Duke of Gloucester opens Castle House in Taunton after £1million restoration project

Somerset County Gazette: The Duke looks round the courtyard outside Castle House. Buy this photo The Duke looks round the courtyard outside Castle House.

A RESTORED medieval house where one of the country’s most notorious judges is reputed to have stayed got the Royal seal of approval this week.

The Duke of Gloucester officially opened Castle House, in the courtyard of Taunton Castle, on Tuesday.

It had undergone a £1million restoration after it had fallen into a state of disrepair and had been placed on the English Heritage ‘at risk’ register.

It is believed that ‘Hanging Judge’ Jeffreys stayed there during the Bloody Assizes following the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685, when he sentenced hundreds of people to death.

The building was restored by the Somerset Building Preservation Trust, with the upper floors leased by the Vivat Trust to let to holidaymakers, while the ground floor rooms tell the story of Castle House and aspects of Taunton’s history.

The Grade I listed building is owned by the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society.

The Duke was also given a tour of the nearby Museum of Somerset.

Somerset County Gazette:

The Duke with Paul Gray and Laura Norris, from Vivat.

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