Castle tour (Part 2)

Second castle of our tour. I had heard friends talk about Nunney and the jazz cafe, but no mention of a castle. I didn’t even know there was a castle. Not sure why because the castle is remarkable. The village of Nunney has a population of around the 900 mark, so a reasonably small village. The castle stands proudly in the middle of the old part of the village, surrounded by a moat.

It was built in 1373ish by a local knight named Sir John de la Mere. During the Civil war, the family sided with the King, so when the Royalists lost, Cromwell’s men blew a hole in the castle (1645). The  interior of the castle was destroyed, but the battered wall stayed upright until it collapsed in 1910. The walls of this building were built to last.

At first the children were impressed by the size and interested in the reason for the spikes used to deter birds from perching, but then wanted to know if there was more to see. Any rooms filled with artifacts.

I had one of those moments when I realised that I was seeing a vibrant castle and they were seeing just a dusty old ruin. I was seeing a castle filled with people and evolving with time.

To the children, it was one empty room, with no roof, one wall missing and a sign to remind them not to climb on the walls. Time to paint a different picture for them!

We pointed out the holes at each level where  the supporting wooden joists would have slotted into the walls. Giving the castle floors. People could have stood and looked out of the windows that were several metres above our heads. Some of the changes made over the years could be seen around the windows, which helped to show that this building had lived and been improved through many centuries. We discussed how the roof may have been. Gradually they saw the castle. They could start to see the people and how they would have lived in the building.

By the end, their imagination had kicked in and they were adding their own stories.

This castle is near us, so I’m sure we will visit again. The village is beautiful in an old-world way and worthy of a wander in its own right.

I have a couple of ideas to bring this castle back to life for the children. One of which, we will start tomorrow. All the preparations are in hand. Its simple, but I know they are going to enjoy it. It will make a visual point. I’ll let you know how it goes.

8 thoughts on “Castle tour (Part 2)

  • Wednesday 1 June, 2011 at 12:38 am

    cheryl. thank you for posting so much. loss of words really, very emotional about old castles. x

    • Wednesday 1 June, 2011 at 10:21 pm

      I’m so glad to share. Beautiful buildings, with so much about them. We really had fun visiting these latest two.

  • Wednesday 1 June, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Lovely reading your posts about the castles, something we love here too. We are taking a holiday in Wales when school breaks up for the Summer so will be visiting some there.

    Look forward to reading about your ideas about bringing it to life. I have plans for some castle themed projects and crafts in the summer holidays after our Wales trip. Wonderful to feed the passion and interest after visits like these.

    • Wednesday 1 June, 2011 at 10:18 pm

      I hope you enjoy you visits. I’m sure you will. We went to some wonderful welsh castles two years ago. The castles ran activities for the children, which the girls still talk about.

  • Wednesday 1 June, 2011 at 2:22 pm

    wow, breathtaking! My kids would love to see something like this in person!

    • Wednesday 1 June, 2011 at 10:13 pm

      Even as ruins, the castles are so impressive. As they are on my doorstep, it is easy to forget how lucky I am to visit them!

  • Thursday 2 June, 2011 at 2:16 am

    So hard to imagine having a castle close enough by to visit in person! No castles around here, so it was really fun to visit virtually with you! Thanks for sharing.

    • Monday 6 June, 2011 at 4:02 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the visit. I never tire of visiting these wonderful historic buildings. 😛 Expect more!

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