Corfe Castle dominates the village of the same name and both are very popular visitor attractions. Originally a Saxon stronghold, the present castle dates from the 11th century and was built in a commanding gap in the hills, guarding the entrance to Purbeck. It became a Royal fortress and has a dark and murderous past! In the English Civil War, it was a Royalist stronghold which eventually fell to Parliamentary forces, who 'slighted' (partly demolished) it. This partly explains the ruinous state it is in today. Some believe Corfe was Enid Blyton's inspiration for Kirrin Castle in the 'Famous Five' books.