Corfe Castle, ‘The Slighted’

Corfe Castle beckons visitors from the top of a hill in a gap in the Purbeck Hills of Dorset, England. As a children we used to roam the mound and scramble among the ruins of the castle, admiring the views of the surrounding countryside. The views and castle ruins are still much the same, but the site is now managed by the National Trust, so entrance fees apply, various parts of off limits and countless signs warn of everything from steep slopes to uneven surfaces – not that you’d expect either on from a ruined castle on a hill.

360 panorama view of Corfe Castle

360 panorama view of Corfe Castle, (c) Peter Watts

These panoramas show some of the parts of Corfe Castle and the surrounding views taken in September 2009, on a day that was fantastically warm and with the same great views over Corfe Castle village and far beyond. While there a steam train chuffed along the track back to Swanage and children rolled down the hill (that, at least, is still allowed).

Ruined keep of Corfe Castle

Ruined keep of Corfe Castle, (c) Peter Watts

And why ‘The Slighted’? Well this is a reference to the damage done to Corfe Castle by William Cromwell. The castle was never defeated, holding out against siege and frontal attack, it’s defence orchestrated by Mary Bankes. Sadly, she was and the castle were betrayed by one of the garrison members. After it’s capture, Cromwell ordered the castle ‘Slighted’ – a process of blowing it up with gunpowder. What remains today is the result.

360 panorama of Corfe Castle gate.

360 panorama of Corfe Castle gate. (c) Peter Watts

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