Sherborne Castle Estates, 9 Cheap Street, Sherborne, Dorset, DT9 3PY
Tel: 01935 813182
Fax: 01935 816727
Built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, Sherborne Castle has been the home of the Digby family since 1617. Prince William of Orange was entertained here in 1688, and George III visited in 1789. Splendid collections of art, furniture and porcelain are on view in the Castle. Lancelot 'Capability Brown' created the lake in 1753 and gave Sherborne the very latest in landscape gardening, with beautiful lakeside gardens and grounds.
Sir Walter Raleigh erected his new house in 1594, which he called 'Sherborne Lodge' to distinguish it from the Old Castle. A stained glass window bearing his initials and coat of arms and the date 1594 survived in the Tudor building until the last century. The rectangular, four storey house with its hexagonal corner turrets, forms the core of the present castle. Sir Walter Raleigh died on the block accused of treason and his estates were forfeited to the crown.
King James I allowed Sir John Digby to purchase Sherborne Castle in 1617. The four wings were added in the 1620's in a similar style. During the Civil War the old castle was reduced to a ruin by the Parliamentary forces and the name 'Sherborne Castle' came to be applied to the new building. Prince William of Orange was entertained here in November 1688 by the Digby family. In 1724 the poet Alexander Pope visited the gardens laid out by Robert Digby.
Lancelot 'Capability' Brown was called in to create the lake in 1753. The work took two years and gave Sherborne the very latest in landscape gardening. George III visited Sherborne Castle in August 1789 and the following year honoured Henry by creating him Earl Digby. In the 19th Century the last Earl Digby died without heir and Sherborne Castle was left to his Wingfield Digby nephew. It is still in the care of the Wingfield Digby family. In World War I the castle became a Red Cross Hospital for wounded soldiers. During World War II the castle was the HQ for the Commandos for the D-Day landings.
The Castle was opened to the public in 1969 and hosts a variety of events in the Grounds during the summer season.
Sherborne Castle Opening Times
Wednesday 1st April to Friday 30th October 2015
Castle, Gardens, Gift Shop and Tea-Room Open Daily, except Mondays and Fridays (but open on Bank Holiday Mondays) 11.00am - 4.30pm last admission (Please note that the Castle interior opens later on Saturdays at 2.00pm with last admission at 4.30pm). Gardens close at 6pm.
Admission prices for the 2015 season are as follows:
Please note: Prices do not apply to Special Event Days listed on this site as the event admission charge will apply.
Adult / Senior £6.00
Children (0-15) Free (maximum of 4 children per paying adult)
No concessions or party rates for Garden only
(NB additional fee for the Castle interior: Adult £5.00, Senior £4.50)
Castle and Gardens
Children (0-15) Free (maximum of 4 children per paying adult)
Party rate Castle and Gardens (for groups of 15 or more)
Private Views by appointment (for groups of 15 or more)
Children (0-15) £6.00
Private Views start between 10am and 10.30am
A season ticket permits the holder to walk in the gardens and grounds of Sherborne Castle in daylight hours from 7.30am to 8.00pm (NB. There are certain special event days when an additional entrance fee may be charged). For a small additional charge, season ticket holders can also visit the Castle interior during the advertised open times and days. For full details please contact the estate office.
Gardens Only - Annual subscription Adult & Seniors £55.00. Six Month Subscription July-December - £27.50
Castle & Gardens Annual subscription Adult £65.00 Six Month Subscription July - December £32.50
Tickets are valid for the named card holder only. Terms and conditions apply.
*All season ticket holders are entitled to a 10% discount in the Shop and Tea Room
Disabled person admission with their registered helpers.
2 for 1 admission is offered whereby the helper is admitted free of charge and registered disabled person pays normal full adult price.
Historic Houses Association Members
Friends of the HHA are admitted free of charge. Please note this does not apply to special event days listed on this site as the event admission charge will apply.
Great British Heritage pass. GBH pass holders are admitted free of charge
English Heritage members
Members of English Heritage are admitted to the Gardens and Grounds of the New Castle at a reduced price of £4.50, instead of £6.00 but there is still an additional charge for entry into the Castle interior: Adults £5.00, Seniors £4.00, and up to 4 children admitted free. Please note : The above offer is not valid on special event days.
Please note : The Old Castle is administered and managed by English Heritage click here to visit thier website page
Sherborne Castle & Lakeside Gardens ~ for a Stately Home Wedding
Sherborne Castle is a wonderful stately venue for Civil Marriage Ceremonies, Civil Partnerships and Wedding Receptions. Built by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594, with lake and gardens landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown, the Castle and Lakeside Gardens provide both a beautiful and historic setting for a stately home wedding.
The Castle has three rooms licenced for ceremonies; the Solarium, Sir Walter Raleigh’s original front parlour (seating 60 people) and the Tudor Entrance Hall (30 people) within the Castle, and outside, elegantly landscaped within the surrounding lakeside gardens, the beautiful C18th lakeside Orangery (80 people).
Just a short distance from the Castle, the Orangery also provides a light and airy setting for Wedding Receptions. It can accommodate a small celebration of up to 40 guests seated, but is most often used for larger weddings as the reception area to an adjoining lakeside marquee; this marquee arrangement can increase the guest number to approximately 200 people. Together with the Gingko Lawn and lake pier, the Castle and surrounding Gardens make this a truly romantic and magical setting – not to mention a wedding photographer’s paradise. Our Reception facilities are offered on a venue only basis, enabling couples to create their very own character for their special day.
We would be pleased to answer all your enquiries relating to Weddings and Receptions at Sherborne Castle. Please telephone on 01935 812072 Option:2 or use our email:firstname.lastname@example.org This e-mail address is being protected from spambots or visit the castle’s own website www.sherbornecastle.com which provides full details of facilities and fees.