"A very English village" Top 5 Page for this destination Corfe Castle by toonsarah
Corfe Castle Travel Guide: 57 reviews and 200 photos
A few shops, a number of pubs, a couple of B&Bs, a tea room and a good hotel cater to visitors, but most seem to come just as day-trippers from the nearby resorts of Swanage or Poole, and the village manages to retain its sleepy atmosphere. You sense that nothing much has changed here for years.
The history of the village is inextricably linked to that of the castle, which was begun by William the Conqueror soon after his arrival in Britain in 1066. The Bankes family bought the castle in 1632, starting a long association with the village (where there is still a Bankes Arms pub), which was partly responsible for drawing me to it.
As a child I went to Lady Bankes Primary School in Ruislip, named after Lady Mary Bankes, who grew up in Ruislip as a member of the local “big” family, the Hawtreys. She married into the Bankes family, and following the death of her husband during the Civil War, she bravely and successfully defended the castle during a siege in 1643. However, during a second siege in 1646 an act of betrayal by a member of her garrison led to the castle’s capture by the Parliamentarians. They allowed her to go free out of respect for her bravery, but deliberately demolished the castle resulting in the dramatic ruin we can see today. Much of the missing stone can be found in the houses of Corfe Castle Village.
There is more than enough to do in this area to keep you occupied for a week or more, but we were only here for a couple of days! In that time we managed to see something of the village, visit the castle, and explore the stunning coastline nearby, including Lulworth Cove, about which I’ve made a separate page.
We also visited the intriguing lost village of Tyneham and the Blue Pool at Wareham, both described here in Off the Beaten Path tips.
- Pros:Charming, packed with history, and surrounded by beautiful countryside
- Cons:The weather is as unreliable as everywhere in England
From Corfe Castle it is an easy drive to some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in England - the so-called Jurasic... more travel advice
When walking around the village, have a close look at the roofs of the older houses. They are made out of slabs of... more travel advice
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