Dunster by candlelight 2021 friday 3rd and saturday 4th december.
January 10th 2021
Although we had a few things planned for the 2020 Candlelight days, unfortunately Covid put paid to those once again and the weather didn't help, however the shops were open and we lit the lanterns on those nights and on the following two weekends. The village looked good with the wonderful shop window decorations and the new Christmas trees dotted around with their tiny lights. Also the Willow lanterns made by year 4 of Dunster and Timberscombe First Schools. The children usually carry these in the Candlelight procession but this year we put them up in the Yarn Market and they survived a good couple of weeks despite wind and rain.
20th October 2020
Dunster by Candleight as we know it has had to be cancelled this year but we have some news. We have to make sure we don't have too much in a short space of time so that our visitors can continue to distance but also enjoy what we are able to offer. Which is why we are concentrating on Dunster being special for most of December. We will be decorating the village in time for Friday 4th December but everything will then stay in place until the New Year. This means you will have much more time to come to Dunster to stay or for a day out for Christmas shoping etc., even come back several times. The only thing we can see that could now change this would be a complete lockdown and we pray that won't happen.
Due to Covid we can't have an 'Event' as such. We can't have the crowds we normally have so there will be no Park and Ride. The road won't be closed and we won't have the lantern lighting procession. We will have :-
The tree, special decorations on the Yarn Market (see the Latest News for information on this) We will have the window design competition, a treasure trail suitable for adults and children and the village will be 'dressed' in different ways. The children at Dunster School want to make their lanterns so although we won't have the procession we will find a way of displying them. The Tithe Barn is organising a special weekend with some stalls during the weekend of the 4th December, see their website for details. All this against the Medieval backdrop of the Dunster Village. Something new for the many photographers who come to Candlelight.
Dunster Village is unique with it's wonderful, wide, High Street overlooked by the Medeival Castle. The village hasn't changed over the centuries except for the horse and cart and having lost 'The Shambles' which was a group of small houses called 'sheds' down the centre of the Street. They came down in the early 19th Century leaving us with a lovely wide street.
There was always a thriving busy market with lots of people wandering around selling their wares. Particularly the wool which was sold in the Medeival Yarn Market. The Yarn Market is still at the top of the High Street and at Candlelight we have a Brass Band or two playing during the evening. The Street is full of interesting cottages and houses. They weren't all built at the same time some are much older than others but there are no modern buildings here.
At the bottom of the High Street the hill continues up to the Castle. A fantastic wooden gate is still there against the wall but it is rarely closed these days. Round to the right the village continues into Church Street. Here there is a high wall on the left opposite the Old Nunnery. Stand in Church Street on the Saturday of Candlelight and listen to the eeriness of the 17th Century soldiers as they march by. Their drum echoing off the wall. Old buildings line this street too with the Nunnery where the Monks used to stay overnight from Cleeve Abbey and Dollons House where Marmalade was once made for the Houses of Parliament. Another kink in the road and you will be walking against the wall of the village gardens. Here you will find an iron gate you and that will take you through the gardens to the Tithe Barn.
Continuing through Church Street you come to the Church, where you will find carols being sung throughout the evening. Round the corner you come into West Street. Another entrance up to the Castle (not as steep). West Street has an old Chapel, a couple of pubs and lots of small cottages nestling into the Castle hillside. At Candlelight, some of the cottages light up their small windows to show a Christmas Scene. Halfway down West Street you can turn into Mill Lane with the leat running down the left and at the bottom is the Water Mill. The Mill is still working today and at Candlelight they Mill by Candlelight.
Candlelight takes place every year on the first Friday and Saturday of December when this remarkably preserved medieval village turns its back on the present and lights its streets with lanterns and where possible candles in the houses. The whole place is alive with music and entertainment.
2021 dunster by candlelight
Friday 3RD & SATURDAY 4TH DECEMBER.
Candlelight Video 2019
Video produced by Mark Palmer giving a flavour of Candlelight 2019
Candlelight Video 2016
This wonderful video was produced by Abbie Barnes of Song Thrush Productions for us in 2016.