Kings, martyrs and heroines

Corfe Castle has been many things to many people in its long life.

The West Bailey at Corfe Castle, Dorset

Murder and miracle: the story of Edward the Martyr

A murder mystery from the dark ages still casts its shadow over Corfe Castle. In 978 a young king died a violent death - perhaps on this very spot.

Corfe Castle seen from West Hill

A Norman masterpiece – building Corfe Castle

Royal builders from William the Conqueror to Edward I all played their part in making Corfe Castle one of the most impressive strongholds in England.

Corfe Castle seen from The Rings

Twelfth century turmoil and Corfe’s other castle

Just outside medieval bowshot from Corfe Castle is a reminder of one of the darkest periods of English history when cousin fought cousin for the throne and the country descended into anarchy.

The gloriette at Corfe Castle

King John and Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle served King John as a prison, a refuge in times of trouble, and as a luxury country home.

Sir Christopher Hatton

Sir Christopher Hatton and an age of adventure

What’s the link between Corfe Castle and the exploits of Sir Francis Drake? The answer is an Elizabethan courtier who danced his way into the heart of a Queen. Sir Christopher Hatton was the castle’s first private owner whose colourful career helped shape a fast changing world.

Tumble-down walls at Corfe Castle, Dorset

Brave Dame Mary and a castle under siege

During the English Civil War in the 17th century, Lady Mary Bankes’ resolute defence of Corfe Castle made her a royalist heroine.