Market House in Castle Cary

Market House in Castle Cary

Castle Cary was a medieval market town which became prosperous from its production of horsehair stuffed seating which amazingly continued until the 20th century! The town is just eight miles south of Shepton Mallet and in the centre sits The Market House, a charming mid-Victorian historic building dating from 1855. Inside is a local history museum with examples of old agricultural and domestic artefacts.

Much of the local history has been gleaned from the writings of Rev James Wood-Forde who was a well known diarist in the 18th century. He documents momentous events such as the introduction of the smallpox vaccine, but is frequently preoccupied with his own eating habits which were often lavish! Behind the Market Hall is the circular lock-up that was built in 1779. This was not only used to teach the town's offenders and drunks a lesson but also truant children who were bunking off school or Sunday school! The high pavements date from the Saxon period and were built in such a way as to help with the loading of pack horses with the cloth that was woven in the cottages here.

Castle Cary has a good range of specialist shops, grocers, an art gallery, delicatessens, cafes and restaurants. The market town is also on the main West of England railway line between Penzance and London and the heart of Wessex line between Bristol and Weymouth. Tourist information leaflets and guides are available at The Market House.

Accommodation in Castle Cary

  • Shepton Mallet   (3.5 miles from the centre of Castle Cary)
    Prices from
    £45
    Per person per night B&B and supper
     
    Welcoming Somerset B&B just a short drive from Shepton Mallet, Glastonbury and Yeovil. Double rooms, full cooked breakfast, suppers by arrangement. Free WiFi and parking.
     
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  • Cross Keys   (5.1 miles from the centre of Castle Cary)
    Prices from
    £90
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 102 reviews
    Rating from 102 reviews
    A 25-minute drive from Glastonbury, this beautiful thatched country property offers a flagstoned bar, an award winning restaurant, free Wi-Fi and stylish rooms with toiletries b...
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 102 reviews
    Rating from 102 reviews
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  • Ditcheat   (2.6 miles from the centre of Castle Cary)
    Prices from
    £50
    Per person B&B (2 sharing)
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 166 reviews
    Rating from 166 reviews
    The Manor House Inn has something different to offer. You are guaranteed a warm welcome and a great atmosphere. The 17th century pub is made from the impressive Ditcheat red bri...
    TripAdvisor traveller rating from 166 reviews
    Rating from 166 reviews