Sherborne, Dorset
Index: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 Click here for more information

Sherborne Old Castle, Dorset, England         OS Map Grid Ref: ST647167
 The County of Dorset
1:5,000   Photo
1:10,000   Photo
1:25,000     Photo
1:50,000     Photo
1:100,000     Photo


 Shopping Centres    Leisure Centres    Theatres    Country Parks    Churches    Information Centres    Accomodation    Caravan Sites    Camp Sites    Historic Houses    Gardens    Ancient Monuments  

Notice Boards

No messages
Wanted & Lost

 Sherborne Old Castle from the NE
The remains of Sherborne 'Old ' Castle, built by
Roger de Caen between 1122 and 1139 stand at the eastern extremity of Sherborne in north-western Dorset. Sir Walter Raleigh recieved the castle from Queen Elizabeth I as a reward for his achievements.
 Sherborne Old Castle
The 12th century castle was not to Raleigh's liking and he built a lodge, part of Sherborne 'New ' Castle, in the grounds in 1594. The 'Old ' castle, now in a ruinous condition, was dismantled on the orders of the parliamentary forces in 1645 after a siege by Fairfax. It is now owned by English Heritage, having been presented to the nation in 1956.

Roger de Caen, who built the castle as a fortified palace between 1122 and 1139, was an important man in the reign of King Henry I. An Abbot of Sherborne, he was also Bishop of Salisbury, Chancellor and subsequently Justiciar to the King. Alas, Henry's only son and male heir died with the loss of the White Ship and on his death the crown passed to his daughter Matilda. Her cousin Stephen also claimed the crown and the country was thrown into a protracted civil war. Thus it was that Stephen seized Sherborne Castle in 1135 and it remained in royal hands until the reign of King Edward III, when Bishop Robert Wyville paid to to bring the castle back into the control of the church. During its time as a royal castle, it seems that although it was maintained and repaired, the defences were slightly altered but, substantially, the castle remained unchanged.

Queen Elizabeth I transferred the lease to Sir Walter Raleigh in 1592 in appreciation of his achievements. He altered the castle over two years but then decided to abandon the medieval castle and build Sherborne Lodge across the lake to the south instead. Raleigh's Lodge now forms part of Sherborne 'New ' Castle.

During the Civil War, the castle (in the possession of Lord Digby, a principal adviser to King Charles I) was twice held for the King, in 1642 and 1645. The second occasion saw it holding out against a seige by the forces of General Fairfax for 16 days. Like many castles during the conflict, by october it had been 'slighted '; the defences destroyed defences to prevent its being any further use against the forces of Parliament.

See also: Dorset in the English Civil War

The castle remained within the Digby family until 1956 when it was presented to the nation - although they, like Raleigh, resided in the 'new ' castle or Sherborne Lodge.

An early Christian enclosure has been identified beneath the castle. These are a rarity in the British Isles - there is another in Dorset, surrounding St Aldelm's Chapel on the Isle of Purbeck.  

The castle enjoyed a large enclosure and most of the curtain wall has disappeared with the the south west gatehouse is the best preserved section. Unlike some castles where the keep is integral to the curtain walls, the large keep (now ruinous) in the centre of the enclosure here could not play any part in its defence.

Sir Walter Raleigh attempted to update Roger de Caen's medieval castle by putting in new windows and other imporvements but he gave up the attempt after a few years and started afresh by building and moving into the lodge in the castle grounds.

Visitor Information

Visitor Parking and Toilets on the site

OS Ref: ST 647167

The castle is 0.5 miles to the east of Sherborne, off the B3145. It is well signposted with English Heritage (brown) signs from Sherborne or the east of it.

BibliographyDiscuss this PageHits on this PageLegals

Links to Other Pages on this Site

  Towns & Villages of Dorset

Links to Other Sites

. . . . . the inclusion of these links to other sites is for the interest and convenience of visitors to this site only and does not imply any endorsement of the products or services offered by the individuals or organisations involved nor the accuracy of the information contained therein . . . . .


BibliographyDiscuss this PageHits on this PageLegals

Links to Other Pages on this Site

  Dorset, England
2.5 km W
  Dorset, England
2.3 km SW
Milborne Port
  Somerset, England
3.2 km NW
North Wootton
  Dorset, England
2.5 km SW
  Dorset, England
1.5 km NW
  Dorset, England
1.1 km SE

Sherborne New Castle
  Dorset, England
The new castle built by Sir Walter Raleigh when he found the Old Castle not to his liking
0.5 km S
Sherborne Abbey
  Dorset, England
The abbey church was a cathedral church for many centuries after King Ine of Wessex established a see here and made his kinsman St Aldhelm the first bishop
1.3 km SW
Sandford Orcas Manor House
  Sandford Orcas, Vale Of Blackmore, Dorset, England
The ancient manor house, open to the public during the summer months, is reputed to be haunted
4.8 km NW
Cornford Bridge
  nr. Holwell, Dorset, England
A scheduled National Monument, the bridge consists of three Gothic arches
6.4 km SE
Boyles School
  High Street, Yestminster, Vale Of Blackmore, Dorset, England
The 17th century scientist Robert Boyle who lived nearby at Stalbridge endowed the school to teach twenty poor boys of Chetnowle, Leigh and Yetminster
8.4 km SW
Revels Bird Centre
  Dorset, England
11.2 km SE

Eastbury Hotel
Long St, Sherborne, Dorset   DT9 3BY
1 km SE
Cross Keys Hotel
88 Cheap St, Sherborne, Dorset   DT9 3BJ
1.3 km SE
Antelope Hotel
Greenhill, Dorset   DT9 4EP
1.3 km SE
The Half Moon Inn
Half Moon St, Sherborne, Dorset   DT9 3LN
1.3 km SE
Britannia Inn
Westbury, Dorset   DT9 3EH
1.4 km SE

    The Grange Hotel   Oborne, Dorset   DT9 4LA
1.5 km NW
Sherborne Hotel
Horsecastles Lane, Sherborne, Dorset   DT9 6BB
2.4 km SE

Public Houses
Swan Inn
Cheap St, Sherborne, Dorset   DT9 3AX
1.2 km SE
The George Hotel
Higher Cheap St, Sherborne, Dorset   DT9 3JD
1.3 km SE
The White Hart
2 Cheap St, Sherborne, Dorset   DT9 3PX
1.3 km SE
Plume of Feathers
Half Moon St, Sherborne, Dorset   DT9 3LN
1.3 km SE
Digby Tap
Cooks Lane, Sherborne, Dorset   DT9 3NS
1.3 km SE
The Mermaid
Sherborne, Dorset   DT9 4JD
1.4 km NE


Discuss this PageHits on this PageLegalsLinksLocally

Recommend a Book for this Page

A Short History of Sherborne from 705AD
  by WB Wildman, MA, 3rd ed (1911) F. Bennett, Bookseller, Sherborne

BibliographyDiscuss this PageHits on this PageLegals

BibliographyDiscuss this PageLegalsLinksLocally
Hits on this Page
Hits on this page since December 6th


current year: previous year:

 Close this Menu Panel
Select ;-

Aa-Az   Ba-Bz   Ca-Cz   Da-Dz   Ea-Ez   Fa-Fz   Ga-Gz   Ha-Hz   Ia-Iz   Ja-Jz   Ka-Kz   La-Lz   Ma-Mz   Na-Nz   Oa-Oz   Pa-Pz   Qa-Qz   Ra-Rz   Sa-Sz   Ta-Tz   Ua-Uz   Va-Vz   Wa-Wz   Ya-Yz   
BibliographyHits on this PageLegalsLinksLocally
Discuss this Page

No messages posted on this page

Only Members of the Site can post messages in this section. Signing in is easy from our Home Page.

BibliographyDiscuss this PageHits on this PageLinks

DISCLAIMER: Whilst we endeavour to ensure the content of this site is correct, we cannot undertake that information you find here, is, or will remain accurate and complete. We do not warrant that any information contained on this site is fit for any purpose. If you wish to place reliance on any such information you must check its accuracy by some other means before doing so.

MEMBERS get aditional features on our pages and will soon be able to interact with the site and add their views and informastion. Sign up, from the Home-Page, is simple and involves typing in your email address and a password of your choice.

If you are in any way connected with any location or interested in the subject mentioned on this page and have an hour or two a month to spare, we would welcome you as a local moderator - please email the webmaster by CLICKING HERE.

Privacy Policy

last updated on
Copyright © 2000-2003
page ref: BAAAGCBH

Commercial Building / Office building|