Carisbrooke Castle is one of the Isle of Wight’s most fascinating attractions. Its long story includes a murdered king, a ghost princess, mysterious Roman foundations, charismatic donkeys, and much, much more. With over 1000 years of history, panoramic views right over the Island, and plenty to see and do, it will provide a truly memorable family day out.
Carisbrooke Castle Facts
It is likely that there has been a fortification on the Carisbrooke site since Roman times, but the Castle visitors see today dates largely from the 12th to the 15th century. Carisbrooke Castle is most famous as the place where Charles I was held prior to his execution by Oliver Cromwell’s Parliamentarians. His two youngest children were also imprisoned there following his execution, and the castle is said to be haunted by the unfortunate King’s young daughter, Princess Elizabeth, who died during her incarceration in the Castle.
The English royal family held no hard feelings towards Carisbrooke however, as from 1896 to 1944 it was the home of Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria’s daughter. She was very fond of both Carisbrooke Castle and the Isle of Wight, and did much to enhance both. Modern visitors can enjoy beautiful Edwardian-style gardens created in her honour.
The Carisbrooke Castle museum contains a wealth of fascinating facts about the Castle and its history. The museum has won several awards, and provides a comprehensive and entertaining view of the Castle’s history.
Carisbrooke Castle Today
Today, the Castle is operated by English Heritage, who open it to the public through the spring and summer. Full opening times can be found on their website. Visitors are welcome to relax in the gardens, or climb the Castle battlements and enjoy the views over the Isle of Wight. You can even visit the Carisbrooke Castle donkeys, which are famed all over the Isle of Wight. They can be seen giving demonstrations of the way their ancestors would have worked the 16th century treadmill, and very much enjoy the attention they get from visitors.
Carisbrooke Castle Events
English Heritage hosts a lot of events at Carisbrooke Castle. Jousting is a regular feature, and it’s just as thrilling now as it was in the Middle Ages! There is a full programme of events throughout the summer, including a knight school, pitched battles between troops in suits of armour, and a spooky Halloween adventure.
Even when there are no events running, visitors will find plenty of interactive entertainment. You can dress up as a soldier, watch a fun film about the Castle, and even learn how to fire a cannon. If you’ve ever wanted to know what life as a knight was like, this is the place to come.
Out of the Box at Carisbrooke Castle
From 16 February to 3 November 2019, Out of the Box is a new exhibition that combines displays drawn from Carisbrooke Castle Museum’s extensive collection of historic artefacts with contemporary artistic responses created by QuayCrafts, an Island-based group of artist makers who work in a wide range of media including textiles, ceramics, print and photography.
Getting to Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
Getting to Carisbrooke Castle is easy. Our Fishbourne ferry will drop you only six miles from the Castle. If you’re feeling fit, it’s an easy cycle ride from Fishbourne to Carisbrooke. If you prefer to travel in a little more comfort, the Isle of Wight’s buses regularly pass close by the entrance. If you’ve got a car with you, it’s barely any time at all from the Fishbourne ferry terminal to your day out at the Castle.
To get your visit started, visit our easy online booking page now.
Castle Hill, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 1XY, England
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