Carisbrooke Castle

Isle of Wight, U.K.

Carisbrooke Castle can be found near Newport on the Isle of Wight. I drove there using a GPS, but from Newport it's well signposted so quite easy to find.

There's a large carpark next to the castle and the parking fee is taken off the entrance fee to the castle. Parts of the castle date back to the 12th century and it has been added to through the subsequent centuries. It was last used as a home by Queen Victoria's youngest daughter Princess Beatrice. She used the castle as her summer home, and it was considered her private home until 1944. (When Princess Beatrice died) It's now run by English Heritage and open to the public.

I went and visited the castle on a rather wet and drizzly day, there weren't a lot of other people around and there's a cafe onsite offering warm drinks (along with some sweets to wash the drinks down with!)

Once the rain had cleared up a bit I was able to do up onto the walls and looked down into the castle grounds. This picture shows the Chapel of St Nicholas in the centre, to the right is Princess Beatrice's garden. The small building with the peaked roof just past the chapel is the Wellhouse. The highest building in the background is the castle museum and the Great Hall.

The Carisbrooke Castle Museum is a separate entity in the museum and run independently of English Heritage who run the rest of the castle. The Museum was founded in 1898 by Princess Beatrice in memory of her husband Prince Henry of Battenberg who had just died. He had been Governor of Carisbrooke Castle. The museum does note that it's the only public museum in the U.K. founded by a member of the Royal Family.

The Chamber organ, it's the oldest working chamber organ in the U.K. It was presented to Princess Beatrice on her 80th birthday. I have to admit I thought it was a rather ornate cabinet!

King Charles I's bedroom, he had been imprisoned at Carisbrooke Castle for fourteen months prior to his execution. The bedroom has been recreated. Two of his children were also imprisoned at Carisbrooke Castle, one Princess Elizabeth died there aged 14. Before being moved to the Isle of Wight she protested that she was not well enough to travel, was moved regardless and she caught pneumonia and died at the castle not long after arriving there. Two hundred years later Queen Victoria commissioned a sculpture of Princess Elizabeth in white marble which is in the museum.

During the time Princess Beatrice lived in the castle she used the room that had been King Charles' bedroom as a dining room and the stagheads date from that time.

Princess Beatrice garden, the garden was reestablished this century within the walls of the privy garden that Princess Beatrice used. The statue of the horse and rider were placed in the garden in 2014 to commemorate the 100 years since the beginning of World War I. The horse is Warrior, a war horse bred on the Isle of Wight, he survived and returned home to live to be 33.

The Chapel of St Nicholas, Princess Beatrice rebuilt the chapel in 1904 and then it became the island's war memorial following the death of her son Maurice in 1914. The picture shows the back of the chapel with the bust of Charles I.

The castle grounds hold a Wellhouse with a working donkey wheel. Deep down under the castle is a well, it's really deep as there was quite a wait when the Well house guide dropped the bucket in the well, to when you hear the splash. A donkey walking on a wooden wheel was used to raise up the buckets of water. There are donkeys living on the castle grounds and at certain times, different donkeys operate the donkey wheel for visitors. The Wellhouse is very small and even visiting the castle on a rainy day with not many visitors, the Wellhouse was packed, however it was interesting to experience. 

View from the castle walls, the flat area at the base of the photo is called the Bowling Green, as Charles I used to play bowls here. It was also used as an area for soldiers to parade on.

The town of Carisbrooke with St. Mary's Church prominent in the distance.

Carisbrooke Castle is one of the Isle of Wight's major attractions, it's well preserved and some different things to do and see, it all makes for an interesting visit. (Even on a rainy day!)