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Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle, in Dorset, England, is a small village and ruined castle situated in a gap in the Purbeck Hills. The oldest surviving structure on the castle site dates to the 11th century, although evidence exists of some form of stronghold predating the Norman Conquest. Edward the Martyr was purportedly assassinated at the site on March 18th, 978.

Construction of a stone hall and inner bailey wall occurred in the 11th century and extensive construction of other towers, halls and walls occurred during the reigns of Henry I, John and Henry III. By the 13th century the castle was being used as a royal treasure storehouse and prison. The castle remained a royal fortress until sold by Elizabeth I in the 16th century.

In 1643, during the English Civil War, the castle came under siege by Parliamentarian forces. Defended by the Royalist Lady Mary Bankes, the castle held out for six weeks before the Parliamentarians withdrew with the loss of 100 men. In 1646, the castle came under a second siege that held for two months before the castle was betrayed by a member of the garrison. After its capture by Parliamentarians, the castle was destroyed with explosives, which results in its current ruined state.

See other Castles in England.

Corfe Castle is a National Trust Property; See National Trust Properties in England for a list of more sites.