CASTLETON SHERBORNE CASTLE
Country House in grounds. Late C16 rectangular central block with its angle
turrets, for Sir Walter Raleigh. Enlarged by the addition of the four wings
of 2 storeys with cellars and hexagonal towers in 1625 by Sir John Digby.
Alteration in the C17 and C18. Drastically restored in 1859-60 by G D
Wingfield-Digby. Rubble-stone walls, stuccoed, with freestone dressings.
Lead-covered roofs. Many ashlar stone stacks, both square and elongated
hexagonal, with moulded plinths balustraded and cornices. South front:
four storeys, with mannered gabling over the top-storey, and parapet with
the lower two divided by strings. 3 windows, cross-transomed stone mullion
windows of three, four, three lights, moulded cornices as labels over. Single
light windows each side of top window. South entrance: round-headed doorway,
framed by fluted Roman Doric half-columns supporting an entablature. Stone
achievement of arms of Digby, earl of Bristol. Panelled door. The flanking
hexagonal turrets have restored 2-light mullion-and-transom windows, and are
finished with plain parapets and heraldic beasts or chimney stacks. The north
front, similar to south front, restored doorway has an enriched entablature
with a 4-light window over, in place of the achievement-of-arms. The east
front of central block: 3 storeys with attics, finished with a shaped gable.
Restored mullion-and-transom windows. Flanking turrets each have a square-
headed doorway, north turret door blocked. The added wings are of 2 storeys
and 3 bays, finished with a balustraded parapet. Windows are c. late C17
insertions, square-headed with eaved architraves, console-brackets, entablatures
and pediments. Internally, to the courtyard are C19 mullion-and-transom windows.
Between the wings are balustraded stone screens with central entrance, flanked
by shell-niches, entablature and Digby crest. Interior: Geometrical C17 plaster
ceilings with various devices in the Red Drawing Room, Lady Bristol's Room,
Green Drawing Room, Boudoir. Early C17 panelling, very extensive, behind the
Library bookcases, in the Oak Room (with enclosure). Lady Bristol's Room. C17
and later fireplaces with overmantels, in the Red Drawing Room (Plate 94, (RCHM),
and the Green Drawing Room, both with achievement-of-arms of Digby in gadrooned
panels. In each of the hexagonal bays is a smaller fireplace with Corinthian
side columns supporting an entablature. The Library is lined with C18 Gothic
fittings; bookcases have ogee trefoil-headed arcading on clustered columns, with
circular spandrel niches containing busts. Coved arcaded cornice. The house is
unusual in its original plan, and extended plan.
(RCHM Dorset I, p.66(5))
Listing NGR: ST6491416404