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DUNSTER CASTLE

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Castle of 11th century origins, rebuilt in the mid 13th century and 1420. The house was built circa 1617 and altered in 1867. By 1086 a castle, probably of the motte and bailey type, was established here by the Mohun family using the strong natural defences of the hill. A stone-built castle was in existence by 1138 but no masonry from this seems to survive. At about that time the castle was held by William de Mohun against Henry de Tracy and although seigeworks were erected, no structures remain. In the Civil War it was held against the Royalists, but was taken by them in 1642. Later in 1645-6, after a six month seige, it was retaken by the Parliamentarians. In 1649 it was ordered to be dismantled, although little demolition was carried out. A view of the castle in 1733 shows the motte used as a gazebo and pleasure garden, but with much of the rest of the castle retaining medieval features. The scheduling relates to the natural features and associated below ground remains which together formed the medieval motte and bailey of Dunster Castle.

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