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Somerset Map

The Castle

The village of Nunney is totally dominated by its small, but perfectly formed, castle. This was built, in the French style, in the 1370s by Sir John de la Mere, an up and coming local knight, and would originally have had conical roofs on each of the corner turrets.

It is interesting as its purpose was not primarily military or strategic, but residential. Thus it marks the beginning of the medieval transition from fortified castles to castellated houses.

The castle was bought by Richard Prater, a rich Londoner sometime after 1560, and was extensively modernised. The Praters held the castle for the King during the Civil War, but it quickly fell to Parliamentarian cannon in 1645. Parliament then order that the castle be 'slighted' and thus rendered of no further military use.

It was taken into public guardianship in 1926, and restored to its current condition. Entry is free and the property is open at "any reasonable time".

The Village

Nunney also boasts a pretty little church, All Saints, remarkable mainly for the collection of a stone effigies under the window in the north aisle.

They are believed to be of Sir John De la Mere, the builder of the castle (on the window sill), Sir John Paulet (a descendant through the female line) and his wife Constance, and Richard Prater and his wife (the Tudor owners).

There are many other picturesque cottages and houses in the village which is also blessedly free from traffic.