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Site is open to the public. Opening may be limited, please check Visitor Information for any restrictions.


Brief description of site

The landscape was previously a medieval deer park, to which formal gardens were added from the late-17th to early-18th century. These were then extensively 'landscaped' in the later-18th century. Much of the land has been returned to agricultural use, with the present parkland and lake covering around 48 hectares. There are fine mature trees in the parkland and beside the lake.

Brief history of site

Sherborne Old Castle was built between 1107 and 1135. The 'new' castle was built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594. The new house was extended between 1600 and 1609 by Simon Basil. There is no certain evidence for 16th century garden work. Extensive formal gardens were created in the 17th century between the two Castles, involving terraces, a bowling green, formal plantations, and a T-shaped canal fed and formed from the river Yeo. Capability Brown was consulted in 1756 (when Sherborne Lake was begun) and again between 1775-1779.

Location information:

Address: Sherborne Castle Estates, Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 3PY

Locality: Yeovil

Local Authorities:

Dorset; West Dorset; Sherborne

Historical County: Dorset

OS Landranger Map Sheet Number: 194 Grid Ref: ST649164
Latitude: 50.946 Longitude: -2.50099


From the M3, M5 or A30, follow signs for Yeovil or Sherbourne.

Visitor facilities

Opening contact details:

The castle and grounds are open to the public every day except Mondays and Fridays between April and October. Please see:
The Old Castle is in the care of English Heritage, and is open daily from 10 am between April and October.

Key information:

Form of site: landscape park

Purpose of site: Ornamental

Context or principal building: castle

Site first created: 1594

Main period of development: 18th century

Survival: Extant

Site Size (Hectares): 420

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