Corfe Castle is in the village of the same name near Wareham in Dorset.
Corfe Castle was built for William the Conqueror around 1086 and during the early 1200s it was a favourite fortress of King John. It remained a royal residence until 1572 when Queen Elizabeth I sold it to Sir Christopher Hatton, who later became the Lord Chancellor.
from The Story of Corfe Castle by G Bankes (1853)
|Keys of Corfe Castle on display at Kingston Lacy|
The Bankes family built a new home at Kingston Lacy and this was given to the National Trust, along with Corfe Castle, in 1981.
|Corfe Castle from The Lady's Magazine (1789)|
The Weymouth Guide (1785) describes Corfe Castle as “one of the finest ruins in Europe”. (2)
The Weymouth and Melcombe Regis New Guide (1835) states:
“The vast fragments of the king’s tower, the round tower leaning as if ready to fall, the broken walls, and the huge mass hurled into the vale below, form such as scene of havoc and devastation, as must strike the spectator at once with horror and regret.” (3)
“We recount these deeds to show the spirit and conduct of times happily passed away. These beautiful ruins bear not the guilt of those perpetrations; and in them, it may be, is set forth a moral lesson, safe to learn and good to practise: hence, in contemplating the ruins of Corfe Castle, we may realize that there are ‘sermons in stones, & c.’ ” (4)
• A ruined castle!
|View from Corfe Castle|
(1) The keys of Corfe Castle are on display at Kingston Lacy.
(2) From The Weymouth Guide (1785)
(3) From The Weymouth and Melcombe Regis New Guide (1835)
(4) From Weymouth as a Watering Place (1857)
Sources used include:
Bankes, George, The Story of Corfe Castle, and of Many who Have Lived There (1853)
Delamotte, Peter, The Weymouth Guide (1785, Weymouth)
Groves, E, The Weymouth and Melcombe Regis New Guide (E Groves, 1835, Weymouth)
Simpkin & Marshall, Weymouth as a Watering Place (Simpkin & Marshall, 1857, London)
The Lady's Magazine (1789)
The National Trust, Corfe Castle (guidebook) (1985)
Photographs by Andrew Knowles - www.flickr.com/photos/dragontomato