Transcript of the description for Corfe Castle from Hunt & Co.'s Directory of Dorsetshire, Hampshire, & Wiltshire 1851

CORFE-CASTLE, is a parish and borough, (formerly a market town) in the hundred of its name, Blandford southern division of the county, 21 miles S.E. from Dorchester, 14 S.S.W. from Poole, 4 S. from Wareham where there is a railway station and 120 S.W. from London, situated nearly in the middle of the Isle of Purbeck, at the foot of a range of hills gradually sloping towards the south, and for the chief part consists of two streets of but indifferent appearance. The principal attraction is its ancient castle, noted as having been the scene of the murder of Edward the Martyr, by order of his treacherous step-mother, Queen Elfrida, in 978; this massive pile of martial masonry, stands upon a rocky eminence, the approaches every way being so steep, and the walls so ponderous, that before the era of artillery it must have been considered impregnable. The last important event connected with this ancient stronghold, was during the civil wars (Charles I.) when it was gallantly defended for the King; but eventually the parliamentary party obtained possession of it by stratagem, and dismantled it, so that in the words of the couplet:-

"The castle of the feudal victor,
Now serves for nought, but for a picture."

Corfe Castle, from the time of Queen Elizabeth until the passing the Reform Act, returned two members to Parliament, but by that Bill it was disfranchised, and allowed to share the elective franchise with Wareham and Bere-Regis, these jointly sending one representative to the British senate. But little commerce is carried on here; yet, many persons find employment in the clay and stone works in the vicinity, as well as in quarrying Purbeck marble, which before the introduction of foreign marble, was extensively used in ecclesiastical structures; the Purbeck marble, however is now rapidly regaining its original reputation.

The parish church of St. Edward the Martyr, is an ancient and imposing fabric, capable of containing a thousand persons; at Kingston and Bushey are chapels of ease, and at Corfe Castle is an Independent chapel, also National and British schools for children of both sexes. Fairs take place on May 12th and October 29th. In 1841 the parish contained 1946 inhabitants.

POST OFFICE, at James Tuckers, West street. Letters are delivered at 7 30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and are despatched, via Wareham, at a quarter before 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Gentry, Clergy, &c.

Bankes Rev. Edward, Rectory
Calcraft John Hales, esq. Rampston
Eldon Earl of, Encombe house
Evans Rev. J. H. (curate) East st
Heath Rev. Wm. (curate) East st
Hubbard Rev. Geo. (Independent Minister) East street
Taylor Robert, esq. East street

Miscellany of Traders, &c.
Not arranged in the succeeding lists.

Alpin Mary, miller, Arfleet
Curtis Wm. coal merchant, East st
Evans Samuel, saddler and currier & agent to the Atlas F. & L. East st
Fayle Benj. & Co. clay merchants
Harvey James, steward to the Earl of Eldon, Encombe farm
Jenkins Sarah, plumber, East st
Luther Jos. wheelwright, East st
Miller Wm. surgeon, East street
Ridout Geo. veterinary surgeon, West street
Roe Thomas, parish clerk
Stockley Giles, coal merchant, West street
Tucker James, registrar of births & deaths, West street
Webber John, stonemason, West st

Bakers.

Bridle Elizabeth, West street
Duke John, West street
Hatchard John, East street
Hibbs George, West street
Jenkins George, East street
Shitler James, West street
Shitler John, West street
Stevens James, East street

Beer Retailers.

Hibbs George, West street
Spencer Elizabeth, East street

Blacksmiths.

Goodchild Thomas, Kingston
Moss Henry, East street
Moss Robert, East street

Boot & Shoemakers.

Gover Thomas, West street
Hibbs Charles, East street
Hibbs Henry, West street
Hockley George, West street
Lucker Charles, Market place
Moss Thomas, West street
Phillips Isaac, East street
Roe John, East street
Uphill James, West street
Wiseman Thomas, East street

Butchers.

Spencer Thomas, East street
Vyse Henry James, Market place

Carpenters & Builders.

Cutler Martha, West street
Hardy George, West street
Luther Thomas, East street

Farmers.

Calcraft John, Rampstone
Crocker John, Tabit's hill
Carwell Henry, Ower farm
Hardy John, Rollington
Horlock John, Woolgarstone
Horlock Joseph, Brenscombe
Kent Charles, West hill
Kent James, Lynch farm
Kent Mary (Mrs.) Blashenwell
Nineham Robert, Allwood farm
Smith John, Westwood
Smith Samuel, Wych farm

Grocery and sundries - Dealers in.
Marked thus * are Drapers also.

*Curtis William, East street
Gover Tabitha, East street
Hardy Eliza, West street
Hibbs George, West street
*Hutton Jos. & Theodore, West st.
*Johnson John, West street
Notley Peter, Kingston
Stevens James, East street
*Stockley Giles, West street

Inns and Public Houses.

Castle Inn, East street, Hatchard George
Eldon Arms, Kingston, Foot Giles
Greyhound, Market place, Desallioud Chas. Wm.
Ship Inn, East street, Talbot Wm.

Maltsters.

Hibbs David Chas. West street
Spencer Elizabeth (Mrs.) & brewer, East street

Schools.

British, West street, master, Tucker Jas, mistress, Tucker Mary
National, East street, master, Lackford Langtree, mistress, Sexey Sophia

Tailors.

Baker John, Market place
Desallioud Francis, East street

OMNIBUS to Swanage daily at 6 p.m.; Wareham at 10 a.m.