Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia


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 occupied 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.

Dunster | 0 to the 9th century AD

Roman Period | 1st – 4th centuries
The Roman presence in Britain during this time likely influenced the broader region, but specific evidence related to Dunster is not well-documented. The Romans established roads and fortifications in various parts of Britain, but the extent of their activities in what is now Dunster is unclear.

Anglo-Saxon Period | 5th – 9th centuries
The Anglo-Saxon migration and settlement in Britain occured during the early medieval period. The area that would later became Dunster likely experienced changes in population and cultural influences. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, a historical record of events in Anglo-Saxon England, begins in the ninth century and provides some insights into this period.

Viking Raids | 8th – 9th centuries
Coastal areas of Britain, including those near Dunster, were susceptible to Viking raids during the eighth and ninth centuries. Vikings targeted monasteries, towns, and settlements along the coast. The presence of Vikings and their impact on local communities may have influenced the historical development of the area.

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
The tale of the phantom drumming adds an auditory element to the castle’s haunted reputation. According to legend, the sound of a drum is associated with the ghost of a drummer boy who was allegedly caught spying and subsequently executed.

The Screaming Maid
Reports of anguish screams, believed to be the spritis of a maid who fell to her death from the castle’s tower, contribute to the haunting narrative. Both visitors and staff members have reported hearing the screams.

The Haunted Bedchamber
The Queen’s Room, one of the castle’s bedrooms, is said to be a site of strange occurrences. Visitors have reported experiencing unexplained cold spots, a sensation of being watched, and objects moving on their own.

The Haunted Terrace
The terrace gardens surrounding the castle are also part of the reported haunting. Strange lights, ghostly apparitions, and an overall sense of unease have been mentioned in the area.

Life of St. Carannog | Late 11th century