Many places in Somerset have traditions and legends relating back to the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685, locally known as the ‘Duking Days’. Many Somerset people were to suffer at the hands of the authorities after the failed uprising, and Taunton Castle was the scene for some of the trails of the Bloody Assizes, when hundreds of people were sent to the Gallows by Judge Jeffries.
Inevitably the castle has a reputation of being haunted, the Great Hall of the castle especially, as this is where many of the trails were carried out. The echoes of marching feet are said to have been heard in the castle corridors, explained as the sound of James’s soldiers bringing prisoners to trail. On the castle landing a man in period dress and wig, carrying a sword and pistol has been seen, although there is no indication to who he may be. The castle has also been the scene for poltergeist activity and the ghost of a fair-haired woman in 17th century costume.
Directions: The castle is off the A3027, near the centre of town.