Skip to main content

Corfe castle

Corfe castle (Dorset) stands on an isolated hill along the spine of the Isle of Purbeck, between Wareham and Swanage, guarding the routeways into Purbeck. Corfe was perhaps the site of an Anglo-Saxon royal residence and the place at which King Edward, later known as ‘the Martyr’, was murdered by his stepmother Ælfthryth in 978. The castle was one of the first ordered to be built by William I after the battle of Hastings and remained in royal hands until it was sold by Elizabeth I in 1572. Corfe, in the royal forest and warren of Purbeck, was a favourite residence of both King John and Henry III who spent large sums of money on the defences and on extensive domestic accommodation, the remains of which are known as the ‘Gloriette’. During the Civil War the castle was held for the king, although most of Dorset was controlled by Parliament, and successfully withstood a siege in 1643, the defence being directed by Lady Bankes, wife of the owner. A second siege in 1646 ended when the attackers were secretly admitted to the castle. In recognition of her bravery Lady Bankes was allowed to retain the keys and seals of the castle, although the defences were systematically slighted.

Lynda Rollason

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Corfe castle." The Oxford Companion to British History. . 16 Feb. 2019 <>.

"Corfe castle." The Oxford Companion to British History. . (February 16, 2019).

"Corfe castle." The Oxford Companion to British History. . Retrieved February 16, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.