The stunning closed-off castle you will soon be able to see inside of

  • Watch Claire Manning's report

A castle in Dorset which has been closed for many years is now giving virtual tours of the site to be able to see inside.

Rufus Castle - built in 1450 - is known as picturesque and atmospheric ruin on Portland - perched on the cliff face overlooking Church Ope Cove.

Gerry Hinde, the owner of Rufus Castle, was born on Portland and grew up admiring the castle. He said: "I used to come to Church Ope Cove every weekend in the summertime and I used to look over the wall of this building when I was a child."

Dan Shorten from Guildhall Live Events has been working with his team to scan, video and photograph Rufus Castle from different angles. The team will then create a 3D model which when finished can be viewed on Portland Museum's website.

Dan said: "Obviously it is not quite the real thing but I think that these immersive technologies, what they can do is they can give you a sense of something that is not just static, you can move around, you can get a sense of the space and hopefully the atmosphere and the location."

He added: "Now while we know there has been a castle of some kind here for around 800 years, very little is documented about Rufus Castle and very few relics have been found.

"A cannon ball which is around 500 years old is one of the few items that have been found here it was found embedded in the cliffs underneath the castle." 

Credit: ITV West Country

It is likely the castle's structure was built to defend Church Ope Cove from enemy landings.

Talking to ITV West Country about the wealth of history, local archaeologist Gordon LePard said: "It looks at first like a lump of rock stuck out into the sea, but from the earliest times it was a favourite place for enemy ships to come and raid and they raided it on numerous occasions which is why the castle was built here it's built to stop enemy raiders."

He added: "You'll find references to the raiders being driven off, occasionally they devastated the island it has been a to and fro situation over the centuries up until the 15th century."

It is expected to be around two months before the 3D scan will be online and available to the public.