Dunster Castle with the ME

Dunster Castle, Entrance

Dunster Castle in Somerset sits atop a tor, overlooking the surrounding countryside, and like most castles of it’s type has a long history. This one, since the middle ages. Unusually it has been owned by only two families in it’s history. First were the de Mohuns, they built a wooden castle on the site of an older, ruined, Saxon Hill fort. Nothing remains of that except the the entrance arch and massive oak, iron bound doors (below). A bill for their repair dating from 1470 for £1, suggests that they are at least that old!

The de Mohun Oak Gates pre 1470

In 1376 the de Mohun’s sold the castle to the Luttrell family. By 1617 they had built/adapted the castle into a Jacobian Style mansion that exists today. Proceeding through the gates above, and up the steps, leads the visitor to the lawn and a good view of the house. (Below)

Dunster Castle

On this day out – like many others, I took my trusty Pentax ME super, with me I had the 28mm and the 50mm both “M” lenses. I know what I’m going to get with them. I can also just about get away with the medium speed, Agfa Vista 200 film, on interiors too. The other benefit is that it’s a nice light weight set up, but still a full SLR. I’ve also had it served since it came into my possession, so it’s lovely and smooth to use! Below is the drawing room.

The Drawing Room

Often in these houses/castles, it’s the “below stairs” that interests me more than the pomp above. How people looked after their “staff” especially. I did make a photo of the hefty stone fireplace. Either side are stationed “Black Servant Boys” holding lamps. I’ve decided not to post them here. In not doing so, I had to give thought about that, what do I think about them? Well, the idea that one should be a “servant” to anyone is a little degrading and repugnant to me – the idea that one human should behave that way to another, much less enslave another, is awful.

Recently there has been controversy about the felling of the “Colston Statue” in Bristol. If was black and lived in Bristol would I be happy walking past his statue every day? No. On the other hand it is history, slavery happened, and like other awful parts of our history, should not be forgotten. My feeling is that statues, especially in public places, are more celebratory than anything else, and I find myself agreeing more with the protesters. It’s 2022, if we need a statue at all, lets put up something that celebrates someone who did good for all! Sorry to “go off on one” dear reader, I don’t intend to do that too often on this blog, rest assured!

Dunster Castle Kitchen!

When I finally reached the kitchen it wasn’t quite what I was expecting! Very 50’s!! The house passed through many generations of the Luttrell’s reaching George Luttrell and in 1868 he began another re-modelling of the interior, what we see today. He was also a force in bringing the railway to nearby Minehead, and it’s development into a seaside resort… that’s another post.

The West Somerset Railway at Minehead

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