Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle is a fortification standing above the village of the same name on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. Built by William the Conqueror, the castle dates back to the 11th century and commands a gap in the Purbeck Hills on the route between Wareham and Swanage. The first phase was one of the earliest castles in England to be built using stone when the majority were built with earth and timber. Corfe Castle underwent major structural changes in the 12th and 13th centuries.
In 1572, Corfe Castle left the Crown's control when Elizabeth I sold it to Sir Christopher Hatton. Sir John Bankes bought the castle in 1635, and was the owner during the English Civil War. His wife, Lady Mary Bankes, led the defence of the castle when it was twice besieged by Parliamentarian forces. The first siege, in 1643, was unsuccessful, but by 1645 Corfe was one of the last remaining royalist strongholds in southern England and fell to a siege ending in an assault.
(History taken from Wikipedia)

My wife & I just happened to be in the area that day so decided to visit Corfe Castle Now  I confess I have been there before but I was about 15 at the time so things have changed a bit you could say.
When I first came here with my parents it was on a trip from Swanage down the road. This time we came in from the other side and walked in from the National Trust Carpark.

The carpark is behind here and you can get a tea or coffee here as well as the usual gifts

From the carpark you take this path

That gives tantalizing glimpses of the ruins

It also gives a good idea as to how hard it would have been to get to if you were attacking it

Just before you get to the entrance you pass the National Trust Tea Shop. Wish we had gone here for lunch because the pasty we had from the bakery nearby was awful being greasy & undercooked.

After showing your membership of pass you cross the bridge to the castle 

looking left at the ruins

 or the broken turret you see

look over the bridge to see the deep moat

The first place you come to is where the portcullis wold have been

Then you are in this outer area before the inner keep
You can even see some medieval artillery 

Or the locals trying to earn a crust. Seriously the National Trust were giving displays on how people lived back in the middle ages

this guy was softening leather to make sheaths with

He was having his lunch

Walking to the inner baily you can see the ruind looking down on you

The Keep looks very imposing

Makes you wonder how they built the place. Note the lady on the left with arms in the air

Nearby you can look out over the surrounding area

Here we look down on the old ruined walls that Cromwells me tried to blow up

This was part of the great hall in the castle

This will give a better idea of where the hall was and looks like now

Looking out from one side of the hall you get a wonderful view of the area

which is over to the Poole direction

Climbing further up in the ruins gives a better  idea as to the size of the castle wals

most of which list over at an  angle
 Looking back at the hall area

and up at the keep ruins
 Very imposing building it would have been

Looking down you can see the gatehouse

 look out and see an amazing view of the area

Inside the main castle is mostly walls and windows

but you get a good view of the town of Corfe Castle

The main part which is seen looks really enormous
Even stood near the smaller parts they look huge

Stood on the walls the keep looks impressive

I find it hard to think how much effeort went into building it by hand originally
Weeds grow in places
on top of the old ruined walls

Going down you can see the beacon fires

I'll leave you with these views taken fom the side walls of the keep
Hope you enjoyed the tour.
You can see more photos of the town in this Blog and the churches in this one  


  1. That was a great tour you took us on with this post. Liked the detail very much. You can't avoid seeing Corfe castle when you are in the area, it is in such a commanding position.

  2. Beautiful views all around! Ruins are very interesting. Makes one wonder what it looked like back then.