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About Corfe and Purbeck
Corfe Castle is a beautiful and historic village in the heart of the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. It takes its name from the ruined Castle.
Old map of Corfe Castle Edward the Martyr
Corfe Castle is an historic and charming village situated in the heart of The Isle Purbeck. Corfe provides an ideal base for your self-catering cottage holiday, with so many things to do in and around the village. Visit the quaint village square which offers a choice of family friendly pubs, serving a wide selection of good quality food. There is an excellent selection of tea rooms where you can relax and enjoy a drink, a bite to eat or a delicious cream tea. The village store sells a good range of local produce and houses the post office. The bakery offers delicious freshly made food. There is a newsagent for your daily paper which sells a good range of sweets and gifts and the small ice cream shop offers scrumptious local ice cream. There is a National Trust shop and smaller independent shops and galleries selling a varied selection of delightful gifts.
Spend time visiting the iconic Castle to discover the castles’ history as a royal palace and a fortress. With fallen walls and secret places, there are tales of treachery and treason around every corner. Explore the ruins, spot some of the ‘murder holes’ and count the arrow loops. Feel the history come to life before your very eyes.
The Corfe Castle museum is well worth a visit and explains the history of the village and displays various artefacts.
Visit the Model Village and see what the village and castle would have looked like before its destruction by Oliver Cromwell’s troops during the English Civil War. It is set in an acre of landscaped gardens and is a lovely place for both young and old.
Step back in time and visit The Swanage Railway which offers a more intensive heritage steam and diesel timetable train service than virtually any other preserved railway. Take a trip from Corfe Castle to Swanage and take in the stunning, picturesque scenery. Throughout the year, the railway offers Steam and Diesel galas, family events, plus regular Evening Dining and Sunday Lunch services. It is a great day out for all the family and children under 5 go free!
Dorset Waterpark is one of the newer attractions to the area. It is located on the Studland Road just near Corfe. Dorset Waterpark is a huge woodland water park spread over two lakes which overlook Corfe Castle. Each lake features different inflatable obstacles for you to tackle. New for 2018 is the Dorset Mud Trail, which is an outdoor adventure trail for any age and is fantastic fun in any weather, great on a sunny day and even more fun in the rain. Dorset Waterpark offers a fantastic day out for the whole family.
There is a regular bus service from Corfe, which takes you to Swanage and Poole via Wareham. All buses run regularly on the hour and there are various bus stops located around the village.
Once you have visited Corfe Castle and this quaint honey-pot village, you will fall in love with it and want to return soon.
Edward the Martyr
In 978 AD 18 year old King Edward was murdered here on the orders of his stepmother. Edward was an unpleasant young man and bad king.
Work on the Castle was started in 1080 by William the Conqueror and continued by his successors. By about 1300 this was one of the strongest fortresses and most splendid palaces in the country.
Enemies of the king were locked in the “Oubliette” and were left forgotten till they died.
By 1585 the Castle was considered dank, and out of date, and Queen Elizabeth sold it. In 1635 it was bought by Sir John Bankes by which time it was again a magnificent palace. During the Civil War Sir John Bankes stayed with the King leaving his wife at Corfe.
St Edwards's Church Model Village
She and a few retainers twice withstood sieges by Parliamentary forces commanded by Sir Walter Earle before the Castle was captured by treachery, and destroyed in 1646. The Bankes family continued to live near Blandford until 1980 when Mr. Ralph Bankes died leaving the Castle and the rest of his estate to the National Trust. Descendants of Sir Walter Earle still live near Wimborne.
Corfe Castle's parish church of St Edward the Martyr is dedicated to King Edward. Folklore has it that the church stands on the site of a blind woman's cottage where the King's body was taken after the murder. In the 13th century the original church was replaced by a larger church but by 1859 the state of the repair was so bad that everything except the tower was demolished and a new church in Gothic style was built. After a century and a half the new church has blended in well.
Mortons House Today Mortons House
Then and now. It is remarkable how little the village of Corfe Castle has changed over the centuries, the photographs show Mortons House as it was almost a century ago and how, as a hotel, it is today. Corfe Castle has taken the strain of the growth in visitors and has lost none of its charm in doing so.
SELF CATERING HOLIDAY COTTAGES IN DORSET