Corfe Castle

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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

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