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Pictures of Farleigh Hungerford Castle

in the town of Farleigh Hungerford, in the county of Somerset

About Farleigh Hungerford Castle

In 1383, the then Speaker of the House of Commons, Sir Thomas Hungerford had to be pardoned for building Farleigh Hungerford Castle without permission. He had purchased what was originally a manor house from the Montfort family, which he later converted into a fortified castle, with four strong towers surrounded by a moat. In the 15th century, his son, Sir Walter Hungerford enlarged the castle boundary by adding the outer court thus, enclosing the parish church which he used as the castle chapel. The present Farleigh Hungerford parish church is thought to have been built by Sir Walter to compensate for taking the original church, but little of this is really known.

The Hungerford's were a powerful family, they now legitimately owned a castle, but it appears this did not stop a 16th century Hungerford for being executed for committing acts described as "treason and unnatural vice" after locking his wife in one of the castle towers for a number of years!

Today, these strange deeds are long forgotten, the ruins seen against matchless Somerset meadows present a romantic picture of timelessness. At the end of the 17th century, the Hungerfords had to sell up and leave the castle. There-after, it was allowed to become derelict with little left save for the ruined towers. The gatehouse and curtain walls have survived mainly intact together with the old church, here visitors can see well preserved Medieval wall paintings and a fine collection of lead coffins.

Farleigh Hungerford Castle is in the care of English Heritage and is open throughout the year.

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