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Carisbrooke Castle

Visited June 2013

Location Newport, Isle of Wight
Entrance Fee Yes
Railway Station Nearby No
Parking Yes
Facilities Gift shop, Café, Toilets



Carisbrooke Castle is one of the biggest tourist attractions on the Isle of Wight, and it is also the biggest & main castle on the island.






It dates back to approx. 1100  when the whole island belonged to one family- the de Redvers. It started as a shell keep on a raised motte, and was added to extensively over the years. It was upgraded and re-fortified at the time of the Spanish Armada, which sailed past and threatened to seize the Isle of Wight.


Its most famous role in history was probably as a prison for Charles I after he was captured during the Civil War. He was kept in relative luxury at first,  being allowed out to stroll through the grounds and even playing bowls on the castle lawn. However, his freedoms were greatly curtailed because he was constantly plotting to reignite the war, and even tried to escape from the castle, he was only foiled when he became stuck fast between the window bars!




Much later, in the Victorian era, the Queens daughter Beatrice was made Governor of the Isle of Wight and the castle was used as her summer home. The recently planted garden which bears her name recognises her custodianship of the castle.


There are also a number of donkeys who live at the castle and still work the well which in the past provided water for the castle. They are in a long line of donkeys who have performed this duty, all their names have begun with 'J', which was how Charles I signed his plotting letters when he was a prisoner here. The donkeys are very popular with the tourists, and there are daily displays of them working the treadmills.




Review of the castle by Biggest Sis: 


Carisbrooke Castle was Great!!


Children will really love the donkeys- I met two called Jack & Jill. They were really cute and you may get to stroke them. The gardens are quite nice and there is even the opportunity to watch a short film in the barn.


The museum is really interesting and you can try on outfits (some of the hats are  really heavy.) Photography is allowed in the museum as long as the flash is turned off.


There is a café and a gift shop. So if you have the kind of children who like buying things then beware- you have to enter and exit through the gift shop.






More info:  English Heritage Carisbrooke Castle

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