|The Keep at Corfe Castle|
Ironically, although fortified to be impregnable, the skeletal ruins that stand today were destroyed from within. This fascinating ruin, which attracts millions of visitors, was caused by a "turncoat" during the civil war, who gave entry into the castle from the inside, thereby allowing Cromwell's army to enter the castle to destroy everything in their path. Today, the skeletal remains reveal evidence of a stronghold that predated the Norman Conquest, and the site of the assassination of Edward the Martyr in March 978. The surviving structure of the later castle dates to the 11th century.
Cromwell's army fought the most remarkable Lady Bankes, a Royalist, who cared for the castle while her husband, Sir John was called away by Charles I, earning her the name "Brave Dame Mary" as well as the respect of the Parliamentary commander; who was so impressed with her courage that he allowed her to leave the castle with her garrison and the keys to the castle once the Roundheads finally persuaded her to surrender.