History of The Castle Hotel
Once a Norman fortress, The Castle at Taunton has been welcoming travellers since the 12th century.
In 1685, the Duke of Monmouth's officers were heard "roystering at the Castle Inn" before their defeat by the forces of King James II at Sedgemoor. Shortly after, Judge Jeffreys held his Bloody Assize in the Great Hall of the Castle. Today the Castle lives at peace with its turbulent past but preserves the atmosphere of its ancient tradition.
The Chapman Family
The Chapman Family have been the custodians of The Castle Hotel since 1950 when Peter Chapman took over the running of this historic landmark.
Today, Peter’s son Kit, with his wife Louise, are the proprietors, and their two sons, Dominic and Nicholas, sit on the family board. In 2013, Nick took over from his father as Chairman of the company.
Kit Chapman is a well-known personality on the British hotel and restaurant scene as a writer and television presenter. He has been a vigorous campaigner for improving culinary standards in the UK.
Meanwhile, Louise represents the heart and soul of The Castle with her gifts as an interior designer and an eye on making the hotel warm and welcoming for its visitors.
In 1989, Kit was appointed MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his work in hospitality and the tourism industry.
The Castle is famous for recruiting young, talented chefs, giving them free rein to achieve their full potential. Celebrity chefs who began their rise to stardom at The Castle include Gary Rhodes and Phil Vickery. Today, John Godfrey heads the Castle's kitchen.