As the weather was so nice on Saturday we decided to go out somewhere for a walk and some fresh air. We decided we didn't want to go too far as we didn't want to be out for too long. My other half went on the Internet and looked for somewhere local that we might like.
On the English Heritage site he found Nunney Castle. Nunney is not far from Bath and Bristol, for us it is just down the road. From Bath it is just 20 miles so not far at all.
Nunney itself is a tiny little village in an out of the way part of Somerset. The village is very picturesque and most peoples idea of old rural England. Little cottages a couple of little country pubs and the local post office. It was extraordinarily quiet, hardly any cars drove through and not many people about apart from a wedding party that I will explain further on in this review.
There isn't much parking at all, no car park. We pulled up on the side of the road with a line of other cars that in truth were probably those of the local residents.
The castle itself is encircled by a wall and there is a gate you go through to get in. there is no charge it is completely free which in itself is a surprise as what do you get for free these days! There are no opening times, it is never locked.
There is an information board telling you a little about the place near the gateway.
You can walk all the way around the moat (on the grass, there is no pathway) and there is a bridge round the back that you can walk over to get to the castle. Round by this bridge there were a few fishermen. You can fish the moat but only with a licence.
The small wooden bridge would certainly not be easy for anyone disabled as there are a few steps on the castle side and the ground is uneven in the castle. I think there were a few steps to go into the castle too but my memory may be playing tricks on me.
The castle was built in the 1370's and is a smaller version of the famous Paris Bastille in 1645 a cannon ball hit the front (or back when you visit) and on Christmas Day 1910 it finally collapsed. When you see it from the front by the gate to enter the grounds surrounding it you can't see that the wall is missing and it looks completely intact.
It really is beautiful and rather serene in its village surroundings. There weren't many people about when we first arrived, a couple sat with a flask on the grass, a young couple stood kissing at the other end and the fishermen.
We looked inside the castle and we amazed at how intact it all seemed. The fact it is so old and at the mercy of the elements hasn't caused it to look as old as it is.
Inside there isn't that much to look at. There is no roof or floors just the main shell. It was incredible to imagine this small shell being something to behold in its day, now people have far larger houses in some cases. It would have been three floors and the floor space wall to wall would have been about 15 meters by 20 meters. That is a rough estimate and if anything is rather generous!
You can still see all the windows, by windows I don't mean glass! Just holes. The fireplaces and even the guttering in the floor!
The ruins are well populated with birds. They are obviously nesting in little nooks and crannies. Mainly pigeons, they scared my other half at one point, which did make me laugh! I know I am cruel.
It was hard to imagine just what this would have been like when it was still intact and lived in but I guess that is part of the mystery these places hold.
Right next to the walled off area is a stream which is only shallow but very clean a lovely place to live alongside from what we saw (yes I know the words flood damage ring through your ears don't they!). The water was clean and clear. There was hardly any noise except the church bells ringing.
We sat on the wall and watched a group of ducklings swimming about and their mother come along. Sitting in the sunshine there was nothing short of gorgeous!
Over the stream is a bridge and up through the street a short distance is the local church. An average church, nothing all that special but it did add to the charm especially as there had just been a wedding and the whole wedding party trooped over to the ruins to have pictures taken there. How lovely they will turn out!
It did make us think about getting married in that church just to be able to do the same even thought we have said we don't want a religious wedding.
This is not a long visit destination or one that is worth travelling miles for but if you are in the local area and have an hour or two to kill in the sunshine it is a great spot to sit and relax.
I must drop a star for the lack of parking and paths. Otherwise it would have been a full five.
English Heritage has historic sites to visit all over the place www.english-heritage.org.uk have a look for ones in your area.
A great site to look for places to visit is www.enjoyengland.com a great way to plan a trip or holiday.
A French style castle surrounded by a deep moat, built for Sir John Delamare in 1373.