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Sherborne Old Castle - Earl Henry's Bridge | by ell brown
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Sherborne Old Castle - Earl Henry's Bridge

The Estate of Sherborne Castle - grounds and gardens.


The area of the garden walk that goes past Sherborne Old Castle.


This is Sherborne Old Castle. Built by Bishop Roger of Salisbury between 1122 and 1139.


Sir Walter Raleigh bought the castle in 1592, and tried to modernize it. But by 1594 he gave up and instead started to build his own home nearby.


The Digby's got Sherborne Castle (both old and new) in 1617 when Sir John Digby acquired it.


During the Civil War, the Digby's were on the Royalist side, and the Old Castle was garrisoned and suffered two sieges. After the second siege in 1645 Fairfax and his Parliamentarian army systematically demolished the Old Castle. Thus Sherborne Castle after that came to mean the new hous in the park.


A bridge over the moat. It is called Earl Henry's Bridge.


Under the bridge - towards some fields.


Grade I listed.


Sherborne Old Castle, Castleton




12/26 Sherborne Old Castle



Episcopal castle with curtain-wall and gatetowers. Built by Roger, bishop

of Salisbury 1107-1135. Restoration begun by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1592,

and soon abandoned. Castle partly demolished and rendered untenable, 1645.

Rubble-stone walls, with close-jointed ashlar facing and freestone dressings.

Curtain wall and gatetowers. Curtain-wall enclosed an area 470 ft by 330 ft

with diagonal walls across the angles, forming an elongated octagon. Walling

stands either side of the SW gatetower,in places on the north, south and east

walls. SW gatehouse, C12, 4 storeys with a battered plinth and clasping

buttresses. NW angle stands to full height, S side is more ruined. W face,

facing of the outer archway has gone and only the segmental rear-arch remains.

C16 restorations and alterations under Raleigh. (See RCHM). Present approach

to gate, C20. Abutments and central pier revealed by excavations. NW Tower,

foundations only. North gate and barbican, revealed by excavation, C12 and

C13. Flanking the C13 buildings are the remains of wing-works with circular

turrets at the outer angles. NE gate, foundations and some walling. SE tower,

site only. Keep and attached courtyard of buildings at the centre of the

bailey. Keep. C12, of at least 3 stages. Ground floor has a dividing wall

running N and S., and supporting two barrel-vaults. These barrels run on

into groined vaults, supported by a cylindrical column with a scalloped capital.

South wall of the extension has externally a central buttress of segmental form.

SW angle of the keep adjoins the S wall of the forebuilding, which stands to

the top of the third stage. The forebuilding has clasping buttresses at the

west angles. Late C16 stone staircase and terrace against north wall of

forebuilding. 3 ranges of buildings, and an excavated S range stand round

a central courtyard, originally with cloister-walks. W Ranges running N from

Keep, W wall has pilaster buttresses and a moulded string-course. E wall of

this range largely destroyed. Rubble (tufa) barrel vault. N range, 2 storeys,

4 bays, with clasping and pilaster buttresses externally. Ground-floors groined

rubble vault over 3 E bays and barrel-vault over W bay. N wall has remains of

former windows and openings upper floor round-headed windows decorated with

chevron, and label with billet. Internal wall-arcading of intersecting arches,

of which traces remain. Floor may have housed the chapel. East range, much

ruined. East hall has pilaster buttresses and an original window in each of

the 3 bays. Ground floor has a rubble barrel-vault of which the springing

remains. S range, foundations found of N and S walls, probably housed the

great Hall. The castle was held for the Crown in 1642 and 1645.

(RCHM Dorset I, p.64(4))(Sch. Monument: DORSET.2)


Listing NGR: ST6480316768


Protected by English Heritage.

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Taken on May 2, 2012