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Brief description of site

Dunster Castle has gardens and woodland on the castle hill. The gardens cover approximately 6 hectares, set within a park of 277 hectares. It was originally a medieval site, with re-workings in the mid- to late-18th century and the mid-19th century.

Brief history of site

The castle was re-built in the mid-12th century. The building was repaired and improved in the early-15th century, and a new gatehouse was built in 1420. A new house was built in the lower ward in 1617. This was the only part of the castle to be left standing after Parliament ordered the demolition of the Castle defences in 1650, following the discovery of a Royalist plot. The setting of the site was improved in the early-18th century, including levelling the keep to form a bowling green, and making a new drive. After 1747, a deer park was formed to the south of the existing park, and a series of Gothic follies were constructed. Anthony Salvin was commissioned to re-model and extend the house in 1868.

Location information:

Address: Dunster, nr Minehead, Somerset, TA24 6SL

Locality: Minehead

Local Authorities:

Somerset; West Somerset; Dunster

Historical County: Somerset

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 181 Grid Ref: SS991434
Latitude: 51.1809 Longitude: -3.44494


The site is accessible from the A39. It is in Dunster, 3 miles from Minehead.

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

The gardens are open every day between March and December.

Key information:

Form of site: country estate

Purpose of site: Ornamental

Context or principal building: castle

Main period of development: Early 18th century

Survival: Extant

Site Size (Hectares): 283

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