Corfe Castle

Top choice castle in Corfe Castle

The startling, fractured battlements of one of Dorset's most famous landmarks were once home to Sir John Bankes, Charles I’s right-hand man. The Civil War saw the castle besieged by Cromwellian forces; in 1646 the plucky Lady Bankes directed a six-week defence and the castle fell only after being betrayed from within. The Roundheads then gunpowdered Corfe Castle apart; turrets and soaring walls still sheer off at precarious angles – the splayed-out gatehouse looks like it's just been blown up.

These huge fortifications also lend their name to the attractive village that has grown up alongside.