About Dunster

Dunster has been essentially preserved in time as a relic of the 600-year age when both the town and castle were owned by the Luttrells family. These days the town practically breathes history, from the turrets and towers of the originally Norman castle to the octagonal yarn market that is a throwback to the town’s 1700s heyday, when it was most renowned for its production of wool and particular cloth named “Dunster's”.

Although the origins of the village of Dunster date back to the times of Bronze and Iron Age Britain, it was the cloth-making industry that was in fact responsible for the town’s initial wealth and fame. Indeed, although the settlement’s first market can be traced back to 1222, it was the construction of the town’s iconic octagonal yarn market by Geoffrey Luttrell in 1601 that truly spearheaded the burgeoning woollen industry in the area. That very market still stands today, complete with a visible cannon ball hole that dates back to the damage sustained by the structure during a 5-month siege of Dunster Castle in the Civil War. The castle was a centre of military activity during the war, with both sides keen to ensure control of a fortress with such significant strategic and locational value.