The weather was glorious today so we used our National Trust tickets and visited Corfe Castle (http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/corfe-castle/) itself. There is a lot of it still standing, despite attempts to blow it up during the centuries. Information boards explain a lot of the history surrounding the castle, it being owned by Elizabeth I at one point.
During the month of August, there were lots of medieval demonstrations and displays. You could have a go at Longbow shooting and listen to knights explaining the importance of their armour. A very well informed gentleman was also explaining the importance of archers in their day. It took a decade to train an archer, for them to achieve the strength and accuracy required to fire up to 15 arrows a minute for up to an hour at a time.
He explained how battling sides used to negotiate ‘fighting terms’ – the equivalent of two schools arranging a scrap – and how some nations cheated… The inventions of guns took all the fun out of these types of battles apparently!
The National Trust provide lots of information aimed at children, and they had booklets to explain things to them. Lots of the children seemed really engaged in learning about the castle which was great to see.
Once we’d had our fill we visited the Bankes Arms in Corfe for lunch. The food was lovely, ranging from around £8-15 for a main meal with a real nice seating area. We sat down out the back, only to listen to a woman hollering at her husband/partner, so we retired to the front of the pub where peace reigned!
We leave Corfe tomorrow for Devizes, so we bought some provisions from the local shop, Clealls and made our way back to the site. The footpath back is clearly marked and only takes about 15 minutes.