The Garden Guide

The Castle at Taunton

Operating as a hotel for 300 years, The Castle is a Norman fortress with a 12 century walled garden. During the many centuries which passed after the Norman Castle fell into disuse, the ground in which the keep stood, and its surroundings, gradually became waste land. It was in the early 1930s that the land and the foundations of the moat wall and the keep were exposed by the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. Many of the trees were planted at this time and they are now listed for protection as indicated by the small silver discs attached to their trunks. On entering the garden, the visitor faces one of the walls of the inner moat, constructed 1160, and a round well is seen immediately on the left. Following the path round to the left of the keep, built in the reign of King Stephen (1135-1154), one comes across the square Norman well. This is of particular interest as only one other square well of the Norman period is known to exist in England, at Pevensey Castle, Sussex, near Pevensey Bay, where William the Conqueror landed. The magnificant wisteria that covers the front of The Castle is over 150 years old. There is parking onsite. Gardens to visit while staying at The Castle at Taunton include Hestercombe House Gardens (4 miles), Montacute House Garden (23 miles), East Lambrook Manor Garden (20 miles) Tintinhull House Garden (25 miles) and Barrington Court (17 miles).

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Photograph © The Castle at Taunton
Photograph © The Castle at Taunton