Monday, 31st August:
Corfe Castle, a medieval construction dating back to the 12th century, also can be reached easily by public buses. From the Tourist Information Centre we chose to take the longer walk, which would first take us to The Rings, an old fortress site which had once been used to besiege the Castle. Well, perhaps from home we are used to neat signs showing us the right way, but here there were no such signs and we had some time finding the right way. Or any way at all, we climbed some strange wooden structures over fences, used sheep-save door constructions, tried to avoid puddles, and at last reached a street near the cemetary.
But the castle is really a sight! And the National Trust, who inherited the premises (castle, land and all) from the former owners, does a good job not only in preserving the site, but also in presenting it. In the great court some tents are erected to show a glimpse of medieval life with volunteers showing cooking, handicrafts and other things. I was soon engaged in an interesting conversation with a musician who reconstructs medieval instruments and plays them for the public, giving hints on how to make you own strings from sheep’s guts, or how the instruments were tuned in those days.
When you enter the ruins, you’ll try to fit the parts together in your mind, but often there are pieces of a wall that seem to belong nowhere, and the archeologists did an admirable job in reconstructing the construction in drawings.
After your visit to the castle, it’s a good idea to enter a tea house for some tea and scones.