Sherborne Old Castle

This ruin of a 12th century castle in the grounds of a mansion, was built as a fortified palace and was in the ownership of the Church until the 16th century. Now a romantic ruin, in the grounds of the New Sherborne Castle, it is a great day out for all ages.

After withstanding two sieges during the Civil War, only the Southwest Gatehouse and parts of the castle, including the Great Tower and the North Range, now survive. Loved by Sir Walter Raleigh, he leased the castle but when he was imprisoned in the Tower of London for marrying one of Queen Elizabeth I’s maids of honour without her permission, it was then leased out but remained a favourite home of the famous explorer.

The castle grounds are a haven for wildlife and birds and it is an ideal spot for a picnic where you can take in the beautiful views across the surrounding countryside. Keep an eye out for ‘Lady Betty’s Pinks’ during July & August, named after Sir Walter Raleigh’s wife, Elizabeth, flowering throughout the grounds.