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Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle


Corfe Castle is a medieval castle that was built shortly after the Norman Conquest in 1066. Originally, there was 2 castles at Corfe; if you look south west from Corfe castle you can just see the 2nd one, known as The Rings.


William the Conqueror founded the castle and since then it has been home to kings, knights and a princess.


At Corfe Castle we will be exploring our surroundings and seeing what it has to offer. We will also be seeing the wonderful views from the hill which the castle is on.

What we’re going to do there:

There is a walk up to Corfe Castle which is what we will start the trip with.


Corfe Castle provides a guide around the castle. There are multiple points to which we can explore.


We are not sure yet, but I am sure that we will be walking around Corfe castle, we also have been given a Corfe Castle guide. We can do many things. They have given us some papers, where we go round the castle and find the amount of objects in that table, and we can find out what they are for via the signs with information around the castle.


They have also given us some papers to which we can write our thoughts on and what we can/would do in the castle. There is also a discovery trail, which we can take part in. We think this would be a very fun thing to do. There are also many defence-based items around Corfe Castle for us to find and look at.

Interesting Facts

The ruins of Corfe Castle has been used many times as a base for books and scenes from films including Enid Blyton’s series, The Famous Five.


It is home to some gruesome tales yet it was also used as a prison to hold captive King Edward II.


Today, Corfe Castle’s ruins stand 21 metres tall and welcomes visitors to explore its history!


The word Corfe comes from the Old English word  ceorfan, meaning 'a cutting', referring to the gap.


Crimes as mild as being drunk or simple theft resulted in being locked in the pillory, a wooden contraption with 3 holes in the top for the head and hands to be placed, where rotten fruit and other nasty items would be thrown at you.


Once upon a time (as this is how all stories about castles start) in 1066, the very castle we’ll be visiting had been created. The creator? William the Conqueror. And here is the story: Edward the Martyr was murdered supposedly by his stepmother so her son could rule. And her wish came true. Edward’s half-brother Ethelred ‘the unready’ was to be King. Then there was Edward 1st in the 12th century who built the imposing keep. Life then went on to reach King John, who used this place as a prison and royal residence.


Later in 1572 Elizabeth I had and then sold it to Sir Christopher Hatton and then it was the Bankes’. A few decades later, there was a war between the parliament and The Kings Army. Because Corfe Castle was supported the king, they were on his side.


Unfortunately, they lost. After they had lost, Corfe Castle had been decided to be destroyed by the parliament, as its connection to the opposite side could lead to more problems for the parliament. The act was passed down by Wareham to destroy it. He shot many holes into the castle with his men, which made most of it collapse. This led to what we see today.


A few months after its destruction, the parliament gave the keys and ‘estate’ back to the Bankes. The Lady of the Bankes family wanted the estate to be fixed, but alas, nothing worked. Eventually, in 1982, the Bankes family handed Corfe over to the National trust. This is where it resides now.

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