Carrying on our exploration around Somerset, we just had to stop by this picturesque medieval moated castle that has settled itself in the quaint, quiet and beautiful village of Nunney. It was super quiet when we got to Nunney, the village seemed empty but full of beauty and tranquility – the only things around us were the castle and its grounds, a local cafe and a shop.
Nunney castle was built by Sir John de la Mer, he was a solider during the hundred years war who gained alliance with King Edward III. Sir John was granted permission to replace and resurrect his existing residence in Nunney, which was a basic lodgings and a fortified building. Once the building was completed in 1373 it was surrounded by a walled moat, which makes Nunney castle pretty spectacular in how picturesque it is.
As you walk in through the castle grounds, you will wander alongside the lovely moat which has ducks swimming along and the algie that will lead you to a little wooden bridge that reaches to the entrance to the moody castle ruins. The building has very strong french influence and consists of a stone tower keep with four round corner conicol roof towers which perhaps gives this castle its iconic charm. There is a ground floor which was generally the site of the kitchens and servants quarters, you are able to just make out where the chimneys and old fireplaces were, then above the kitchens onto the next floor they had the Great Hall, this would be were the lord of the manor would have wined and dined his guests and finally the top floor would have been the living quarters for its owners.
Looking around the castle and especially inside the conical towers you can just make out the staircases and they suggest that it would have been narrow and tight, aswell as faint outlines of medieval tapestries around the tower.
Nunney castle was passed down through various different families in generations and in the early 16th century the owners at the time made quite a few substantial changes to the building, this included having the ceilings, floors, windows changed and removed aswell as a grand spiral staircase was installed.
Interestingly the castle only came under seige once, during the English Civil War. In September 1645, parliamentarian troops had surrounded the castle for three days, it wasnt until then that the castle walls had fallen after a single canon shot from above on a hilltop through one of its walls. But fortunately the castle held out and didn’t collapse, it was only when Christmas Day arrived later in 1910 that the building finally gave out.
Now as the castle ruins stands, it is a delight to wander in and out and admire the beauty of how it stands proud yet derelict, i believe it helps that the village of Nunney is really quite outstanding too. Nunney castle is free to visit and we found parking was free just outside on the side road next to the castle ruins and also next to the ‘Moat & Turret’ cafe if you wanted to stop inside for a coffee.
Overall, if you are visiting the Somerset area or perhaps have seen the close by castle ruins of Farleigh Hungerford, Nunney Castle is a must visit place and one to put on your list.
Cant wait to share more about our new adventures, keep posted, please follow and like our Instagram page and enjoy exploring!