Monday, July 20, 2020

Dunster Castle



Wouldn't it be nice to visit England again with me?  I realize I have not finished posting about our Golden Anniversary trip!  So come along with me and we'll take a look at more of lovely England.  It certainly will be a cooler day than the one we are experiencing here today!  Our temperatures will hit over 100 degrees.  So sit back and enjoy a ride through the countryside of Somerset.


I never tire seeing the lovely landscape of Great Britain!  We decided to take a drive along the A39 that hugs the coastline between England and the Bristol Bay!  


We learned that Somerset got its interesting name because folks used to flock here in the summer to enjoy the bay.  Hence-Summer Set stuck as the name.  In the distance you can almost see Wales!  Waving to you Deb!

As we were enjoying the lovely scenery, we spotted a National Trust sign for Dunster Castle.  I must admit we did not know about this property, but decided to have a look.  As I mentioned before we are members of the Royal Oak Foundation that is an arm of the National Trust so we have admission to all of their properties.


We learned that there has been a castle here for over 1000 years then as a Victorian country house.  


The 13th century gateway is the oldest part of the castle.  


The building was remodeled by Anthony Salvin between 1868 and 1872 for the Luttrell family that lived here for 600 years!  Come inside with us and we'll take a look around.




The first thing I notice is the beautiful woodwork.  Lovely carvings.  I love the blue and white china placed in the mantel.


The furnishings are quite elaborate and feature the Victorian decor and collections of the family.


Plastered ceilings throughout the castle are exquisite! 




The table is set for dinner.  Won't you please take a seat?


Hopefully a pre-dinner tipple will be served to the lady of the manor as well!

 
I always enjoy seeing the kitchens of these old manor homes.  This style is quite modern.  The Luttrell family gave the castle and its environs to the National Trust in 1976.  




Outside of the kitchen area we continue to view more beautiful carving.


Dunster Castle sits high on a steep hill called a Tor that gives beautiful views of the Bristol Bay area.


The bedrooms are furnished with lovely poster beds.



This quilt was made around 1830 and adorns one of the beds.  It was made by one of the Luttrell women.


Dunster Castle's library is quite cozy.  Maybe we can have a seat and check out a volume or two. 


Step outside with us as we view the vast property and its beauty.



It's quite surprising to see the palm trees here!



What a happy surprise to come upon Dunster Castle.


As we left we decided to continue along the coast and enjoy the beautiful views that awaited us.




Oh England, how I miss your beauty.


Though the ride was a little scary at times, it was so magnificent!  

Thank you for coming along with us as we continue to remember.





45 comments:

  1. How fabulous! I did so enjoy your English post today, thank you Martha Ellen :) You are a first class ambassador for England with these gorgeous photographs!!!

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    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed visiting England today with me, Denise. I appreciate your praise, especially knowing it's your homeland. It draws me like no other place I've ever visited!

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  2. Loved going on this visit with you! I fear we will not be able to make such a trip. Dunster Castle and palm trees? Quite a surprise! xoxo Nellie

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    1. Thank you, Nellie, for taking a virtual visit with me today. The palms were quite interesting to see there as well, but we did see them in Cornwall as well. Microclimates seem to support them in unusual places including VA! xoxo

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  3. I am currently watching Downton Abbey, and the more I watch, the more I notice. I can say without reservation that Mr Carson definitely helps himself to a tipple or two. It must be a perk of the job, for Mr Carson would not do anything irregular.
    Isn't Dunster set in a lovely aspect? My Mum and Nanna lived in Somerset, in Clevedon, and it was said that there were more Welsh living in Somerset than English at that time. I know I heard many Welsh voices when I lived in Taunton. The kitchen at Dunster is not your average NT kitchen, but in true NT style it reflects the era in which it was installed, obviously as a working kitchen, and reminds me greatly of our family kitchen.

    ~~~Waving back from Across the Pond~~~Deb in Wales xoxo

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    1. Deb, the kitchen there was obviously from the later years of the Luttrell family. Your family kitchen sounds nice. I am not surprised that Welsh live in Somerset seeing it's really so close. I really thought of you while we visited! xoxo

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  4. Somerset looks just as lovely as the Lake District but with the added bonus of the sea!

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    1. Cathy, I am in love with all of the English countryside. The lush rolling hills and yes, the sea, what could be better?

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  5. Such a beautiful property. Oh England, how I miss you, too. We are saddened that we had to cancel our September trip. Hopefully in the future we can visit again.

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    1. That's so sad, Ellen. Our daughter and son-in-law had to cancel their trip as well. I do hope you can reschedule in the not too distant future.

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  6. Thank you so much for sharing that amazing castle with us. I just love wondering what lucky people lived there and if they appreciated it. Such gorgeous carved wood. ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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    1. I would venture to guess the Luttrell family did appreciate their home since it stayed in the family for 600 years! Thank you for sharing it with me, Teresa.

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  7. Oh, this is so lovely. I miss the green of England and travelling, thanks for taking us along.
    Amalia
    xo

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    1. I'm with you, Amalia! It's so dry here that we are not seeing a lot of green. And of course, no traveling. Take care of yourself. xo

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  8. Lovely home with beautiful scenery. That road would not be my cup of tea no matter the views. 😳

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    1. Driving on the left side of the road made it even more interesting, Vee! Glad Grayden is okay with that.

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  9. What a wonderful post. "Oh, to be in England..." I haven't been back since the Spring of 2001, and will probably never go back. I can't imagine getting on a plane again. If I had oodles of cash, I charter a plane just for us! Thanks for the beautiful pictures and commentary.

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    1. Yes, let's charter a plane! Thank you for visiting England with me.

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  10. Well that was another lovely trip! The countryside is lovely and the castles are so interesting! I am glad we’re not dealing with the heat like you guys are. I hope it will be done soon? We got uncomfortable when it hit 90 with humidity!

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    1. Thank you, Liz. It's thundering all around us, but no rain so far. Hopefully we will get some and the heat and humidity will leave!

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  11. Oh, my, ME- that was a spectacular trip you took us on. What a happy accident! WOw- isn't that place something??? Thank you so much - can't go anywhere so it is extra sweet to "visit" others' travels.

    One day I hope to see England. I have seen Ireland but not England. Hopefully one day soon. : - )

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    1. Thank you, Michele. I was in such a funk I didn't want to post about our travels. I'm quite behind, but hopefully will find joy as I remember these adventures! I do hope you are able to visit England---it's heaven on earth.

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  12. I miss England too. You're lucky your husband enjoys the old houses too. Rick does in moderation but a vacation of them might tax his good will! These are stunners and I'm so glad you were able to visit and share.

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    1. Grayden really enjoys the National Trust properties, Jeanie. Of course, it's not the only thing we do when visiting England. We both love history and of course Great Britain has that in spades!

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  13. What a wonderful tour you took us on. I loved seeing those amazing ceilings and the dining table all set and ready, what a great place to visit.

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    1. It was a happy surprise on our trip, Loraine! The detail of the old manors are just amazing.

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  14. Martha, you make THE most perfect travel posts! They make me feel as if I had been right there with you. (This reminded me: Have you read Dunster's Calling by Tracey Gemmell? Sweet book!)

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    1. What a kind thing to say, Jean! Can you tell (ha, ha) that I adore Great Britain? I feel my heart must be part of this beautiful land. I have not read Dunster's Calling--I must see if I can acquire it. Thank you for the tip!

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  15. How I love castles. I am so glad you show us around inside. I love the kitchen.
    I was noticing the stair treads with the carpet held by metal rods. I was thinking about those for my steps but read the carpet is stapled to the steps and I didn't want to do that. The picture looks as though the carpet is just pulled through. Glad to see this. I would have to buy a few at a time because of price but I like that look. Those Palm trees seem to be out of place for sure but Victorians did enjoy having palms it seems from some old photos I have seen. There are palm trees in Colonial Beach Va. and I didn't realize there were any that could be grown and take the snowy winters. Those pastoral scenes, what beauty!

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    1. Seeing those palms in Colonial Beach is similar to seeing them in Somerset, Betsy! Microclimates support them in a lot of places. My Daddy told me that palms used to line the boardwalk in VA Beach! A lot of the properties in England had plants from all over the world.
      I understand not wanting to staple your lovely stairs. Have a nice weekend, my friend.

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  16. What beautiful bucolic views! The castle and manor house were magnificent--those woodcarvings and ceilings--wow! I am always jealous when I see libraries like this one--I want all those books!

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    1. Pat, the views certainly are bucolic! I wanted to take a couple volumes down and have a look.

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  17. Oh, that kitchen is so charming. I remember those beaters, and still have my hand mixer from 40 years ago. This castle is very old, I'm surprised it's still standing. The blue and white china does add a lovely touch on the mantel. And look at that ceiling, so much detail! I noticed the vanity in the corner of the room. A woman's vanity and all her lovelies is always fascinating to look at. The property outside is beautiful, and what a delight to see that sweet horse. What a wonderful trip, Martha Ellen, and I wanted to thank you for using the BIG font on this post. It's a lot easier to read for us that are getting older. ; )

    ~Sheri

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    1. Sheri, I always try to use the large font. My last post was one I had written and posted before I used the larger font. Thank goodness we are all getting older, my friend! Have a nice weekend.

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  18. We haven't been "Great Britain" for decades. We are not even a "United Kingdom" now after the separation of Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

    What strange ideas some folk have about England...come visit the inner cities, come witness the violence, the homelessness, the poverty....not just the pretty places

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    1. ElsieJoy, we are well aware of the problems that the world is experiencing! We have been to some of your inner cities and have seen of which you speak. Still the beauty of your countryside brings joy to me! My country has the same issues of your's and probably more so. If you visit here I would hope you would visit our beauty as well.

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  19. Finally getting around Blogland after many days away, and your place does not disappoint! I never tire of seeing these glorious old castles through your eyes! Imagining that it is cool helps a little on this, another steamy summer day.

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    1. With another heat advisory I'm sure we will both be indoors today, Cheryl. I must come over and see what you have been up to. Stay cool, my friend.

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  21. Amazing travels. So glad you are sharing this special trip. The countryside is beautiful. Those plastered ceilings are gorgeous. How special to visit castles. Stay cool. We are having high temps this week.

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    1. Thank you, Linda. England is so lovely and it's wonderful to remember our visit there. It's been a very hot summer here. I'm afraid I'm already wishing for Autumn.

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  22. How wonderful to have special memories of this trip to Somerset.
    I thoroughly enjoyed my ride through the countryside with you and the visit to Dunster Castle.

    Enjoy this last day of July, and have a happy August.
    Stay safe and well.

    All the best Jan

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    1. Thank you, Jan. I'm so glad you enjoyed traveling with me. I hope you have a wonderful weekend as we venture into another month. Time is certainly flying by!

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  23. So lovely. I've always wanted to live in a stone castle! However, I've always wanted to live in a stone cottage as well. Thank you for sharing, Martha Ellen.

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    1. A stone cottage sounds lovely to me, Marigold. Thank you for stopping by.

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