When we went to Dorset at the end of June, we stayed about 10 minutes from Corfe Castle, which is just an amazing piece of history on a very huge hill that you can visit and learn all about who lived in it and what they got up to and how it became the ruins that it is today. It was fascinating. The fun you can have with the National Trust too made it all the better.
We entered the castle and grabbed our quest worksheets and pencils, we were told to fill out the worksheets and learn about the castle and when complete you get a medal or a National Trust bracelet for Corfe Castle. Obviously at the sound of Noah winning a medal, he was sold on the idea. As soon as you took your quest papers, you were off to do a little dressing up as knights and peasants. It really made me giggle watching Isla with the sword as she really did get it on target to Noah’s shield. We got some cute footage of them fighting and Daddy being silly in my video of our trip to Dorset on YouTube.
It is really something, quite breathtaking actually, to see this a thousand year old castle standing (almost) proudly on the hill still. It was partly demolished in 1646 by parliament as a way to avoid anyone else living in it and the Bankes family moved out building a home nearby. It was built by William the Conqueror, you can learn a lot about the owners over the years as you walk around, there are interesting articles and the quest helped us to understand what happened back then too.
We liked the story about how John, King of England, imprisoned his niece as she was in line for the throne. She wasn’t locked in a cell, or anything like that, but Noah was not happy with the king for doing this. Nor about the following King, who kept her imprisoned in the castle too, for the same reason. The poor thing! But in those days ladies were not expected to take the throne, it was a male dominated role and they obviously went to great lengths to keep it that way. During the quest, one of the questions asks who you would lock away in the castle and Noah’s response was “the naughty King”, which made me giggle.
The Bankes family owned the land, castle and their beautiful family home up until the 1980’s when Ralph Bankes sold it to the National Trust. Who have taken care of it ever since, making it a magical piece of history that we can go and visit. It was a lovely afternoon and we really enjoyed the lovely walk too from the National Trust car park. Perfect family time with the children and dogs, also great use of our National Trust membership whilst on holiday.
Here are some of my favourite photos from our afternoon…