I just love this mystical place, each year we come here and have a wander about, soaking in all the history. I decided I would read up on it and see what has occurred here through the mists of time…
The Castle dates back to the 11th century but the land is mentioned as far back as 978 when Edward the martyr was assassinated here. The castle is one of four to be mentioned in the Doomsday book – “Of the manor of Kingston the King has one hide on which he built Wareham Castle”. It was built by William The Conquer. It has a dark history as you can imagine in 1210, after she angered King John of England, Maud de Braose and her eldest son William were walled alive inside the castle dungeon, where they both starved to death. John used the castle to keep his most important prisoners, among them were: Eleanor of Brittany, elder sister of the murdered prince Arthur who was the rightful heiress to England.
In December 1460, during the Wars of the Roses Edmund Beaufort and his army marched from the castle heading for the Battle of Wakefield.
The castle remained a royal fortress, Elizabeth Ist sold it in the 16th century to Sir Christopher Hatton.
The castle was bought by Sir John Bankes, Attorney General to Charles I, in 1635. During the English Civil War, the castle twice came under siege by Parliamentarian forces. Sir John Bankes was away from his estate attending to Charles I so defence of the castle was led by his wife Lady Mary Bankes — “Brave Dame Mary” as she became known.
Most important to my little world is that Corfe Castle is considered to be the inspiration for Enid Blyton’s Kirrin Island and there is a great Wishing Chair to be found in Corfe itself along with the Enid Blyton shop.
I took this picture this very week as Liz and I headed back from Lulworth Cove.