Farleigh was the manor house of the family of Montfort. In 1369, Thomas Hungerford purchased it. Thomas was a citizen and merchant from New Sarum, or Salisbury, though he was of high standing as he was steward to John of Gaunt, and for a brief period, he was Speaker of the House of Commons. Thomas obtained knighthood with help from John of Gaunt. Thomas’ father at one time was a baliff in Salisbury, and his uncle was one of the King’s Justices in the Eyre, so Thomas came from an influential background.
In 1383, Thomas received a license to crenellate the manor house of Farleigh, and from that point on, the house was referred to as Farleigh Hungerford instead of Farleigh Montfort.
The remains of the castle reside on the borders of Somerset and Wiltshire. The ruins consist mostly of the inner bailey and the later additions to the outer bailey made by Thomas’ son, Walter, who was a soldier of King Henry V at Agincourt and at the Siege of Rouen. Walter eventually became a Knight of the Garter and Lord High Treasurer before his death in 1449.
The inner bailey of Farleigh was enclosed by a curtain wall with a cylindrical tower at each corner. A dyke to the north and east of the castle and a ditch to the south and west still show some of the outer protective barriers of the site. At one time, a collection of domestic buildings filled the inner bailey, but now, only two outer towers and some sections of the wall are standing. Remains of two fireplaces near the center of the inner courtyard are also still visible.
Farleigh Hungerford Castle, Somerset. http://www.theheritagetrail.co.uk/castles/farleigh%20hungerford.htm (retrieved April 28, 2010).
Farleigh Hungerford Castle: From Rags to Riches – and Rags Again. http://www.britannia.com/history/somerset/castles/fhungcast.html (retrieved April 28, 2010).