Nunney Castle

Nunney Castle, which dates back to the 1370s, is a picturesque moated medieval castle. Its four round corner towers and connecting walls are tightly encircled by a moat.  The castle was originally built by Sir John de la Mare, but was modernised in the late 16th century. Now a ruin, Nunney Castle is a great historic spot for visitors.

History of Nunney Castle

Sir John de la Mare, a knight who was beginning to enjoy royal favour, built this castle under a royal licence issued in 1373. The castle was intended as much as a show of Sir John’s growing power to the locality as it was a serious stronghold for defense.

The castle was bought sometime after 1560 by Richard Pratter, a wealthy Londoner, who was likely responsible for its extensive modernisation. The Pratter family retained ownership of of the castle until the Civil War, during which the castle was besieged and ruined by order of Parliament.

The shell of the tower was cleared of plants and rubble when it was taken into state guardianship in 1926. Both the moat and the medieval drawbridge pit beneath the far end of the bridge were also re-excavated at this time.

Castle Layout

Originally, the tower stood within a larger courtyard encircled on three sides by walls and on the fourth by a brook. The courtyard likely housed several service buildings.

The tower itself is encircled by a moat, is laid out on a four-lobed plan. A turret topped by a conical roof stands at each corner, and a line of battlements encircled the wall top. The castle was laid out with a kitchen on the ground floor, a hall above , and withdrawing chambers on the top floor. These opened off into a chapel in the far right tower.