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Pictures of Nunney Castle

a Castle in the town of Nunney, in the county of Somerset


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About Nunney Castle

A tradition exists that Nunney Castle's sole pig was subject to daily torture when the castle came under siege in 1645 during the English Civil War. This was supposedly to make the attackers think there was plenty of livestock within. The poor animal suffered needlessly, the siege was short lived, with the officer, eight men and a few refugees, surrendering after only two days.

It is as a romantic ruin that the castle is best known today. The castle originated as a royal property, it was built in 1373 when Sir John de la Mere became tenant-in-chief and obtained a licence to crennelate from Edward III.

A church already stood in the most prominent position, so in contrast Sir John chose a low-lying site in which to construct his castle. The fact that he had served in the French wars, is perhaps the reason why the castle was built in the style of a French chateaux. The site was very small, the castle was not large in the usual way of English castles from the period, it had towers that almost touched and walls so thin they were unable to withstand cannon fire. What it did have was an unusually deep moat, said to be the deepest in the country.

In 1910 the fragile walls collapsed into the moat. Later it was cleared and today it is fed by a small stream. Visitors to the castle should cross the footbridge over the moat and then another over the stream, this brings you to the church. It is an historic place with fine features from many centuries, especially the stone effigy of Sir John de la Mare.

The ruins are quite splendid and well worth seeing. The village of Nunney is pleasant with cottages of grey Mendip stone and a meandering stream running right through it.

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