just as you would imagine a castle to be when you were a child
and pretty much complete.
Sited in the middle of the Isle of Wight the castle began life
around 1000 AD when the Anglo Saxons built a wall around the
hill to defend themselves against Viking raids, soon after the
Norman invasion of 1066 a castle was built within the existing
In 1100 Carisbrooke was granted to Richard de Redvers, and over
the next two hundred years his descendants carried out an extensive
building programme at the castle. The last Redvers resident Countess
Isabella de Fortibus sold it to King Edward I shortly before she
died (1293) and the castle has remained a crown property for many
Later development of the castle was largely influenced by the threat
of invasion from France and Spain.
The castle was also used to imprison King Charles I who arrived
at Carisbrooke in November 1647. He twice tried to escape, but
his attempts failed and he remained at the castle until September
1648, just five months before his execution in Whitehall.
The castle has been the official residence of the governor of the
Isle of Wight until the death of the last resident governor, Princess
Beatrice, in 1944. Since then it has been managed as an ancient