Saturday, 29 October 2011

Five on Kirrin Island again or a day at Corfe Castle

We recently enjoyed spending time with our family from Australia. Our daughter-in-law is Australian so we wanted to show her some of the lovely places in England and one such place is Corfe Castle, popularly believed to be the inspiration behind Kirrin Castle in the Famous Five books written by Enid Blyton.

Enid Blyton first visited Dorset in 1931 and quickly fell in love with the area. She made regular visits to Swanage where, in the 1950s, she bought the old Isle of Purbeck Golf Club featured in Five Have a Mystery to Solve. She and her husband later acquired Manor Farm at Stourton Caundle, near Sturminster Newton (just up the road from where we live) where Five on Finniston Farm is set.

We hadn't visited Corfe for several years so imagine our surprise and delight when we happened across the lovely Ginger Pop Shop - a tiny shop bursting with Enid Blyton books and memorabilia. Situated next to the Post Office in the village square the shop has a wonderful view of the castle from its window.  We may well have walked right past the shop (on our way to a pub lunch) if it hadn't been for the ‘Wishing Chair’ sitting outside the shop – what a brilliant piece of advertising – whoever thought of it should be congratulated!  Next to the chair is a stack of Enid Blyton paperbacks – how could we not stop and go in?  Once inside we were not disappointed, there are so many lovely things to see including books, toys, games, jigsaws and (of course) Ginger Beer. Check the website for details of opening times.

We picked a beautiful sunny day in October for our visit and suitably refreshed we set out to walk around the castle.  Corfe is managed by the National Trust - this from their website - a favourite haunt for adults and children alike, you can’t fail to be captivated by these romantic castle ruins with breathtaking views. With fallen walls and secret places, there are tales of treachery and treason around every corner. Feel history come to life and see the wildlife that has set up home in these fascinating castle ruins.

The only thing we didn’t see was much wildlife, probably because several school parties arrived at the same time as us, but if you visit between February and May you might be lucky enough to see the Ravens.

The photograph on the left shows four of the "infamous five!" exploring the castle ruins (I took the photo). I'm not sure Georgina would approve of so many visitors to her castle - this from Five on Kirrin Island Again -

Everyone knew about the little island off Kirrin Bay that belonged to George. Kirrin Island was a tiny place with an old ruined castle in the middle of it: the home of rabbits and gulls and jackdaws. It had underground dungeons, in which George and her cousins had had one or two amazing adventures. It had once belonged to George's mother, and she had given it to George - and George was very fierce where her precious Kirrin Island was concerned! It was hers. Nobody else must live there, or even land there without her permission.  
Sorry George but we will be back!

Thanks for calling in.


  1. Lovely post, Barbara. I went to Corfe Castle when I was 10-ish, on a holiday in Dorset. I must look out the photos!

  2. barbaraannefisher29 October 2011 at 14:05

    Hi AliB
    Glad you enjoyed it.
    Don't forget to post those photos (on Twitter or your blog) and let me know so that I can have a nosy!
    Best wishes, Barbara.

  3. My elder sister loved the Famous Five series. (I didn't fall in love with it because it was beyond my reading level then, and afterwards I was always more fascinated with the fairies and goblins instead.) I love the wishing chair shot. How quaint. And your family looks lovely!

  4. barbaraannefisher29 October 2011 at 15:13

    I adored the Famous Five back then and still love the artwork and dust jackets. I’m trying to collect the set in 1st editions and have got all but two – I’ve been trying to find those last two for ages but whenever I see one it’s always too expensive. We do have a lovely family and we really enjoyed spending time with them.

  5. Looks like such a lovely place, and by all your smiles you enjoyed it too. Families are precious. Glad you could spend the time with them.

  6. barbaraannefisher29 October 2011 at 16:36

    Hello Donna
    It really is a most beautiful place – if you ever get the chance to visit you should. We now have lots more good memories.

  7. Great photos Barbara! I especially like the one of the Famous Five!

  8. What a fun day out and what a lovely family you have.

  9. barbaraannefisher29 October 2011 at 20:20

    Book Bug
    Thank you! I'm glad you like them.

  10. barbaraannefisher29 October 2011 at 20:21

    Thank you Alex, it was a fun day and I do have a lovely family.

  11. Sounds like you had the perfect day out, Barbara! Looks like a lovely place - will have to visit someday.

  12. Beautiful your photos.


    THANKS for stopping by my blog.


  13. barbaraannefisher30 October 2011 at 20:02

    Thank you! I love your blog too.

  14. barbaraannefisher30 October 2011 at 20:03

    Hello Sophie
    It really was a perfect day, and yes, you should visit - if you get the chance.


I really appreciate your comment. Thank you!
Barbara xx

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