The English countryside is littered with fine castles, some dating back almost 1,000 years. Corfe, in Dorset, has something of a rarity though. A ruined castle. The French have plenty of these types of castle, seeing as how most major armed conflict of the last millennium have involved armies crossing the Channel from England to France, and not the other way round. No wonder the French hate us. Although not as much as we thought. Perhaps 400,000 of them have settles in London, which would make it the 5th most populous French city were it located a couple of hundred miles due south.
But anyway, I digress. Corfe Castle. A thousand years of history. Ruined. The Parliamentarians lay siege to it twice in the last Civil War in the 1600’s, eventually taking possession of it with some tricky and betrayal. And, as one of the most important Royal castles, it was undermined and blown up with gunpowder. For fear of it being retaken and used once again as a fortress. And so it remains to this day, a glorious stone skeleton sat atop a hill overlooking the surrounding area. It is still stormed by armies today however. Armies of tourists, making their way up to see if they can get a sense of the history of the place. Nearly two hundred thousand of them annually. That’s quite some army.
Neither Parliamentarians nor Cavaliers possess the castle today. That honour was bestowed upon the National Trust, a charity that looks after a huge portfolio of buildings, forests and other national treasures. It’s truly a national treasure unto itself, and with annual membership for a couple being just £85.50, I might well sign on the dotted line once Paola has come ashore, and we both have a source of income. Photos? Of course. Click here.