THE spectacular ruins of Corfe Castle provide an atmospheric backdrop for a weekend of historic falconry on Saturday 30th June and Sunday 1st July, when the National Trust team welcomes falconers who will help visitors to learn more about this ancient sport.
Flying displays will transport visitors back to the 17th century when falconry was a popular pursuit among those rich enough to afford it. There will be an opportunity to meet some magnificent birds of prey and their handlers, and to discover the fate of falconers when civil war strife took precedence over sport.
From the middle ages to the 17th century, falconry was strongly embedded in English culture and a medium through which highborn families signified their wealth and power. Visitors will hear about the political context that led to Oliver Cromwell banning falconry after the English Civil War and learn from the falconers about the birds of prey that would have been kept and flown at Corfe Castle.
The falconers will be the castle from 10am to 5pm both days, displaying their birds, and ready for questions and an informal chat. There will be flying displays at 11.30am and 2pm, when a variety of birds of prey will be flown.
Pictured: Falconry at Corfe Castle ©National Trust/Neil Davidson