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The village of Dunster was first settled on the present site around 700AD and was first referenced in the Doomsday Book. At this time the village was called Torre. The centuries have carved out a unique little village which is considered the jewel in the crown of Exmoor National Park. Dunster is incredibly protected to ensure that it maintains its heritage. With over 200 grade 2 listed, 2 grade 1 and 2 grade 1* buildings Dunster is well preserved.

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Once a thriving port known as Dunster Haven, when the sea retreated leaving the village high and dry, Dunster looked to the textile industry for its survival, quickly becoming an important wool trading centre. A unique, octagonal yarn market was built by the Luttrell family in the early 17th century and the villagers even began producing their very own yarn, called 'Dunsters, renowned for its strength and quality.

For centuries the Luttrell family made their home in Dunster Castle, which is situated high on a steep hill overlooking the village, with sweeping views of Exmoor and the Bristol Channel coast. There is evidence that this splendid location was used as some kind of a fortress since Saxon times, although most of the present building dates from the 17th century (apart from a 13th century Norman gatehouse) and was remodelled by the Victorians, who added the fairytale towers and turrets.

The castle passed into the hands of the Luttrell family in 1379, who held on to it until 1976, when Lt Col. G.W.F. Luttrell gave it to the National Trust. Dunster Castle, which lies among steeply-terraced gardens with a stunning collection of rare plants and herbs as well as the national collection of strawberry trees, was one of the last Royalist strongholds in the West Country to fall during the civil war, housing a garrison that only surrendered after a 160-day siege.

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