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.
Official Candlelight Video
This wonderful video was produced by Abbie Barnes of Song Thrush Productions for us in 2016.