MSO9481 - 18th Century summerhouse in the grounds of Dunster Castle (Building)


An octagonal brick summerhouse or gazebo, built in the grounds of Dunster Castle in the early 18th Century.

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Type and Period (2)

Protected Status

Full Description

A small, octagonal summerhouse lies on the eastern edge of the top of the motte of Dunster Castle, at SS 9915 4346. It was built before 1733 [3], probably at the same time as the motte was levelled and made into a bowling green, early in the 18th century [4]. The summerhouse is built of brick, with a stone and slate floor. Two of the four windows are now blocked. The stone mullioned windows appear to be re-used. The summerhouse enjoys a prospect over the castle to the sea [4]. Built circa 1727 on the summit of the tor when the site of the keep was levelled and made a bowling green. Small octaginal brick building with 15th century timber mullion window. The summerhouse is located within the Scheduled Ancient Monument - Motte and Bailey at Dunster Castle (Somerset County No 469). [6] English Heritage Listed Building Number: 264652. First Listed on 4 August 1983. [7] The Summerhouse is within Dunster Conservation Area. The 2002 Character Appraisal states "Within the Castle grounds is the Summerhouse built around 1727 to an octagonal plan of brick and containing a 15th century timber mullion window. It is located within the former Motte and Bailey (a Scheduled Ancient Monument), when the site of the former keep was levelled to form a bowling green." [8] Pevsner states of the Summerhouse "1727; on top of the tor. Octagonal but with one (re-used?) C15 window." [9] The building was visited in May 2012 as part of the rapid condition survey of Exmoor's Listed Buildings 2012-13. It received a BAR score of 5A. [10] The summerhouse is shown on the 25 inch 1st Edition Ordnance Survey map as a round structure at SS 9914 4346. [11] The building is also shown on 2018 MasterMap data. [12] A file on the property was collated by the RCHME. [13,15] This record was enhanced as part of the National Record of the Historic Environment to Exmoor National Park Historic Environment Record data transfer project. [14] The building is mentioned in the 2018 Conservation Area Appraisal for Dunster. [15]

Sources/Archives (16)

  • <1> Monograph: English Heritage. 1984-. Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England. English Heritage. Somerset (1985), part 37.
  • <2> Index: Department of the Environment. List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest . West Somerset (Aug 1986), 26.
  • <3> Externally held archive reference: Externally held archive. Engraving of Dunster Castle from the north-east in 1733, by Samuel and Nathaniel Buck.
  • <4> Leaflet: Dodd, D.. 1979. Dunster Castle. National Trust.
  • <5> Unpublished document: Riley, H.. Field Investigators Comments. RCHME Field Investigation, 1988.
  • <6> Index: 4/8/1983. Twenty-fifth List of Buildings of Special Architectural or Historic Interest. District of West Somerset (Somerset).
  • <7> Verbal communication: Various. 1900-. Somerset County Council / South West Heritage Trust staff comments. Chris Webster, Somerset HER, 28 November 2005.
  • <8> Report: Fisher, J.. 2002. Dunster Conservation Area Character Appraisal. Exmoor National Park Authority. p21-2.
  • <9> Monograph: Pevsner, N.. 1958. The Buildings of England: South and West Somerset. Penguin Books. p157.
  • <10> Report: Lawrence, G.. 2014. Exmoor National Park: Rapid condition survey of listed buildings 2012-13.
  • <11> Map: Ordnance Survey. 1854-1901. County Series; 1st Edition 25 Inch Map. 1:2500.
  • <12> Map: Ordnance Survey. 2018. MasterMap.
  • <13> Collection: Unknown. Unknown. Volume: Summerhouse, Castle Mill, Dunster.
  • <14> Digital archive: Historic England. Various. National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) entry. 543248, Extant 19 May 2022.
  • <15> Report: Collier, W.O.. 1982. The Gazebo, Dunster Castle, Somerset. N/A.
  • <16> Report: Pratt, N. and Thurlow, T.. 2018. Dunster Conservation Area: appraisal document. Exmoor National Park Authority. p 54, 93.

External Links (1)

Other Statuses/References

  • 2012-3 Building At Risk Score (5A): 26/4/21
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO12062
  • Exmoor National Park HER Number (now deleted): MSO9457
  • Listed Building List Entry UID: 264652
  • Local List Status (Rejected)
  • National Monuments Record reference: SS 94 SE106
  • National Park: Exmoor National Park
  • NBR Index Number: 83989
  • NRHE HOB UID (Pastscape): 543248
  • Somerset SMR PRN: 34920



Grid reference Centred SS 991 434 (6m by 7m)
Map sheet SS94SE

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (2)

Related Events/Activities (3)

Record last edited

Sep 5 2022 2:20PM


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