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Corfe Castle

The castle was the stronghold of Lady Bankes during the English Civil War, until an employee betrayed her to her enemies, the Roundheads, who were smuggled into the castle allowing them to attack from within. The castle was later blown up and left in ruins to prevent it becoming "an opposition stronghold" again, and although Lady Bankes was treated well, she now returns as a spectre, walking the grounds with her head stooped low, usually making her way outside the castle walls to the Corfe River below. Additionally, weeping and a headless "White Lady" have also been mentioned too; this female phantom is sometimes said to walk the battlements - she is reputed to be the lady who betrayed the castle and its occupants to the besiegers and was, according to some, executed; however, some versions of the legend say that this ghost is Lady Bankes herself. Moaning and groaning have been heard in the dungeons; they are believed to emanate from noblemen who were left to starve to death after they had fallen foul of King John. The ghost of King Edward the Martyr, predecessor to Ethelred, returns here, where he spent his time hunting. As he lingered near an old well, he was murdered by an assassin under the orders of his stepmother Queen Elfrida who had wanted her son Ethelred to be the king. Lights near the well and the gatehouse are claimed to be linked to King Edward. There is also said to be a crying child, observed in the castle grounds and inside a cottage next to the ruins. It is thought that this youngster could be the child of the 4th Lord of Bramber; not liked by the King, the Lord's wife and child were starved at the castle. There are also tales of flickering lights being seen in the grounds too.

Link: Daily Mirror

Link: The Express

Link: Dorset Echo

Link: National Trust


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