Sunday, 5 July 2015

Corfe Castle .. gatepost as interpretation ..

The entrance to the Ring and Bailey castle field, at Corfe Castle has an interesting carving, which is incorporated into the gate post itself. The carving of Oliver Cromwell marks the role that the earthworks of the Ring and Bailey castle originally built in 1139, went on to play in the English Civil War of 1642 - 1651. During the war the Parliamentary Army, used the site for a gun battery and successfully laid siege to and then wasted Corfe Castle.

The Ring and Bailey castle itself dates to an earlier period of civil unrest when in 1139 King Stephen built a siege fort to challenge Baldwin, who held Corfe Castle in rebellion. The siege was abandoned following the invasion of Robert of Gloucester, who landed at Arundel, with 140 knights. An act of aggression which started 14 years of Civil War, and ended with the loss of Stephen's throne.