Isle of Albion
Photographed: Sunday 22nd February 2004
Site rating:

This is a small 14th Century castle constructed in a French style, nestled in the middle of the tiny Somerset village of Nunney.

Nunney Castle was built by John Delamare in 1373, presumably influenced by the continental castles he's witnessed during his participation in the Hundred Year War. It consists of a rectangular keep, with a large drum tower marking each corner. These drum towers were originally topped with conical roofs, and were connected by an enclosed timber rampart walk that protruded out from the castle's side, the supporting corbels for which can still be seen.

The keep is entirely enclosed by a moat, which would have originally risen right up to the walls of the castle. This failed to offer much defence against the parliamentarian forces that besieged it with canons in 1645. The northern wall was easily breached and the defenders quickly surrendered. Cromwell's forces gutted the keep, and the castle was never again inhabited. In 1910, the north wall collapsed completely, completing the scene that greets today's visitor.

Although compact and relatively unimpressive, Nunney Castle does command an extremely picturesque and tranquil spot in the heart of an archetypal English village. The keep may not offer much diversion for the visitor, but the surroundings make for a pleasant stroll on a summer's day.