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Author Topic:   Dunster Castle, Near Minehead, Somerset
John Robins
posted 04-18-2001 12:53 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for John Robins   Click Here to Email John Robins     Edit/Delete Message
I am trying to find out whether a claim made in 1138 that one side of the castle was next to the sea is correct or not. The Chronicler writes that "one side ---was washed by the sea". There was a small harbour in Dunster which was abandoned over two hundred years ago because of silting up but this was some way from the castle.
The castle guides say that at one time the sea did come as far as the castle but receded as the ground was relaimed.
Any information on the truth or not of the claim , or any contacts I can make would be greatly appreciated.
John Robins

posted 04-18-2001 02:18 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Peter   Click Here to Email Peter     Edit/Delete Message
Hi John,
you have a task on your hands to prove that point of history. In the end it may just come down to, there was a great possibilty of it.
Examples of its ilk are many, you will now doubt of them yourself. We have Camber, now isolated from the sea within living memory, along with Winchelsea.
Not far from us near Chester, is Shotwick, which was once served from the River Dee like Chester. Not much chance of that for hundreds of years.
Even little Prestatyn, now a holiday town. Still has remains of its earthworks, and was supplied by sea. A few old houses between the site and the sea nowdays.
For me, to prove it one way or the other, one would have to live locally. Much walking the landscape, and the reading of local history would be needed to grind the facts out. Even then they may not be conclusive.
Though I have a feeling that you realise much of this already.
Good luck with your search. If you ever want to publish anything as short article, let me know. I do a small castle studies magazine where people air all sorts of ideas.

posted 04-18-2001 02:27 PM           Edit/Delete Message
One possible source of data springs to mind, and that is archaeology. If there's been a dig at the site, it might have shown evidence of the old tide line.
It might be worth going through the relevant web sites, or try the local Archaeological Society.

'Demeure par la verite'
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Senior Member
posted 04-23-2001 11:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for AJR     Edit/Delete Message
I note that the NT booklet describe the castle as having "impregnable defences ... inaccessible on the one side where it is washed by the tide ...". It is possible that the bibliography sources from the back of any guide book may provide some information, or indeed the NT itself may be able to help, although I suspect they will just quote what you have stated.

All times are PT (US)

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