The town of Corfe is dominated by the Castle, constructed in the 11th century and with a fascinating and colorful history culminating in its demolition by the Roundheads in 1646.
In 1572, Corfe Castle left the Crown’s control when Elizabeth I sold it to Sir Christopher Hatton. Sir John Bankes bought the castle in 1635, and was the owner during the English Civil War. His wife, Lady Mary Bankes, led the defence of the castle when it was twice besieged by Parliamentarian forces. The ruins remained in the ownership of the Bankes family until 1982.