Corfe Castle - National Trust
Corfe Castle was built on a steep hill in a gap in a long line of chalk hills, created by two streams eroding the rock on either side. The name Corfe derives from the Old English ceorfan, meaning 'a cutting', referring to the gap. The construction of the medieval castle means that little is known about previous activity on the hill. However, there are postholes belonging to a Saxon hall on the site. The hall may be where the boy-king Edward the Martyr was assassinated in 978.
A castle was founded at Corfe on England's south coast soon after theNorman Conquest of England in 1066. The royal forest of Purbeck, where William the ConquerorÂ enjoyed hunting, was established in the area. Between 1066 and 1087, William established 36 such castles in England. Sitting as it does on a hill top, Corfe Castle is one of the classic images of a medieval castle. However, despite popular imagination, occupying the highest point in the landscape was not the typical position of a medieval castle. In England, a minority are located on hilltops, but most are in valleys; many were near important transport routes such as river crossings.
Things to do in the area
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Our exhibitions tell the story of armoured warfare from World War One to the present day. As you explore the Museum's six large halls you will come face to face with vehicles that have seen action in all the major wars.
Corfe Castle is a fortification standing above the village of the same name on the Isle of Purbeck in the English county of Dorset. Built by William the Conqueror, the castle dates to the 11th century and commands a gap in the Purbeck Hills on the route between Wareham and Swanage.
Nestled in 26 acres of Dorset's glorious countryside lies Sculpture by the Lakes, an oasis for art lovers and collectors alike created by renowned sculptor Simon Gudgeon and his wife, Monique.
Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO (16 August 1888 19 May 1935) was a British archaeologist, military officer, diplomat, and writer. He was renowned for his liaison role during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign and the Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.
The National trust in Dorset features some of its finest properties, coastline reserves and castles. Most properties are within half an hours drive from us and are ideal for a day outing.
Dorset County Museum is an independent museum. Owned and managed by the Dorset Natural History and Archaeological Society, it receives financial support from Dorset County Council and West Dorset District Council.