited the castle.
1857 John Fownes Luttrell (2) died childless and it passed to his brother Henry.
1867 Henry Fownes Luttrell (2) died George Luttrell, his nephew, inherited the castle.
1868-1872 George Fownes Luttrell had Salvin give the house the castellated appearance and added two towers with turrets and battlements. Driveway built.
1873 A ball was held at the castle to celebrate its completion.
18th – 19th C Terraced gardens added.
19th C Salvin was employed to make improvements to the castle which included building the two towers.
1910 George Luttrell died and Alexander Luttrell inherited the castle.
1920 George Luttrell died and Alexander Luttrell inherited the castle.
1944 Alexander Luttrell died and left a large tax liability over the castle. Purchased by Ashdale Property Company.
1949 Purchased by the Crown Commissioner.
1954 Commissioners of Crown Land offered to resell the castle back to the Luttrell’s. An agreement was reached and the property was reconvened.
1957 Geoffrey Luttrell died and the castle was inherited by Lt. Col. Walter Luttrell, MC.
1965 Field Investigation.
1969 Listed building.
1976 Lt. Colonal Walter Luttrell gave the house and lands to the National Trust.
1983 Watching Brief.
1990 Aerial photograph.
1995 Aerial photograph.
1996 Aerial photograph.
1998 Aerial photograph.
2001 Evaluation b
2001 Watching Brief