Sherborne is a delightful, small historic market town with a population of approx 9300 people.  The name Sherborne is derived from the Saxon word “Scir burn” meaning a clear brook or stream.  

Local Attractions

The highlight of the town is the glorious Sherborne Abbey. This was founded as a Saxon cathedral in 705 by Aldhelm who was appointed the first bishop of the see of Western Wessex. In 998 the cathedral became a Benedictine Abbey.

In 1539, after the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the fabric of the church was eventually sold to the Vicar and parish of Sherborne. Sherborne also boasts two castles, one dates back to the 12th century, but was heavily damaged during the Civil War and can still be visited as an impressive ruin. The other castle was converted by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1594 and passed to the Digby family in 1617.

Sherborne’s historic buildings include Sherborne Abbey, its manor house, independent schools, and two castles: the ruins of a 12th-century fortified palace and the 16th-century mansion known as Sherborne Castle built by Sir Walter Raleigh. Much of the old town, including the abbey and many medieval and Georgian buildings, is built from distinctive ochre-coloured ham stone.

Opening Hours:

  • Monday to Thursday: 07:10 – 14:00
  • Friday: 07:10 – 17:40
  • Saturday: 08:00 – 15:00
  • Sunday: Closed

Sherborne Station Cafe

A small but very busy cafe. All day breakfasts + vegetarian. Omelettes, burgers, buttys, baps, baguettes. Earl Grey + herbal teas + filter coffee.

Opening times:
  • Monday: 06:45 – 15:00
  • Tuesday to Thursday: 06:45 – 15:00
  • Friday: 06:45 – 15:30
  • Saturday: 07:30 – 15:30
  • Sunday: 09:00 – 14:00

“We stop cooking approximately 45 minutes before closing.  We take telephone orders, please call on 01935 814111.

We do Takeaways and a great breakfast to takeway too!

Sherborne Old Castle

‘A malicious and mischievous castle’

Built on a grand scale in the 12th century, by the Bishop of Salisbury, Sherborne Old Castle was coveted by bishops and rival noblemen alike and had a long and chequered history. In 1592, Queen Elizabeth 1 gave it to Sir Walter Raleigh and he built his country home on the grounds. When Cromwell attacked in the Civil War, he took 16 days to capture it – hence the quote above.

Since 1645 the castle has remained a noble ruin in the midst of peaceful parkland. The imposing gatehouse, parts of the keep and outer walls stand proudly as a testimony to days gone by, when the then Sherborne Castle was a palace for the most powerful in the land and defied the might of Cromwell’s army.

An English Heritage Site

Open every day from 10.00am – 5.00pm·

The Old Castle is a 10 minute walk away from Sherborne Station.

Address: Sherborne Old Castle, Castleton Road, Castleton, Sherborne, Dorset DT9 3SA

Telephone: 01935 812730