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Last updated: Tue 17 Jun 2014

Castles in Somerset: Nunney Castle as you’ve never seen it

Castles in Somerset are rare. But attach a camera to a remote controlled helicopter and you can create amazing videos of one of the smallest: Nunney Castle.

MrGyro.co.uk Tricopter

Drones, such as this Tricopter, have become more affordable in recent years.

Castles in Somerset run by English Heritage include Dunter Castle, Farleigh Hungerford and Nunney Castle.

Flying drones with or without cameras over English Heritage property is actually not permitted (although we certainly love watching them).

The official guidance says:

“Many of our visitors are greatly inspired by the beautiful properties, monuments and landscapes within our guardianship, and drones are becoming an increasingly popular way to record footage and capture stills of these places.

“As the English Heritage Trust we have a responsibility to care for and conserve our sites, and maintain the safety of our visitors, staff and volunteers. We therefore do not permit any unapproved drone use on or over English Heritage Trust sites.

“All pilots seeking permission to fly a drone or UAV must be registered with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and all flights are subject to a strict approval process and a booking fee.”

Process for approval

Castles in Somerset

Castles in Somerset include Nunney Castle (photo: MrGyro.co.uk, on Flickr)

English Heritage’s guidelines are very clear. All operators must submit the following documentation for consideration:

  • a current and valid CAA ‘Permission for Aerial Work’ (PFAW);
  • evidence of valid insurance cover;
  • a risk assessment for the proposed flight;
  • a method statement, to include a flight plan and a technical specifications document for all equipment to be used.

All operators must also attend a pre-booked recce visit with a member of English Heritage Trust staff prior to their flight. Any drone flying can only take place when a site is closed to the public.

English Heritage reserves the right to decline any application and will not approve requests from any pilot(s) seeking permission in return for rights of access to footage captured.

You can download an application form to apply for permission to fly a drone over any castles in Somerset on the English Heritage website.

Nunney Castle was built after 1373 by Sir John de la Mere, a local knight who was beginning to enjoy royal favour. It was extensively modernised in the late 16th century.

The castle was held for the King during the Civil War, but quickly fell to Parliamentarian cannon in 1645.

Not until Christmas Day 1910, however, did the gun-damaged portion of the wall finally collapse.

Nunney Castle

Farleigh Hungerford Castle

Dunster Castle

Castles in Somerset

Most castles in Somerset have long disappeared. A full list is available here.

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