Early Dunster Project

Sponsored by Historic England

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Working with Dunster Museum

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Early Dunster Project Autumn Event

September-October 2020

Check below for more details of the Early Dunster online event programme and to register for the webinar series.

This is a Free event with donations to the Somerset Archaeological and Natural History Society. A voluntary donation would however be greatly appreciated. We suggest a donation of £3 or more. (Please use code EDP2020 to identify donations). Thank You.

**NEW ** The slides from Dr. Nat Alcock’s excellent webinar on Cruck Building: England, Wales and the West Country are available to view here. You can also click here to read a reflection on the webinar by Dr. Lizzie Induni, event host and Chair of the SANHS Historic Buildings Committee.

Also, we would welcome any feedback you may have about our event or any of its exhibits. You’ll find the comments form at the bottom of this page.

Event Details

The Lecture Programme

A series of diverse and informative on-line lectures (“webinars”) presented by distinguished experts in their respective fields.

These will be presented live through the Zoom video channel on the dates and times detailed below.

To register for the webinar series please email  [email protected]

**NEW ** We are pleased to announce that we’ve now added a 5th lecture to the series, on Saturday 31st October, covering our survey of the Castle Gatehouse. 

See below or click here for details.

To register, please email [email protected]

Coming Webinars…….

Dunster Castle Gatehouse

Saturday 31st October 2020

Exmoor archaeologist and Project Team Member Isabel Richardson discusses the report on the history of the Dunster Castle Gatehouse, as surveyed by the Early Dunster Group 2019 – 2020

To register for this webinar please email [email protected] and put 31OCT as the subject.

Past Webinars …….

A Walk Through Dunster’s History

Saturday 26 September at 2pm

Local historian Barbara Hoffbauer takes us on an introductory tour of Dunster’s recorded history, from 1066 to the present day.

The Church and Priory

Saturday 3rd October at 2pm

Renowned local expert Jerry Sampson talks about the Church and its central role in Dunster’s history

We are delighted to welcome Nat Alcock, regarded as the UK’s leading expert on mediaeval crucks, to share his wealth of experience.

***** Click Here to view the slides from this webinar *****

Also click here to read an reflection on the webinar by Lizzie Induni, webinar host and Chair of the Historic Buildings Committee.

Early Dunster - The Story So Far...

Saturday 24 October at 2pm

Mary Ewing, Architect and leader of the Early Dunster Project, takes a look at the plans and layout of the typical Dunster house.

To register for this webinar please email [email protected] and put 24OCT as the subject. (Note if you registered for Nat Alcock’s webinar on 17 October, that registration is also valid for this one)

The On-line Exhibition

Alongside the webinar series we are hosting a series of on-line exhibitions on the SANHS website, illustrating various aspects of  typical Dunster and West Somerset architecture and local history, and looking at some of the particular areas of research within the Early Dunster project.

(Click on the images below to view exhibits)

Early Dunster so far: the Buildings

A fascinating look through the architectural features that the Early Dunster project is uncovering, and how we use these features to help understand and date our mediaeval buildings

A virtual tour of a typical cross passage hall house

History meets modern technology with this computer-simulated tour around a typical Dunster House as it would have looked in mediaeval times.


Mediaeval Carpentry in Dunster

One of the particular areas of interest within the Early Dunster project is the diverse range of carpentry techniques and styles which we are discovering. This on-line presentation takes a look at some of the findings so far...

Cross passage

Video Tour - Restoration of a Dunster House

The owner and restorer of one of our early Dunster houses gives us a video tour of his house showing some of the surviving original features.

shelves with utensils

Dunster Inventories

Looking at Inventories in the Somerset Heritage Centre’s collection to see what they can tell us about the lives and households of some Dunster inhabitants

With grateful thanks to St Nicholas Priory for their help  and information used in putting together this exhibit


Exploring House History

What do we know about the history of the houses? - who lived in them, and when? This presentation introduces some of the documents we use to trace that, and some of the stories we've discovered so far.

EDP Volunteers

Early Dunster Project Volunteers

A profile of the Early Dunster Volunteers team, whose work in surveying, researching, recording, sketching, drawing and report writing is the "cornerstone" of the project.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Early Dunster Project Team

    Our on-line exhibition is now live. We’d be delighted to hear your comments or questions on any of the topics

  2. Rosemary Boaz

    Martin Fortune, thank you. An excellent talk.
    Rosemary Boaz, one of the volunteers

  3. Barbara Hughes

    Thank you for the webinar series. I found them very interesting to hear the history of the early buildings in Dunster and enjoyed seeing the photographs. The online information was good, particularly the video tour of the house in West Street. I look forward to hearing about future webinars.

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