Saturday, 23 April 2011

My Landmark of the Week
Stogursey  Castle

Exterior, Stogursey Castle, Somerset

Stogursey, an old village to the east of the Quantocks, was chosen as his principal base by William de Courcy, Steward to Henry I. Both his son and his grandson married heiresses and the de Courcys became even more important. So, too, did their castle. Then the male line failed, and the castle was inherited by Alice de Courcy. She entertained King John here in 1210, when her husband won 20 shillings from him ‘at play’.

Later on the Percys from Northumberland inherited it but, after a minor part in the Wars of the Roses, they could find no useful purpose for it as it stood and they did not think it worth rebuilding as a less fortified seat. So time and neglect, and adaptation to more humble uses, reduced it to ruins, in which it has lain ever since.

The small dwelling formed inside the gate towers of the castle has seventeenth-century roof timbers and was repaired in the 1870s; but when we found it, the entire castle had vanished beneath a mantle of vegetation. Clearing this and dredging the moat revealed an unsuspected thirteenth-century bridge. We also recovered some chain mail and other warlike fragments from the mud. The cottage makes a strange dwelling but a pleasant one, still commanding the only entrance to the castle’s grassy inner ward, scene of all those doings long ago.

Castles don't come much smaller than this - and with a drawbridge!

Sleeps: 4

  • Open fire
  • Moated garden
  • Parking nearby
  • Dogs allowed

Please Note

A public footpath runs past the eastern end of the bridge.

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