Durlston Castle is located on the southern side of Swanage within Durlston Country Park.
The castle was designed by the Weymouth architect G.R. Crickmay (1830-1907) and built by W.M. Hardy in 1886 to 1887 entirely of local Purbeck stone. Durlston Castle was never a real castle and was purpose built by George Burt as a restaurant for the visitors to his estate.
Below Durlston Castle the Great Globe which is made of stone and is one of the largest stone spheres in the world. The Great Globe is constructed of Portland stone. It weighs 40 tons and is 3.0 m (10 feet) in diameter.
The footpaths around Durlston Castle and Great Globe are lined with cast iron bollards that were brought from London, there are also numerous stone plaques which are carved with quotations from the Bible and Shakepeare, maps and facts from the natural world.
The castle played a part in the evolution of radio and telecommunications in the early 1890’s when a team of Marconi's engineers used the roof of the castle for some of their early wireless experiments to transmit to the Isle of Wight.
In 2008 Durlston Castle was awarded a £3.23m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund to refurbish the building. A further £2m was raised through fundraising, sponsorship and grants.
The building work started in April 2011 and was completed in November 2011.
The restored Durlston Castle now houses a new Visitor Centre to Durlston Country Park and National Nature Reserve, and stands as a gateway to the Jurassic Coast.
The Seventhwave cafe and restaurant offers a range of food and drinks.
The Fine Foundation Gallery offers a varied programme of art exhibitions, live music and performance and interactive displays