Nunney Castle

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Nunney Castle — Somerset, England

Nunney is a village and civil parish in the county of Somerset. The parish includes the hamlet of Holwell, a pretty del, watered by an affluent of the river Frome, half a mile from the village.

Nunney CastleNunney has a long history and has become a tourist attraction due to the ruins of Nunney Castle, and the historic Church of All Saints. The village is a quaint and lovely place to see with ducks wandering the streets near the river. The ruins of the castle with its wide moat add a unique picturesque quality to this quiet village.

The remains of Castle Nunney stands on a rise within its stream-fed moat in the village centre. Sir John de la Mere built the castle in the 1370s when he gained royal favor during the reign of Edward III. After returning from France during the Hundred Years War he built his castle in the French style of architecture. There are those who believe that the castle may have been based on the Bastille in Paris. The beautiful ashlar masonry with windows that have cusped tops and mullions of early Perpendicular style all add to the picturesque beauty of this small castle.

In the late 16th century the castle was modernised, unfortunately the interior was ruined during the Civil Wars (1642-51). The castle was besieged by Cromwell's men who used cannons to blast a huge hole in the north wall. The attack by the Parliamentarian forces virtually destroyed the interior of the small castle; however, the damaged north wall remained standing until Christmas Day 1910 when it collapsed into the moat. The wide, deep moat, which was cleared of debris, together with the walls and towers are still intact and lend a measure of charm to the houses of the village which surround the castle.

The castle is accessible, with no fees charged at present, and is managed by the English Heritage, being a Scheduled Ancient Monument. There are also remains of a Roman camp near the village, where a hoard of roman coins was discovered in 1869 at Westdown Farm and a villa with a mosaic floor. There are also traces of a nunnery, which is believed to have given name to the village.

According to a BBC Radio 4 report, broadcast during September of 2007, they questioned whether Nunney, "the prettiest village in England" is a place where we can learn "how to mend our broken society".

Where is Nunney Castle?

Nunney Castle is located in Nunney, Somerset near the A361 between Frome and Shepton Mallet. The nearest populated areas include Frome to the east and Wanstrow to the south.

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