On the outskirts of Sherborne, Dorset, lies an English Heritage castle by the same name, built in the early 12th Century for and by, Roger, the Bishop of Salisbury. The castle served as a residence for Roger of Salisbury until his fall of power, which superseded into a royal residence for King Henry I.
The castle residence has passed from many places; after King Henry I, it was taken back over by the generations of Bishops of Salisbury until around the 1590’s when Queen Elizabeth I loaned the castle to Sir Walter Rayleigh, whom was a famous explorer and sea captain, finally found it’s way to the Digby family.
The castle is in ruins due to it’s dismantling by the Parliamentarian army estimated around 1640-50 during the English Civil War. Fortunately, you are able to still get a glimpse of what the castle used to look like and how it was an ode to the 12th century era. The ruins consist of an inner bailey that surrounds residential quarters, toilets, a great hall then outside of this is an outer bailey that surrounds in an octagon shape followed by a steep ditch moat and a curtain well.
It is said that back in the day Sherbourne Castle was infact an advanced military architecture, with its five flanking towers defending on the curtain walls. Mostly what remains at Sherbourne is the main gate tower as you enter, the quite remarkable foundations of the inner quadrangle of the square stone keep, with the remains of a chapel that is built over a vaulted undercroft.
It has to be said that the castle grounds are extensive, peaceful and tranquil, it makes for a really nice afternoon (or morning) stroll. You are able to get free parking just down from the English Heritage car park enclosure but before you enter inside there near the railway bridge there is ample parking on the sides of the road if need be.
Our recommendations are to either buy one of the guidebooks from the English Heritage shop placed next to the castle entrance or to download some of the history behind Sherbourne, as it leaves a lot for you to imagine but around the site you have sufficient signposts and information with images to how Sherbourne would have looked back in the day.
We have lots of different plans, ruins, castles and places that we are now able to visit and cannot wait to continue sharing our journeys with you, please give our Instagram page a like and a follow so we can keep doing what we love. See you on the next post!