Sir Walter Raleigh built the ‘new’ Sherborne Castle in 1594 and his original lodge forms the core of the present structure. Accused of treason, Sir Walter died on the block and his estates were forfeited to the Crown. James I allowed Sir John Digby to purchase the Castle in 1617 and it has been the stately home of the Digby family ever since. The four distinctive wings were added in the 1630s. During the Civil War the neighbouringOld Castle was reduced to a ruin and the name Sherborne Castle transferred to the new building.
Prince William of Orange was entertained here in 1688 and George III visited in 1789. ‘Capability’ Brown created the 50-acre lake in 1753 and developed much of the current gardens and parkland into one of his finest lakeland landscapes. During World War I the Castle became a Red Cross Hospital and in World War II it served as Commando HQ for the D-Day landings.
Today, Sherborne Castle reflects a glorious variety of decorative styles from over 400 years of English history. View the magnificent staterooms with nationally important collections of art, furniture and porcelain, Raleigh’s Kitchen and a museum with a ‘Capability Brown’ Exhibition. 2018 marks the 400th anniversary of Raleigh’s execution and the opening of the new Sir Walter Raleigh Exhibition.
Explore 42 acres of English landscaped garden designed by Capability Brown and discover a 50 acre lake, herbaceous borders, magnificent specimen trees and sweeping vistas.
Visitors are welcome to picnic in the gardens, with picnic tables provided in designated areas. There is unlimited free parking for coaches and cars.
The Castle and Gardens are open to the public during the summer season.
Internal and external toilets include facilities for wheelchairs and baby changing. Partial access is available to wheelchairs inside the Castle on the ground floor. A slide show can be seen displaying the inaccessible rooms. Accessible WC facilities and access inside the Tea Room is available.
Dogs are welcome in the Gardens provided they are kept on a short lead at all times.
Group private tours and self-guided tours of the Castle with Gardens admission are offered for pre-booking. Contact the Castle for more information.
School & Language Student groups are accepted as private or self-guided tours with gardens admission.
Tea Room offers morning coffees, traditional light lunches and afternoon teas with a wide selection of cakes. A free Wi-Fi connection is available.
The Orangery & Ginkgo Lawn are available for corporate and private functions. Please contact the Castle for further information.
Sherborne Castle hosts a wide variety of public events throughout the open season and is a wonderful venue for Civil Marriage Ceremonies, Civil Partnerships & Wedding Receptions.
Opening Times: Good Friday 30th March to 28th October 2018
Castle, Gardens, Gift Shop & Tea Rooms: open daily except Mon & Fri; Gardens from 10am, Tearoom from 10.30am, Castle & Gift Shop from 11am.
Please note : Closed Mondays & Fridays but open Bank Holiday Mondays & Good Friday.
Admission: Castle & Gardens: Adult £12.00, Senior £11.50, Child Free (max 4 per full paying adult). Gardens only: Adult/Senior £6.50, Child Free (max of 4 per adult). Groups +15 discount options available on application
Address: New Road, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 5NR
Owner: Edward Wingfield Digby
Contact: Robert Smith
Telephone: 01935 812072