Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Isle of Wight: Carisbrooke Castle (part 1)

I’m finally able to continue posting about our adventures in the Isle of Wight in March.  This is the first part of our visit to Carisbrooke Castle.

The day after our exciting adventure on the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, Stephen and I drove on up to Carisbrooke Castle.  Carisbrooke is built atop a hill and the main walls and keep have been a that location since about 1100 CE.  I have a lifelong fascination with castles and ruins and I would rate Carisbrooke the best of all the castles I have seen in terms of ruins and ancient-but-standing structures.  Perhaps I should let my photos do the talking?

Carisbrooke Castle 01

I love how this photo turned out.  It was very exciting walking into the castle and this photo seemed to represent the wonder that lay beyond the gate.

Carisbrooke Castle - Gatehouse

The first known usage of the hilltop dates back to the sixth century AD when the site was used as an Anglo-Saxon cemetery.  It was later used as a defence base against Danish raids and that base was used after the Norman conquest in 1066 as the basis for the first Norman castle on the island.  This was then replaced by the present castle in around 1100 and this gatehouse has been around since that time.  Originally, it was only a tower and the round projecting drum towers were added later.

Carisbrooke Castle 04Carisbrooke Castle 03

We took a quick walk around the North West bastion before entering the castle through the gatehouse. 

Carisbrooke Castle - Careys Mansion

We caught our first glimpse of the ruins of Carey’s Mansion.  Carey was governor of the island and cousin to Elizabeth I.  His mansion was originally two storeys high and was built between 1584 and 1586.

Carisbrooke Castle - The Gatehouse Carisbrooke Castle 06

We turned around to look at the inner gates of the gatehouse.  That is the original medieval gate and you can click on the photos to see them in higher resolution.

Carisbrooke Castle - Bernini bust of Charles I

Carisbrooke Castle - Chapel of St NicholasCarisbrooke Castle - Chapel of St Nicholas

The original Chapel of St Nicholas was on the site long before the rest of the castle was built around it in 1100 but it has been rebuilt several times and was last rebuilt in 1904.  In the photos above, you can see Bernini’s bust of Charles I and main war memorial on the island.

Carisbrooke Castle 11 

We then visited Princess Beatrice’s gardens which were completely redesigned and replanted in 2009.  The gardens looked quite exquisite and I am sure that they must look absolutely amazing now in summer.

Carisbrooke Castle 12

That building in the right hand corner is the Great Hall and Constable’s Lodging.  That is where we shall visit next time! 

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20 comments

  1. It's a great place (been there myself!) - some lovely info too. When are you going to do a series in the East Midlands? Pics could have the "Emm in EM" label (he he)

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  2. Great photographs Emm!

    I wish my budget was better, because I really do want to hop on a plane and visit England.

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  3. This is just the type of castle I would feel most at home with. I love the fact that, although it's a medieval castle of sorts, it still differs in its construction boasting some fascinating lines and roof tops.

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  4. Carisbrooke Castle is great! I love the Isle of wight, thanks very much for the read :)

    I'm writing a blog about London and my holiday to Finland, you might like to check it out :)

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  5. You're right, it's a great castle! It's amazing to have a structure so ancient still standing. Thanks for telling us about it!

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  6. Those old stones look really impressive, I specially like Princess Beatrice's gardens, with those superb walls. It's just — wow, I need to go there someday! Thank you for this walk, Emm!

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  7. It still looks well-kept after all this time. I have never been to a real castle and it looks like you had the whole place to yourself.

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  8. I really love castles, too, and England definitely is the place for them. I did a "castle tour" about ten years ago. These pictures remind me that it's been too long, and I need to go again.

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  9. This place looks so full of yumminess! I hope that we'll get a chance to go. I must review your "getting there" post. To drive or not to drive? I remember something about a ferry...

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  10. @ Revivor: Ha ha! Too funny. Actually, I hope to visit the East Midlands within the year. I have so many friends from that general area (most of whom I met through Livejournal or this blog)!!

    @ Phoenix: Thnak you! Just know that when you do arrive, you are welcome to stay with us!

    @ Lauren: You're right - this castle had some of the best lines that I have seen in a castle to date. It was just lovely.

    @ Gemma: Your blog is lovely! Thank you for finding me on BlogCatalog too.

    @ Kathy: Thank you! I really do love living in a country so old but having dipped my toes into Eastern Europe and Turkey, I now know that "ancient" is relative and England is a baby comparatively.

    @ Fullet: This is one of my favourite castles out of the ones that I have visited. I would really recommend it!

    @ AVCr8teur: Oh no! There were actually loads of school parties about but you have to take care not to photograph children without a parent's permission so we tried to avoid them! We are very lucky in England to have English Heritage to take care of places like this.

    @ ♥N: I love castle-hopping, as i like to call it. And yes, do pop by again!

    @ JaPRA: It was soooo easy to drive down but I see that Southern do a route right from London to the Isle of Wight. I must say though, navigating around IOW without a car would be too scary for me so I would recommend the ferry. That way, you can go to that awesome fish and chip restaurant right by the ferry terminal.

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  11. It looks like a fantastic place to explore. I love old castles and ruins, it's such a shame we didn't have time when we visited the Isle of Wight.

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  12. Hi Emm, You already how much I love your photographs!
    I love those ones! Magical and haunting!
    Those pictures are literally reflective..they suggest an essential harmony between nature and culture.
    It seems such a fascinating place to visit!

    And thank you so much for your lovely, brilliant comments on my blog and support. It means the absolute world! Always great to see you!

    Big hugs!
    Betty xx

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  13. Looks like it has witnessed a lot of events both glorious and tragic. I like the atmosphere about it and it feels like you've really gotten to know the place.

    The weekend is almost here. Are you excited?

    Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comment. Come visit again tomorrow!

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  14. I also love to visit castles and have visited loads of them all over Scotland...Carisbrooke Castle looks like the kind of castle that I would get a real buzz from visiting...

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  15. Great pics, this looks like an amazing place to visit. The south coast of England is littered with defensive castles to warn off those pesky French.

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  16. Wonderful castle and ruins, and so are your photos. Thanks for your nice comment. I would love to visit London som day, but I`m glad that I live in Norway:-)
    Have a nice day:-)

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  17. Thanks for stopping by my place & taking the time to comment. I so glad you did because I love this adventure you have taken me on! Great photos & info. I'll be back.
    Blessings

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  18. @ John: Indeed, it is a big pity because this is one of the better castles I have seen. The indoors part and museum is better at Warwick and Dover but the structural and outdoors part is amazing here.

    @ Betty: I agree! Many of these ancient structures seem to blend with nature, unlike our modern buildings! And thank you - you rock.

    @ Joy: Yes, I think that is why I love visiting castles so much! The scenes that must have played out there!!!

    @ William: I am hoping to visit some castles in September when we visit Scotland. Can't wait.

    @ Ryan: You are so right! I am certainly living in the right place for castle hopping!!

    @ Spiderama: Thank you! I am trying to work on better and better photos over time. I would certainly love to visit Norway one day!

    @ Campbell Jane: It is a pleasure - you have a lovely blog! I hope you enjoyed the adventure!

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  19. You know, I have several postcards of Carisbrooke Castle and quite frankly they don't do it justice. I had no idea it looked as good or was as ancient. Your pictures are so much better than the cards. :)

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