Dunster Castle's portraits of noteworthy Luttrells

Many interesting portraits are displayed at Dunster Castle. Here we aim to introduce you to the portraits of the Luttrell family, who've played a significant part in the history of Dunster Castle.

    Sir John Luttrell (1518-51)

    A tudor portrait of John Luttrell.

    This portrait is considered 'one of the most unusual and puzzling of all tudor images'. It may refer to the peace treaty of 1550, in which France recovered the port of Boulogne from England. Sir John helped to capture Boulogne in 1544 and seems to have been opposed to its return - he's shown to be shaking his fist. The Latin inscriptions praise his courage and steadfastness.

    Col. Francis and Mary Luttrell (1659-90)

    The portraits of Francis and Mary Luttrell.

    Francis and Mary married c.1680, shortly after Francis came of age. Mary was a wealthy heiress, whose money helped to pay for the creation of the Dining Room with its stunning plasterwork ceiling. Mary's accounts show that during 1681-83, £428 was spent on buying new clothes. They were certainly a couple who enjoyed the finer things in life.

    Dorothy Yard (d.1723)

    A portrait of Dorothy Yard.

    Dorothy married Alexander Luttrell c.1685. Alexander died in 1711, leaving widowed Dorothy to manage the estate on behalf of their son. She cleared the debt the castle had been in for some time and even found money to make improvements, such as commissioning the Thornhill chapel.

    Margaret and Henry Fownes Luttrell (m.1747)

    The portraits of Henry and Margaret Fownes Luttrell.

    When Margaret came of age in 1747, she married her cousin Henry Fownes, who added her name to his own. They then moved into Dunster Castle and proceeded to update the century-old interior in the latest Rococo taste. They ordered new furniture, Chinese painted wallpaper, and inserted new windows in the Dining Room and Stair Hall.

    George Fownes Luttrell (1828-1910)

    George Fownes Luttrell (1826-1910) by Cyrus Johnson in the Library at Dunster Castle, Somerset

    George commisioned Anthony Salvin to renovate the castle to provide additional space for his large family and visitors. George has been described as 'a calm, unselfish and slightly diffident man, but he could speak out when he thought it necessary'. He had a fascination with the past, which led him to rebuild Dunster Castle in medieval style.

    Alexander Luttrell (1855-1944)

    A portrait of Alexander Luttrell.

    In his youth, Alexander served with the Grenadier Guards in Sudan. Alexander inherited in 1910 and devoted the rest of his life to the estate. The oak coffin he was buried in was made from one of the ancient parkland trees.