Medieval Village at Corfe Castle

RE-ENACTORS will present a medieval village at Corfe Castle, bringing history to life for visitors in the peak summer period to Monday 19th August.

They will portray characters from the turbulent 12th century, when the castle was on the front line in a bitter civil war. Knights, scribes and siege engineers are among those who will be at the castle during the summer holidays.

Visitors can learn some of the skills you’d need to become a noble knight in Medieval Knight Academy, daily at 11.30am and 1.30pm, meet the siege engineer and find out how castles like Corfe were attacked and defended, daily at 3.30pm, have a go with a crossbow, learn about medieval penmanship and have a go at illuminations, calligraphy and heraldry with a quill and ink and try out 12th-century board games.

The Medieval Village is open from 10am to 5pm each day and is a free event, though normal admission charges apply. There is no charge for members of the National Trust.

The death of King Henry I in 1135 was followed by nearly two decades years of strife as his daughter, the Empress Matilda, and his nephew, Stephen of Blois, fought for control of England and Normandy.

Corfe Castle was held by one of Matilda’s supporters and was besieged by Stephen before threats elsewhere forced him to break off the attack.

So complete was the breakdown of law and order in this period it was known as The Anarchy.

Pictured: View of the Castle from the West Hill, Corfe Castle Dorset © National Trust/ Jon Bish