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Somerset Historic Environment Record


Site Name: The Castle (The inhabited parts only), Castle Green (North side), Taunton
Civil Parish: Taunton
Part of:
PRN 26765Castle House, Taunton Castle
PRN 44204Taunton Castle, Taunton
Grid Ref: ST 2260 2463 (ST 22 SW)
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Image: Image of HER 45932 - Photo by Somerset County Council (27 December 2014)
  HER 45932 - Photo by Somerset County Council (27 December 2014)

Public access:

As far as we are aware this site is open to the public at certain times. (The Somerset County Museum). [Information last updated on 12 May 2006]


A very important complex of buildings which was originally the medieval castle of the Bishops of Winchester. William Giffard between 1107 and 1129 converted the bishop's hall into a castle of which the west wall, with its narrow clasping buttresses, now looks out upon the modern Wyndham Hall to west. Henry of Blois, his successor as bishop, built the keep. Bishop William Ralegh during 1245 to 1249 carried out the rebuilding of the great hall and chamber (now the Somerset room) as well as the chapel of St Nicholas. In the room just over the inner gate were the bishop's exchequer and treasury. The Castle was held by Robert Blake when beseiged by Royalists 1644-5. The north wall still bears marks of damage caused by gunfire from across the River Tone. In 1662 the keep was demolished. Assize courts (including the famous "Bloody Assizes" of 1685) were held in the great hall until 1858. Somerset Archaeological Society acquired the buildings in 1873. Buildings include:- Round tower. Norman buttresses and window in west range. Constable's tower with C13 windows at north-west angle. Great hall with C15 windows. Walls of the Norman keep in the garden to the north of the Castle Hotel (excavated 1924-9). Gateway of 1495. C17 house at south-east angle with fine shell hood to doorway in courtyard. Small Adamesque library dating from circa 1785, when Sir Benjamin Hammet was Keeper of the Castle and did much restoration. Recent Wyndham galleries.

The uninhabited parts only are scheduled A.M. All the listed buildings on Castle Green form a group together with Ina Cottage, Mill Lane. {1}

All roofed buildings descheduled 5/12/1995. {2}

English Heritage Listed Building Number: 269653. First Listed on 04/06/1952. English Heritage Unified Designation System Asset Number: 1231384 {3}


1 Statutory List - Tenth list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest: District of Taunton Deane (Somerset). (4/6/1975) Location: HER collections.
2 Verbal communication - Webster, C [Chris]. Somerset County Council, Historic Environment Record (July 1997). Location: Verbal, electronic or direct entry, no source retained
3 Data transfer - Listed Buildings database, English Heritage. Record ID: 269653 (2005)

Record created in July 1997

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