Welsh: Dindraithof

Dunster is a village located in Somerset, England, situated on the fringes of Exmoor National Park.

Dunster Castle is named as Arthur’s residence in the Life of St. CarannogArthur seems to rule the castle jointly with a ruler called Cadwy (possibly Cador). The castle was apparently occuiped by Britons in the post-Roman period.

The exact date of Dunster Castle’s construction is uncertain, but there has been a fortress on the site since at least the Norman Conquest of England in the eleventh century. The castle was originally built as a motte-and-baily castle by William de Mohun, a Norman nobleman.

Dunster | 400-600 AD

During 400-600 AD, the area that includes Dunster was part of the larger territory of the Celtic Britons. The Britons were a Celtic-speaking people who inhabited various parts of what is now England, Wales, and Scotland.

Dunster’s location on a steep hill and it’s proximity to the Bristol Channel and the Exmoor landscape made it a desirable spot for a defensive site. Archaeological evidence suggests that there may have been an early fort or hillfort on the site, serving as a defensive settlement for the local population against potential threats.

During this period, the region would have been influenced by the broader Celtic cultural and linguistic traditions that were common across much of Britain. The Early Medieval period followed the withdrawal of Roman troops from Britain in the early fifth century AD. While the Romans had a significant presence in southern and central Britain, their influence would have been less pronounced in the more remote regions of the country, including the area around Dunster.

By the late sixth century, the Anglo-Saxons, a Germanic group, began their migrations and invasions into Britain. The Anglo-Saxons established several kingdoms in England, and some of their incursions may have reached areas near Dunster.

The Haunted Dunster Castle

Dunster Castle, like many ancient and historic buildings, has its share of ghostly legends and reported haunted events. Over the years, visitors, staff, and residents have shared various eerie encounters and supernatural experiences within the castle’s walls.

The Ghostly Lady
One of the most famous apparitions at Dunster Castle is that of the “Grey Lady.” Legend has it that she appears as a ghostly figure dressed in grey, often seen roaming the castle’s corridors and rooms. Some believe that she is the spirit of Lady Margaret Luttrell, who was imprisoned in the castle by her own husband in the seventeenth century.

The Drummer Boy
Another popular tale revolves around the sound of phantom drumming echoing through the castle. This spectral noise is said to be created by the ghost of a drummer boy who was caught spying and executed.

The Screaming Maid
Some visitors and staff members have reported hearing the anguished screams of a maid who, according to legend, accidentally fell to her death from the castle’s tower.

The Haunted Bedchamber
In one of the castle’s bedrooms, known as the Queen’s Room, visitors have experienced strange occurrences, including unexplained cold spots, feelings of being watched, and objects mysteriously moving on their own.

The Haunted Terrace
The castle’s terraced gardens are also believed to be haunted, with reports of strange lights, ghostly apparitions, and a general sense of unease in certain areas.

Life of St. Carannog | Late 11th century