The Capper Nomads Europe Adventure travel blog
























Another beautiful day and it was Heather’s birthday too.

We headed to the beautiful village of Corfe Castle with the romantic ruins of the castle crowning the hill behind the village.

Before exploring the castle we enjoyed sitting in the National Trust tea room garden enjoying the sunshine and views of the castle.

The castle was built by William the Conqueror and the castle sits in a pass between the hills between Wareham and Swanage. This was how it got its name as Corfe means a pass in Old English. The castle remained in royal hands until Elizabeth I sold it to Sir Christopher Hatton. Sir John Bankes, Attorney General to Charles I bought the castle in 1635 and it became the family seat.

The English Civil War broke out in 1642, and by 1643 most of Dorset was under Parliamentarian control. During that time Lady Mary Bankes wife of Sir John lived at the castle with their children. It was under her control that the castle withstood a Cromwellian siege for six weeks. It was only after she was betrayed by one of her own men, Colonel Pitman was the castle taken by the roundheads. Lady Bankes was allowed to go free and take the keys with her. The castle was reduced to its current state by gunpowder after the family had left.

After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the Bankes family regained their properties. Rather than rebuild or replace the ruined castle they chose to build a new house at Kingston Lacy on their other Dorset estate near Wimborne Minster.

Today the castle is owned by the National Trust as Ralph Bankes in the 1980s bequeathed the entire Bankes estate to the National Trust, including Corfe Castle, much of the village of Corfe, the family home at Kingston Lacy, and substantial property and land holdings elsewhere in the area.

We enjoyed exploring the castle and the village in the sunshine.

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