"A ruin to remember" Top 5 Page for this destination Corfe Castle by iandsmith
Corfe Castle Travel Guide: 57 reviews and 200 photos
This medieval castle, after which the delightful village is also named, sits in a gap in the Purbeck ridge.
There is belief, with some thoughtful backing, that the site may have been Roman defensive originally, but the castle we see the ruins of today is an 11th century rebuild of what was a wooden castle back in the 9th century.
Constructed mainly from the famous local Purbeck stone, possibly the finest limestone available for building and polishing in England, it received many alterations over the years in a very chequered history.
In the 13th century King John went to great lengths improving his personal accommodation as well as the defences. He built a fine hall and chapel together with domestic buildings while Henry III constructed additional walls, towers and gatehouses.
Monarchs came and went until 1572 when Queen Elizabeth I sold it to Sir Christopher Hatton, her dancing master and, perhaps, a suitor.
In 1635 the Castle was moved on to Sir John Bankes, the then Lord Chief Justice, for use more as a holiday home rather than as an impregnable fortress dominating the surrounding lands.
During the Civil War, in 1643, the Parliamentarians occupied most of Dorset and the castle survived a six-week siege. Sir John Bankes died in 1644 and the castle endured a number of half-baked blockades. Later in 1645 a second siege was started by Colonel Bingham, Governor of Poole, and, courtesy of an insider, the Roundheads took over in February 1646.
The Castle was systematically destroyed by the Parliamentary forces, but the fact that some remains, albeit at times at frightening angles, is surely testimony to strength of construction. Ownership returned and remained with the Bankes Family until 1982 when it was bequeathed to the National Trust.
Details such as opening times, cost of admission, functions and facilities may be obtained from the National Trust site:
The Castle telephone number is: 01929-481294
- Pros:Great ruin, lovely village, nice part of the country, not a lot of tourists
- In a nutshell:Worth a visit and include the village and other surrounding ones
Something rising from the gloom, trying to reclaim its magnificent past but never quite succeeding, a sentinel to a... more travel advice
What an amazing sight. No need to mention "why it was so special" here. I couldn't help but wonder how much trouble they... more travel advice
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