Slighted by Parliament

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

I captured this image of the crumbling walls of Corfe Castle some time ago. I often wondered how it came to be a ruin?

Corfe Walls

The building has been around for a 1000 years. Recently, I was researching how it fell into the ruinous state that it is in. Well, well, well...

The National Trust says, "After six centuries of keeping enemies at bay, an Act of Parliament was passed at Wareham to destroy the castle. Captain Hughes of Lulworth was given the job of demolishing it. His sappers dug deep holes packed with gunpowder to bring the towers and ramparts crashing down, resulting in the yawning gaps and crazy angles we see today." Of Slighting Wikipedia says "Slighting is the act of deliberately damaging a high-status building (especially a castle or fortification) and its contents and the surrounding area. Castles are complex structures combining military, social, and administrative uses,and the decision to slight them took these various roles into account. The purpose of slighting was to reduce the value of the building, whether military, social, or administrative.

The first recorded use of the word 'slighting' to mean a form of destruction was in 1613. Destruction often went beyond what was needed to prevent an enemy from using the fortification, indicating the damage was important symbolically. Looking at Corfe Castle now I'd say they went beyond what was needed... I hope you like the image - C



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