Carisbrooke Castle has stories to intrigue any visitor. This mighty medieval fortress was a prison for a tragic king and home of Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter. Founded around 1100, the castle was key to the Isle of Wight’s defense for over nine centuries. First, enjoy an overview of the people and events which have shaped the castle’s history by watching an introductory film. Then, patrol the battlements and climb the steep steps up the massive castle mound for unrivalled views from the Norman keep.
Explore the powerful medieval gatehouse and the ruins of Carey’s Mansion. Discover the stronghold’s original domestic buildings, adapted by later residents. See the room from which Charles I attempted to escape – but got stuck in the window bars. Enjoy the Edwardian-style Princess Beatrice Garden, with its fountain and plantings in the rich colors of the royal arms.
Don’t forget to greet the Carisbrooke donkeys on their daily 10-minute stint of treading the water wheel – demonstrating how it was used for centuries to draw up water from the castle well.
Finally admire the statue of the war horse Warrior, loaned to English Heritage as part of the commemoration of the centenary of the First World War.
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