Lulworth Castle is actually an old hunting lodge whose structure mimics that of a castle. Situated in East Lulworth in the Dorset region of England, it dates back to the early 17th century. Commissioned by Thomas Howard, 3rd Viscount Bindon, from the architect Inigo Jones, construction began in 1588 and ended in 1609. In 1641, Humphrey Weld purchased it from Thomas Howard's heir, Lord Howard of Walden. During the English Civil War the castle was seized by the Roundheads (supporters of Parliament), who used it as a garrison, but the Weld regained the property at the end of the war. A Roman Catholic chapel was built on its grounds in 1786. After the French Revolution, surviving members of the French royal family were allowed to use the castle as one of their residences in exile. Charles X of France also stayed briefly at Lulworth after the July Revolution of 1830.
WHY THIS PLACE
In August 1929 the castle was destroyed by fire and reduced to a roofless ruin. In the 1970s restoration work began, with the help of English Heritage (an English charity association that manages more than 400 historic buildings). The renovation, completed in 1988, included a new roof and restoration of the surviving interior walls, but did not reconstruct the upper floors destroyed by the fire. Today the castle is still owned by the Weld family and has become a tourist attraction housing a museum and hosting medieval themed events and weddings. Portions of the Lulworth Estate are in use as a MoD (Ministry of Defence) shooting range and as a wildlife preserve.
Since 2017, the venue has also become the venue for the Bestival music festival.