Corfe Castle, located in Wareham, Dorset is one of the country’s most interesting ruins. We visited on a sunny Sunday and were delighted with what the castle had to offer.
On arrival into the village of Corfe, we followed the signs for the car park through the lovely quaint village and nabbed a spot. Walking back through the village, we stopped to admire some of the lovely cottages and buildings that were home to the residents of Corfe. One home even had ‘owls’ on their roof.
Corfe is also home to the smallest Town Hall building in England. It really is tiny.
After purchasing our tickets, we wandered over the bridge and into the castle grounds. Corfe Castle is clearly a ruin from the outset, but this offers a very intriguing insight to what a magnificent structure it must have been. The castle dates back almost a 1,000 years to when William the Conqueror began building it in 1086, a few years after the Battle of Hastings.
Since then, the castle has had many royal residents, including Henry III, Edward I and Elizabeth I. The castle was central to multiple sieges during the Civil War and held off capture for many years in the 1640s. Once it was captured in 1645, it was demolished, on parliament’s orders.
What remains is beautiful and it seems such a shame it was ever ordered to be demolished. It must have been such an impressive structure in its day. No wonder it was so fiercely fought over. Some of the ruins defy belief as you walk through them and wonder if it is going to crumble on top of you. It’s not going to, of course. Corfe Castle was closed for two years in 2006 to make some of the more dangerous structures safer, so that visitors would not get hurt.
The views from the castle and impressive and on a clear day you can see beautiful countryside for miles. We enjoyed watching the steam trains from Corfe railway station coming and going as we walked through the structure.
There was also a falconry show. We stayed up in an upper area of the ruins, planning to look down on the falconry show, but as is always true with these things, the birds wouldn’t do exactly what they were supposed to be doing and we enjoyed a much closer view. The falcons spent a long time circling the area of the castle we were in and we pretty much had a private show for about 15 minutes. What beautiful birds.
After concluding our visit around the castle, we wandered through the village. Picking up some gifts for family and friends in the little shops. We also stopped for an early dinner in the Greyhound, sitting in the delightful garden at the back, overlooking the castle in all its sunshine glory. What a blissful day!
Entry to the castle is £9.90 per person, which includes a donation to the National Trust which contributes to the upkeep of the castle.
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