One of our regular venues is Dunster Castle near Minehead (National Trust).




Dunster Castle was held by the Royalists under the governorship of Col. Francis Wyndham.  It was held  from June 1643 until it surrendered to the commander of the real Taunton Garrison, Col. Robert Blake, backed up by a regiment from the New Model Army, in April 1646.

Above we can see the castle surrounded by Parliamentarian forces under the command of Col. Robert Blake.  Blake's H.Q. was in the Ship Inn (now the Luttrell Arms) at the north end of the village.  The main cannon line was between what is now the car park and the river.  The castle was under siege from September 1645 to April 1646.  There was one successful attempt by the dwindling Royalist forces to relieve the castle, this brief breakthrough allowed some new provisions into the castle, in early February 1646.  Ultimately, the castle was doomed to surrender.  The inset plan, bottom right, shows the castle in more detail.

A closer view of the castle area.

As part of the siege Blake resorted to mining. Three mines were dug under the North-Eastern side of the walls. In military terms, mines are tunnels dug under a wall, then a chamber is filled with explosive, this is ignited in the hope of bringing down a wall. Only one mine actually went off and the resulting breach was not considered worth assaulting.

Map drawn and photographed by P. Hockey



Behind the scenes of any of our re-enactments there is a lot of hard work, setting up the camp and organising the event.  Here Tina and Chris are setting up the Dunster site.  Without such dedication the show would definitely not go on!


Above we see a volley of musketry being appreciated by a large crowd August 2009.


Pikemen on parade 1646.  Note, only two have any armour.  This is probably from choice as armour for pikemen was in decline by this time.


All above photos by Dawn Sanger.