Nunney Castle


Nunney Castle.
©S. T. Carter 2020


  • Nunney, Somerset
  • Scheduled Monument


Medieval quadrangular castle with three storey’s and a basement, a Hall with a fireplace and an oratory or small chapel on the top floor. Had four drum towers with long curtain wall.

  • Built of ashlar masonry by Sir John Delamere.
  •  Sir John Paulet sold the castle to the Prater family who supported the Royalist cause.
  • The Manor of Nunney passed to the Sambourne family and then later to William Whitchurch
  • Held by the Prater family during the Restoration.


1086                             William de Mohun, Lord of Dunster and Brewham, surrendered or exchanged the castle.

1327-1377                   During: Fortified.

1370’s                          Towers measured 27 ft in diameter, 54 ft from the straight plinth to the parapet and the walls 5-6 ft thick, lit with narrow loops. The towers were built the same height as the north and south walls and coupled together on the east and west. Each tower was topped with a cylindrical turret and a machicolated parapet encircling them.

1373                             Crenellated, with a moat.

1373                             c: Licence to crenellate was granted to Sir John de la Mere. The de la Mere family owned and lived in the castle. Eleanor de la Mere married William Paulet and the castle passed to the Paulet family.

1540-1546                    Itinerary of John Leland: Normal use.

1577                             Owned by Sir John Paulet.

1580                             Richard Prater died.

1586                             Margaret Prater and George Prater were in a legal battle regarding a hedge by Richard Mawdley.

16th C                           The tower loops were enlarged.

1645                             Two regiments were dispatched by Cromwell and Fairfax to take the castle and the ammunition believed to be stored in the castle. Above the entrance of the first floor in the north wall is a hole where cannon fired by Oliver Cromwell pierced it after Colonal Richard Prater held out against Cromwell for two days.

1645                             The castle was slighted to ensure there could be no further military use. The inside was destroyed and the roof taken down, and it was declared property of the Commonwealth.

1660                             Repairs undertaken.

1749                             The Manor of Nunney was inherited by James Theobald.

1910                             The north wall fell down during strong winds and Mr. Robert Bailey-Neale gave the castle to English Heritage.

1950                             The castle was auctioned with an opening bid of £150. Finally it sold for £600 to Mr. Rob Walker, which also secured him title of Lord of the Manor.

1961                             Scheduled.

1964                             Field Investigation.

1986                             Scheduled.

1996                             Scheduled.



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