Forming part of the Lulworth Estate, this 17th century castle, built by the 3rd Viscount of Bindon, offers views over the Jurassic Coast.
The Castle was built in the early 17th century by Thomas Howard, 3rd Viscount of Bindon and grandson of the 3rd Duke of Norfolk. It is one of only five extant buildings in England in the Elizabethan style and was the seat of the Weld family for centuries. The Weld-Blundells still own the castle today, but it was partially destroyed by a fire in 1929 and handed over to English Heritage 70 years later, who have helped to restore the castle and preserve key details that point towards the castle’s busy past.
During the English Civil War, the building was seized by Roundheads and used as a garrison for soldiers. Later, it was offered to surviving members of the French royal family as a residence-in-exile after the French Revolution of 1789. In the 1780s the castle was remodelled by architect John Tasker, who also built the Roman Catholic chapel in the grounds. However, it might take you a minute to spot it: the story goes that Tasker only obtained permission from King George III to build it on condition that it didn’t look like a chapel from the outside, so it looks more like a house in the style of a Greek mausoleum.
It now sits proudly on the coastline, its white stone blending perfectly with the Jurassic Coast below. Today, the Castle hosts the Bestival music festival and you can also play lawn games at the front in summer.
After exploring the castle, you can head out to the grounds where you’ll find parkland and forest for walking. If you have time for a longer trip, you can take the car down to one of the nearby beaches or the world-famous rock arch called Durdle Door, which leans out of the chalky cliffs.