Corfe Castle Purbeck Dorset

the story of Corfe Castle Corfe Common the Isle of Purbeck Dorset UK

Corfe Castle is set in the pretty English village of Corfe on the Isle of Purbeck extends to around 65 square miles.
Although the area of Purbeck was remote and cut off from outside influences. Corfe Castle has apparently been inhabited for thousands of years. Corfe Castle is set in the pretty English village of Corfe on the Isle of Purbeck extends to around 65 square miles. Although the area was remote and cut off from outside influences.

It has apparently been inhabited for thousands of years, flint has been found on Corfe Common dating the common back 3,000 years or so. Several burial mounds of Bronze Age are located in the surrounding areas of Corfe and the Isle of Purbeck.

The castle itself  enjoyed immense power and as a result the village grew in the midst of the awesome castle. Before the stone castle was sited on the hill there had been a building made of wood from the 10th century. Local quarries gave the new castle its stone and marble which were renovated by the arrival in 1066 of the Normans with their skills being passed on to locals and the castle once again was in a glorious condition.

England’s civil war in 1643 left Dorset in the hands of the Parliamentary forces but Sir John Bankes was a royalist and owned Corfe Castle.

His wife was at home when the castle was besieged and bravely held the fort safe with the help of villagers. Unfortunately, after  receiving threats from the invaders they had to persuade Lady Bankes to give up the ghost. Sir Bankes died in 1644 yet Lady Bankes continued holding out against the invaders.

After a second siege in 1646, together with Parliamentary soldiers who disguised themselves as Royalists, Lady Bankes was forced into surrender.

This great medieval castle was then ordered by Parliament to be destroyed. Six weeks later the castle was shattered after which it was given back to Lady Bankes.

Corfe Castle remained with this brave family until 1981 when it was bequeathed to The National Trust. The Keep dates from early 1100’s and there is a re-enactment of the siege of 1646 each summer.

Lady Bankes held out for 48 days and surrendered the castle in February 1646.