Corfe Castle was built on a steep hill in a gap in a long line of chalk hills, created by two streams eroding the rock on either side. The name Corfe derives from the Old English ceorfan, meaning 'a cutting', referring to the gap.[1] The construction of the medieval castle means that little is known about previous activity on the hill. However, there are postholes belonging to a Saxon hall on the site.[2] The hall may be where Edward the Martyr was assassinated in 978.[3] see for more information

Read more: Winter Cometh...

Northern Approach

To my right is the river Corfe, to my left the hill that has the castle back wall on it. Formidable!

Southern Flank

The only way in to the baily is through this small arch, across the moat. It's flanked by two towers with ovelapping fields of fire.


From here it's possible to see that having made it through the first gate, there was another beyond it.

Outer Baily

standing at the bottom of the outer bailey, you're looking up at the motte and the keep atop it. On the left edge is the only way in.. through another set of gates across another inner ditch.

Inner gates

This set of inner gates is almost identical in arrangement to those at the front of the castle, They lead to the western bailey. The bulk of the fortifications lay beyond this point.

Between a rock and a...

From an attackers Point of view this place must have been pretty much hell on earth.

The Keep..

Taken from western bailey, looking up at the keep.

Western Outer Bailey

Looking towards the eastern flank of the keep. I'd have needed to fight my way across two stretches of open ground and passed two walls to get at the keep.

Eastern Flank

Western Bailey, looking along the eastern flank of teh castle. This is the same stretch of wall visible in the first picture.


This was once an arrow slit in a defensive tower on the outer wall

Top of the world

I'm at the same level as the keep. This was the remains of the great hall. The keep is behind me. all three floors of it

More chambers..

The scale of this building is incredible.

Last Ditch...

If attackers were at this point I think that A) they were rock hard and B) it wasn't going to end well for those inside.


The view across the outer bailey from the lowest level of the keep. Just to the right of the gap in the lower wall is the castle entrance.

Random Architecture

Can we ever really know what went on in these rooms? Even here in what must have been the safest place in purbeck, the defensive nature of the structure is clear.

Try your luck?

Corfe Castle, Inner Bailey. See more on my website or facebook page #markferriphoto #corfe #castle #dorset #purbeck #jurassicoast

Keep me safe

Actually I don't think it was an arrow slit but I have no idea what room this may been once.

Eastern Flank too

Now, you can see the height difference. THis is taken on the western bailey. The green awning below is the level of the main entrance.

I think I'll give it a miss..

This was just one of the views any potential attackers were greeted with. It assumes you've already crossed river corfe and the defensive moat around the castle itself.