Saturday, May 19

Dunster And A Reminder Of Carefree Days

Dunster castle Dunster Somerset

While we were away on our break Karin and I visited Dunster in Somerset, a small historical town dating back to around 700 AD. As we approached the town the first thing we saw was the castle as in the photo above.

"Ah," we both thought, "this rings a bell."

It was then we realised that we had visited this place 30+ years ago before we were married. We slept in the car park - in my old VW Beetle car. We didn't have much money at the time so stayed in a few small bed and breakfast places until the cash ran out - and it ran out in Dunster!

The photo below shows where we parked my VW - behind the top hedge to the left of the photo.. In those days the parking was free and we made up a meal on a single burner stove. Happy carefree days!

Dunster car park

The town of Dunster is over 500 years old and hasn't changed much. The castle dominates the main street and the buildings are pretty much the same.

Dunster town and castle Somerset England

It's virtually identical to this etching from 1810 ...

Etching of Dunster in 1810

... at the forefront is the Yarn Market built in 1609 for the sale of local broadcloth and homespuns and it's still pretty much as per the etching.

Yarn Market Dunster Somerset

Dunster is jam packed with history from the chocolate box style thatched cottages ...

Thatched Cottages in Dunster

to the 15th-century Gallox Bridge which was used by pack animals to cross the River Avill.

Gallox Bridge Dunster

There's the old nunnery ....

Nunnery at Dunster, Somerset

... and the tithe barn where 10% of local farmers crops and stock were stored and passed to the Benedictine Priory. This was from around 1000 AD. In 1535 King Henry VIII wanted to know how rich the churches were and it is shown on record that the net annual income of the Dunster Tithe Barn at that time was £37.4s.8p (£37:23).

Tithe Barn Dunster Somerset

Also, of course, is the church - the Priory Church of St George which is predominantly 15th century with evidence of 12th and 13th century work.

Priory Church of St George, Dunster, Somerset

After viewing all of this, and much more besides, we'd had enough of history so we lunched in a restaurant and then went on a 5 mile circular forest walk from Dunster to find England's tallest tree - but that'll do for today's post!

Click on photos to see larger size. Photos: © Mike Perry

Other Somerset Posts:
The Lucky Lessons Learnt In Somerset
The Holy Well That Saved a Saints Head

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  1. Thanks for the tour of Dunster Mike.
    I've not heard of this town before and I do like these atmospheric photo tours of yours.

  2. Always love your travel posts. Have I said that before?? I haven't been to Dunster but it looks like somewhere I would enjoy. Love your photos or have I said that before as well??

    1. I'm sure you never repeat yourself.

  3. Gorgeous place. I love these photos and the virtual tour. And how funny you and Karin had been there before!

    1. It brought back memories that's for sure.

  4. I would love to do a painting from one of your photos.
    Such a charming town. Thanks for including the etching.

    1. Would love to see the painting! It's a lovely small town.

    2. I was able to make a copy of your photo. Will take some time to paint, but when done I'll send to an address of your choosing. No cost; I just love finding great photos! Thanks for allowing me to use one of your's... full credit to you.

    3. I'm honoured! Thank you.

  5. ok where is that in England, absolutely fairy tale ish and how do I get there

    1. Visit the following official website for full info on Dunster with map etc: Dunster, Somerset