Nunney Castle

Nunney Castle

Another superb ancient monument a short distance from Ashwick Parish – a super castle complete with a moat and high walls!

Nunney Castle and Moat.        photo by Nabakov

Nunney Castle is a small, French-style castle surrounded by a deep moat, built for Sir John Delamare in 1373, and said to have been based on the Bastille in Paris, and shows a strong awareness of contemporary French practice.   A veteran of the Hundred Years' War, Sir John would later become Sheriff of Somerset.  It was later the property of William Paulet, 1st Marquess of Winchester, before passing to several owners and in 1577 was sold by Swithun Thorpe to John Parker who only kept it for a year before selling it to Richard Prater, for £2000.

English Civil War
During the English Civil Wars (1642-51) Colonel Richard Prater, who held the castle until 1645, lost it to Fairfax, the commander of Cromwell's forces in the battle that took place at Nunney.  The castle was besieged for two days, but capitulated when Cromwell's men used cannon to blast a great hole in the north wall of the castle. It was never lived in again.

Nunney Castle.    photo by Rod Ward

The castle today
Nunney Castle stands today, but all of the floors were removed or burned and the roof was removed to render it uninhabitable. Its moat, walls, and towers are still intact. The wall damaged by the cannon rounds finally collapsed in 1910.  The castle is currently managed by English Heritage, and is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

The collapsed wall.  photo by Rod Ward


Related families
There are several families that have been associated with the castle.

Delamare family
Prater family / Prather family
Paulet family
Family tombs of Praters, Delamares and Paulets are in the church at Nunney.

Nunney Castle as seen from the top of the village.    photo by Rod Ward