CORFE-CASTLE (ST. EDWARD THE MARTYR), an incorporated town and parish, in the union of WAREHAM and PURBECK, possessing separate jurisdiction, locally in the hundred of CORFE-CASTLE, Wareham division of DORSET, 23 miles (E. S. E.) from Dorchester, and 120 (S. W.) from London; containing 1946 inhabitants. This place, which in the Saxon Chronicle is termed Corve and Cortesgeate, appears to have derived its importance from a formidable CASTLE erected by Edgar prior to the year 980, at the gate of which Edward the Martyr, when calling to visit his step-mother Elfrida, was by her order treacherously murdered. In the reign of Stephen the castle was taken by Baldwin de Rivers, Earl of Devonshire, who held it against the king: it was frequently the residence of King John, who here kept the regalia, and by whose orders twenty-two prisoners, some of them among the principal nobility of Poitiers, were starved to death in its dungeons; and Edward II., after his deposition in 1327, was removed from Kenilworth to this fortress, where he was detained for a short time prior to his tragical death at Berkeley Castle. More...
Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, 1848. Transcribed by Nigel Batty-Smith ©2014
- Michael Day provides photographs and bibliography for Corfe Castle (St. Edward, King and Martyr) on his Dorset Churches website
- You can search for churches in the local area that are recorded in the GENUKI church database.
- The Dorset History Centre hold the Parish Registers for Corfe Castle:
Baptisms: 1653-1889 Marriages: 1695-1963, 1981 2001 Burials: 1653-1750, 1756 1759, 1773-1948 (DHC Ref: PE/COC)
- A description of Corfe Castle from the Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5 is available on the UK Genealogy Archives site
- The Dorset On-line Parish Clerks scheme (OPC) transcribe records relating to the county.
The Corfe Castle pages contain many useful resources.
- Four documents related to the Stone Merchants and Marblers of Corfe Castle and the Isle of Purbeck. These documents are dated from 1651-1698 and contain the names of over 200 men who signed them. Although even today the Shrove Tuesday ceremonies still take place at Corfe, by the 18th century the village had little to do with the Purbeck stone trade. The principal parishes linked to the trade were Swanage, Langton Matravers and Worth Matravers; the wardens of the order of marblers are known as the Swange warden and the Langton warden. Until the railway came to Swanage in the 1890s all the stone from the Isle of Purbeck was exported by sea from Swanage bay or direct from the quarries along the cliffs. Thanks go to John Haysom for contributing the text of these documents.
- Copy of the Charter of the Borough of Corfe Castle, in the Isle of Purbeck, co. Dorset, 31 Car. II.