A King is murdered
Legend has it that in 978, before the present Castle was built, King Edward the Martyr was murdered at Corfe by his stepmother. She wanted to put her own son, Ethelred ‘the Unready’, on the throne. While stag hunting in the nearby Purbeck forest, Edward paid a visit to Corfe, here Elfryda apparently offered him a goblet of wine, then stabbed him in the back while he drank it. Now that just isn't nice.
|The outer walls still surround the castle.|
|Many walls sit sadly askew on the landscape.|
A castle is built
It was William the Conqueror who first started building Corfe Castle after his arrival in Britain in 1066. It was served by the surrounding community who in return were given shelter in the Castle in times of trouble. Much of the Isle of Purbeck was a Royal Forest so the hunting of game without royal permission was punishable by death.
|You can see the thickness of the walls here.|
The Castle is demolished
Lady Mary Bankes successfully defended the castle during a siege in 1643 after the death of her husband in the Civil War. During a second siege in 1646 a member of her garrison betrayed her which led to their capture. The victors deliberately demolished the castle leaving behind the dramatic ruin that now dominates the landscape. Much of the missing stone can be found in the houses of Corfe Castle Village.
|Corfe Castle Village.|
|The view from the bottom of the hill.|
|The scale of the walls can make you feel very small.|