Rufus Castle

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Rufus Castle

Rufus or Bow and Arrow Castle is a very ancient structure in the form of a pentagon, and is full of small loopholes, from which it evidently derives its name of Row and Arrow Castle. It appears to have been the keep of a castle.

It is sometimes called Rufus Castle because it ways probably built by that King. In 1148, Robert Earl of Gloucester took it from King Stephen for the Empress Maud. Little mortar or cement was used in the construction of the walls, which are roughly built of native ashlar. Three of the sides are considerably longer than the two others. On the side next the cliff there are no openings, which shows that it was originally constructed on the edge of the cliff.

In the middle of each of the two principal faces exposed to assault area large corbels formed of three stones projecting outwardly beyond each other, which probably formed the support of an overhanging gallery, from which aft enemy approaching the walls could be advantageously annoyed with missiles. These corbels are in groups of three close together. The wall on the South side has now disappeared and the entrance which formerly existed is represented by the present archway. No trace remains of the ” steepes of stone;’ from the Church to the Castle, referred to in Grose’s Antiquities and Coker’s Dorset. The field adjoining the Castle is known as “Castle Hays” A view of the castle as it existed in 1756 is still extant.

33 BOW-ARROW-CASTLE-in-Portland-Dorsetshire-Rufus-Castle-by-J-C-Smith-W-Woolnoth-c-1808-Beauties-of-England-Wales gallery_32_14_1092319136 rUFUS_cASTLE

Bow and Arrow Castle, Isle of Portland, engraved by W.B. Cooke published 1817 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Transferred from the British Museum 1988 http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T05975