Heritage Category:
Listed Building
List Entry Number:
Date first listed:
Statutory Address:


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Statutory Address:

The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

Dorset (Unitary Authority)
National Grid Reference:


CASTLETON ST 6416 SHERBORNE CASTLE 12/26 Sherborne Old Castle 11.7.51 GV I Episcopal castle with curtain-wall and gatetowers. Built by Roger, bishop of Salisbury 1107-1135. Restoration begun by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1592, and soon abandoned. Castle partly demolished and rendered untenable, 1645. Rubble-stone walls, with close-jointed ashlar facing and freestone dressings. Curtain wall and gatetowers. Curtain-wall enclosed an area 470 ft by 330 ft with diagonal walls across the angles, forming an elongated octagon. Walling stands either side of the SW gatetower,in places on the north, south and east walls. SW gatehouse, C12, 4 storeys with a battered plinth and clasping buttresses. NW angle stands to full height, S side is more ruined. W face, facing of the outer archway has gone and only the segmental rear-arch remains. C16 restorations and alterations under Raleigh. (See RCHM). Present approach to gate, C20. Abutments and central pier revealed by excavations. NW Tower, foundations only. North gate and barbican, revealed by excavation, C12 and C13. Flanking the C13 buildings are the remains of wing-works with circular turrets at the outer angles. NE gate, foundations and some walling. SE tower, site only. Keep and attached courtyard of buildings at the centre of the bailey. Keep. C12, of at least 3 stages. Ground floor has a dividing wall running N and S., and supporting two barrel-vaults. These barrels run on into groined vaults, supported by a cylindrical column with a scalloped capital. South wall of the extension has externally a central buttress of segmental form. SW angle of the keep adjoins the S wall of the forebuilding, which stands to the top of the third stage. The forebuilding has clasping buttresses at the west angles. Late C16 stone staircase and terrace against north wall of forebuilding. 3 ranges of buildings, and an excavated S range stand round a central courtyard, originally with cloister-walks. W Ranges running N from Keep, W wall has pilaster buttresses and a moulded string-course. E wall of this range largely destroyed. Rubble (tufa) barrel vault. N range, 2 storeys, 4 bays, with clasping and pilaster buttresses externally. Ground-floors groined rubble vault over 3 E bays and barrel-vault over W bay. N wall has remains of former windows and openings upper floor round-headed windows decorated with chevron, and label with billet. Internal wall-arcading of intersecting arches, of which traces remain. Floor may have housed the chapel. East range, much ruined. East hall has pilaster buttresses and an original window in each of the 3 bays. Ground floor has a rubble barrel-vault of which the springing remains. S range, foundations found of N and S walls, probably housed the great Hall. The castle was held for the Crown in 1642 and 1645. (RCHM Dorset I, p.64(4))(Sch. Monument: DORSET.2)

Listing NGR: ST6480316768


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number:
Legacy System:


Books and journals
Inventory of Dorset, (1974), 64
Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England, Part 12 Dorset,


This building is listed under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 as amended for its special architectural or historic interest.

End of official listing

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Date: 15 Sep 1999
Reference: IOE01/01573/05
Rights: Copyright IoE Mr RJ Whittick. Source Historic England Archive
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