Parish Church

St King Edward, King and Martyr

The parish church is on the opposite side of the square from the castle and is dedicated to King Edward who was killed in 978, reputedly on the orders of his “wicked” stepmother. Folklore has it that the church stands on the site of a blind woman’s cottage where the King’s body was taken after the murder.

St Edwards Church, Corfe Castle

St Edwards Church, Corfe Castle

In the 13th century a large church was built for a congregation of artisans, workers and retainers connected with the castle as well as the inhabitants of a town sufficiently large and flourishing to have two members of parliament.

During the seventeenth century the struggle between king and parliament and between puritanism and conservative tendencies in the church was felt in Corfe Castle. One rector was sacked for not being sufficiently puritan! In the civil war Parliamentary gunners took over the church, took the lead from its roof to make shot and caused no less than £50 worth of damage, a huge sum in those days. Its decline seem to have continued in the next century and even into the nineteenth.

By 1859 the state of the church was so bad that everything except the tower was demolished and a new church in gothic style built. It has to be said that the new building suits the village ideally and after a century and a half has blended in remarkably well.

More more information, including Services, News and Events, visit the St Edward, King and Martyr Church website.

More information can also be found on the Dorset Churches Website.