near East Lulworth, Dorset, England
The castle is situated in the heart of Dorset between Bournemouth and Weymouth, 2 miles from Tyneham on the south west coast of England.
Set in a beautiful parkland estate with views of the English Channel, the restored castle is square in shape with circular towers at each corner. The crenellated castle is built of light colored stone and has been given a new roof following a fire.
The grounds also contain one of the reputedly finest pieces of architecture in Dorset, the chapel of St. Mary’s.
The castle and park are open daily (except Saturday) year round from 10.30am to 4pm between January to March and October to December, and until 6pm April to September.
The castle offers visitors ‘The Courtyard Shop’ with souvenirs and gifts and the ‘Stable Café’ with its views out towards the sea, serving light meals and refreshments. The castle also operates as a wedding venue for civil marriages and wedding receptions.
A visit inside the castle reveals displays, gallery and interpretation panels about the castle’s history and unfortunate fire as well as a unique look at the inside of a castle from top to bottom in a very different way, with secret doors and hidden passages of the past on show.
Visitors can also see inside Lulworth Castle House with an appointment.
Originally built as a hunting lodge in 1610 for Thomas Howard, Lulworth Castle was used to entertain Royal guests and was later made into a country house with a grand estate. In 1541 Humphrey Weld purchased the property and added a chapel after which time it was also used by the French Royal Family as a place of exile after the French Revolution.
In 1929 the castle was subject to a huge fire which totally destroyed the interior and roof, the damage was so significant that the family built a new residence Lulworth Castle House nearby rather than rebuild the castle.
In the 1970’s English Heritage began restoration work on the castle with the exterior being restored to its former glory and the remaining inside walls being cleaned and restored but without any further reconstruction.
In 2008 and 2009 the castle grounds were home to the Camp Bestival music festival with appearances from Kate Nash, The Flaming Lips and Chuck Berry.
Other Castles in the Area
Corfe Castle, Dorset
Portland Castle, Dorset
Sandsfoot Castle, Dorset
Lulworth Castle. Built in 1608, destroyed by fire in 1929 and restored in the 1990s, this was not a castle that was ever intended for the purposes of defence.
Photograph by Chris Downer. Some rights reserved. (view image details)
Lulworth Castle map