Wednesday, July 20, 2011

West Somerset Railway > Dunster > Minehead & The Spookey Tales

We started our train journey at the village of Bishops Lydeard. Bording the diesel train we headed though the Somerset countryside with constantly changing views. We moved through the Quantock Hills, the Brendon Hills, through farmland and then onto the coastline. One side of the track you can view Exmoor National Park and the other you can look across the Bristol, Channel and see the islands and the coast of South Wales. It was a beautiful journey which we all enjoyed. Our ticket offered us to depart and retrun on the train journey at any of the 10 stations
along the line. Looking through the leaflet we chose two. Dunster and Minehead.


Stepping off the train it was like stepping back in time. Heading from the station we wandered up the the medieval village. Firstly finding the cobbled streets.

Dunster is a breathtaking medieval village crammed with history. You step back in time as you wander the cobbled streets. There are many listed buildings in the village. The high street leads into Church Street were the Nunnery and Cottages have stood for nearly 550 yrs.

Looking up the road and the hill at the top you could just make out the Dunster castle.

Dunster Castle is mentioned in the Doonsday book and was the home to the Luttrell family for 600 yrs. Again this beautiful castle is now owned by the National Trust.

Ther has been a castel here since Norman times meaning it really has seen its fair share of treachery, bloodshed and often death, not least during a massive besiegement during the Civil War. The 13th Century gatehouse is the oldest part that still survives.

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The castle and grounds are truely beautiful. offering fantastic views.

Part of the castle tour offers a spooky experience. Dunster Castle is said to be one of the most haunted places in Somerset.

The Crypt - The Crypt at the castle is differnet to the ones in churches, because it was never used for burying people. During the Civil War in the 1600`s the crypt was used to excercise prisoners, who were often starving, bleeding from war wounds and generally in a bad way. This pushed many of thease men to the limits and they died in the crypt. No one in the castle cared so the dead were just left to rot.

The Gate House - This is the oldest part of the castle that still survives and served a dual purpose at times not just to keep enemies out but also to keep the prosoners in !

There`s story of a brave knight that once had to ride out of the castle to escape a siege. He charged down the hill towards the gatehouse but alas, he galloped too fast, couldn`t make the turn and he and his horse crashed into the wall to their death. It is said even now on a dark night you can still hear the pounding of the horses hooves.

The Pit Dungeon or Oubliette - This was once a deep pit where prisoners were thrown. The name ( pronounced 00 - bli - ay ) comes from the French word Oublier which means forget. Prisoners were thrown into the pit, forgottwen and left to die.

Skelton`s were found in the dungeon in the 19th century one was a severn foot man, with his wrists still chained to the wall and his feet in manacles !

The Leather Gallery - This is said to be the most haunted place in the castle. Apparently, the ghosts of Cilvil War soldiers still march around at night. Another report by the manager of the castle says his dog always goes rigid in this room, only his head moves as he stares as if watching an invisable figure walk around the room. Thats Creepy !

King Charles Room - in this room there is a secret passageway. In Medieval times this was used by people trying to hide from the enemies. It may also once have led out of the castle as an escape route when the castle was under attack.

The Oak Stairs - Story has it that for years the banisters always became wet and slippery. There was a constant feeling of sadness and emptiness surrounding the staircase. A Medium was called in to rid the stairs of spirits and guess what; after she`d left the stairs were never wet of slippery again and the feeling of the stairs changed completley.

The Gallox Bridge - You can see the bridge from the Butler`s walk by the garden bench. Hath a pleasant place to seat ! The word Gallox comes from the word Gallows - yes it`s here where people were hung in public. There bodies were then cut into pieces and sent around the country as a warning to others. They were hung drawn and quarted at theis spot.

Pet Cemetery - there have been many pets buried at the cemetery 24 graves for dogs and even budgies

Take a look at the photo above can you see anything ????? if so let me know !

After finishing our trip around the castle we headed back to the station and bored the steam train to Minehead. This is the home of the famous Butlins Holiday park. Its a busy seaside town great for a day out. Completley knackerd from our journey we headed back down the line towards the start point of our journey. Along the way I along with Aaron was reading the book I had bought about the ghosts of somerset. We came across one about the railway line we were riding on which is another story !!! Hope you have enjoyed this blog ?

1 comment:

Lesley & Aaron said...

thanks for the feedback it is possible to leave your remarks on here if you have a google account