I wish I could say that my time AFK recently has been the result of some exciting business or craft venture, but in reality it's due to a general apathy and ennui about my life in general.
Work is getting me down, my health is pretty poor and my gentle forays into Etsy and eBay of late haven't yielded any results. Life is distinctly 'meh' right now and thus the interesting things I can write about are limited. I did finally make it out of the house for a really lovely day out in Dorset this weekend, though, so I do have something fun to talk about today. We saw a friend (and got to stay on his Army base in the Officer's mess!), visited Corfe Castle and Wareham and were blessed with the most spectacular weather.
I'm wearing Vivien of Holloway trousers, M&S shirt, Vintage hat
Corfe Castle guards a gap through the Purbeck hills near the South Coast and the site dates back to the 900s, when Queen Elfrida murdered her stepson King Edward the martyr at the castle to put her own son, Ethelred the Unready, on the throne.
The castle that we see today was probably started by William the Conqueror, shortly after the Norman invasion in 1066 and was extended during the 12th and 13th Centuries, particularly by 'wicked' King John who used it to imprison some of his least favourite people, with bloody and horrible ends for most of them.
During the Civil War, the castle was a Royalist stronghold and was besieged twice. As Lord Banks, the owner at the time, was with his King, it fell to his wife to coordinate the defense and this was a great success. In the end it took the betrayal of a member of the Garrison in 1646 to end the siege. Corfe castle was one of the last strongholds to fall, and had been so difficult to capture and cost so many lives, that it was ordered destroyed by an act of Parliament. The walls were undermined and gunpowder places beneath strategic walls.
The two halves of this doorway used to meet up!
Despite huge amounts of damage, and many centuries of stone plundering by local villagers (there are some very grand doorways in the small village at the base of the castle!) huge chunks of it survive intact. They just don't build em like they used to!
The village of Corfe and the castle are both well worth a visit, it's dramatic and beautiful. The pub by the castle does very good food and has a beer garden which practically backs onto one side of the castle.
Wareham is also very lovely and there's a nice walk round the Saxon walls (now just banks of earth really) for those with the energy and footwear (neither of which I had, sadly). There are also lots of antique and crafty type shops in the very pretty streets and I had If you do visit, I highly recommend The Priory Hotel for a cream tea. We sat out on the manicured lawn and enjoyed a delicious cream tea with really solid clotted cream and fresh scones. Yum yum! It's a little spot of bliss!