The castle at Dunster

The marble chimney piece in the Drawing Room at Dunster Castle

With 1,000 years of history the castle has plenty of great stories to tell. The last family to live here, the Luttrells, moved in in 1376 and out in 1976, and changed a medieval stronghold into a comfortable family home.

Visiting the castle at Dunster

The dramatic castle full of history is open daily, 10am-4pm. There is a one-way route to follow, and visits are limited to ensure social distancing; entry to the castle is not guaranteed on the day you visit; a queuing system will be in place. In line with government guidance, you're required to wear a face covering inside. Please bring one with you.

 

Find out about the castle

A visitor wearing a face covering
A visitor wearing a facemask inside a historic house
A visitor wearing a face covering

A world-class view

Admire the scenery from the Conservatory window with views that reach across to Exmoor and the Quantock Hills. You can also see hints of the old carriage drive.
 
The Conservatory at Dunster Castle
The Conservatory at Dunster Castle
The Conservatory at Dunster Castle

Rare leather hangings

One of the glories of the castle collection, the Leather Gallery is dedicated to a leather hanging of European importance and depicts the love story of Antony and Cleopatra. The lights in the room have recently been changed to LED bulbs which bring out the intricacies and craftsmanship in this seventeenth-century work of art.

A rare gem, the leather hangings at Dunster are believed to be the largest and most complete set in the UK.
The leather hangings
A rare gem, the leather hangings at Dunster are believed to be the largest and most complete set in the UK.

Books galore

There has been a library at Dunster Castle since the seventeenth-century however the room you see today was created by Anthony Salvin in 1870-1. The wonderfully colourful wallpaper is embossed to simulate leather.

 

The Grand Staircase

The impressive Grand Staircase was built in 1680, with each panel carved from a single piece of elm. The intricate carvings depict a fox and stag hunt, some Charles II shillings, and a trophy of arms which commemorate Col. Francis Luttrells' military career.
The oak staircase at Dunster Castle
The magnificent oak staircase at Dunster Castle
The oak staircase at Dunster Castle

A great estate

Dunster Castle was once the centre of a great estate, which included forests, farms and land. However in the 1950s much of the estate was sold to cover death duties. Find out more about the Dunster estate as it stands today.