Carisbrooke Castle : Michelin's recommendations
In 1100 Richard de Redvers built the keep and the ramparts on the site of a Roman fort. Carisbrooke was the family's seat until the death of the ambitious Countess Isabella in 1293, when Edward I bought the castle and installed crown-appointed governors. The last resident governor, Queen Victoria's daughter, Princess Beatrice, died there in 1944. The castle withstood attack by the French in the 14C, but was further fortified in the late 16C against the Spanish. During the imprisonment of Charles I in 1647-48 prior to his trial in London, the bowling green was created for his entertainment and he is said to have walked daily around the battlements. He also made two attempts to escape through the castle windows. After passing through the Elizabethan gateway (1598) the visitor crosses a bridge to the massive 14C gatehouse with twin drum towers. The Norman curtain wall encloses the high motte and 12C shell keep (views for miles around), the 13C St Nicholas chapel (rebuilt in 1904) and a series of private apartments around the late 12C Great Hall that houses a museum of island history. An interactive exhibit in the Old Coach House provides an insight into life in the castle, and the new Donkey Centre houses the famous Carisbrooke donkeys. The latter give regular demonstrations of the unique 1587 treadmill used to draw water from the 49m-deep well in the well-house.
- Phone : 01983522107
- Prices : free of charge