Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle A glimpse of the Norman Castle remains after which the village is named. BR Standard class 4 tank 80104 is approaching Corfe Castle Station from Norden on the preserved Swanage Railway on 16th September 2000.

photograph by Colin Duff.

The picturesque Dorset village of Corfe Castle, nestled in a natural gap in hills of dramatic geology, is dominated by the remains of a Norman castle. Through this gap was also constructed the branch line from the LSWR main line at Worgret Junction to Swanage, the tracks forming the eastern boundary to the village. Corfe Castle was in LSWR, SR and BR days the only intermediate station on the branch. Passenger services commenced on 20th May 1885 and goods services on 1st June.

The station building on the up side, built of local Purbeck stone enhanced with complex barge boards, a dummy dormer above forecourt entrance to the booking hall and ridge tiles of alternating size, is basically a four bedroomed station master's house with compact passenger accommodation on the ground floor, though it is also distinguished by a disproportionally large and well ventilated gentleman's lavatory! A passing loop was provided requiring up and down platforms and passenger access to the down platform has only ever been provided by a barrow crossing. A small signal box, to a standard LSWR pattern, was situated mid way along the down platform and it was remarkable in that it only had skylight windows facing the tracks. The small goods yard, with a stone goods shed, is on the up side of the line and its rail entry is from the Swanage direction. A goods siding was extended into the station forecourt and was for long a place for stabling camping coach(es) until they were abolished in 1968 as being uneconomic. The goods yard itself closed on 22nd November 1965.

Following the ending of steam operations the branch was worked as a "basic" railway by a DEMU until it was closed on 3 January 1972 - the last passenger service being on New Year's Day. The station site was then used for industrial purposes until acquired by the preserved Swanage Railway. Passenger trains to Corfe Castle from Swanage resumed on 12th August 1995. The down loop is now used for rolling stock storage and the down platform is not accessible by the public.

The station buildings from the forecourt on September 16th 2000. The outsize and airy Gents is on the left!

photograph by Colin Duff

Corfe The station is in an idyllic setting. Note the down loop used for wagon storage.

photograph by Colin Duff

The goods shed - now an interesting small museum.

photograph by Colin Duff


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