Built in the eleventh century by William the Conqueror, the castle was designed to impress. Standing on top of a hill, the Purbeck limestone castle would have been visible from all around.
The castle has been a garrison, treasury, royal residence and a family home. The family who lived in the castle during the English civil war were the Bankes Family - they supported King Charles I (The Cavaliers), fighting against Oliver Cromwell (The Roundheads). Lady Bankes defended the castle from two sieges by the Roundheads until she was eventually betrayed by one of her soldiers.
An act of parliament was passed at nearby Wareham to destroy the castle. Holes packed with gunpowder were dug underneath the towers and walls and were set alight. This is why we can now see the different shapes and angles of the ruins, exactly as they would have fallen.
Corfe Castle is now looked after by the National Trust. The village itself is well worth a wander - you'll find pretty pubs and traditional tea shops, plus don't miss the steam train that runs from Corfe to Swanage during the Spring and Summer months.