Rebuilt in the 11th century using the local Purbeck stone by William the Conqueror on the site of a previous wooden building, Corfe Castle was an important defensive stronghold, guarding the path through the Purbeck Hills.
For over 500 years it was a royal fortress until it was sold by Queen Elizabeth I to Sir Christopher Hatton in 1572 and then purchased by The Lord Chief Justice, Sir John Bankes, in 1635.
Destroyed in 1646 by the Parliamentarians during the civil war, it remained in the possession of the Bankes family until 1982 when it was bequeathed to the National Trust.
It is now an impressive ruin with many fine Norman and Early English features remaining and also provides visitors with spectacular views of the Purbeck coast and countryside.
The Castle View visitor centre presents the history of this great monument and the people who lived there and there is a licenced tearoom by the castle entrance. Not far from the castle is Corfe Castle Model Village & Gardens which shows, in miniature, the village as it was before the castle was destroyed, set within beautiful old English landscaped gardens restored to their former glory.
More information at The National Trust web site and www.corfecastlemodelvillage.co.uk
If you are interested in other UK castles why not enjoy a couple of days out in Essex by visiting Hedingham Castle. Hedingham Castle are also wedding specialists who provide castle weddings and winter weddings.