Carisbrooke Castle is a motte and bailey style castle situated in the picturesque village of Carisbrooke, near Newport on the Isle of Wight. The site was originally occupied during the 8th century, as an Anglo-Saxon stronghold, and again around the year 1000, when a wall was built around the hill, to protect it from Viking raids. Over the next two centuries, the castle was owned by the de Redvers family, who vastly updated and enhanced it with the addition of stone walls, a stone keep and a stone tower. It fell out of ownership of the family when Countess Isabella sold it to Edward I in 1293.
In 1377, when King Richard II reigned, the French attempted to attack and seize the castle, without success. A local hero by the name of Peter de Heyno saved the day by shooting the French commander.
Nearly three centuries later, in the mid 1600's, King Charles I was held prisoner at Carisbrooke Castle for fourteen months, before being executed in 1649. He reputedly attempted to escape via the window of his prison, but was unable to get through the bars! Charles's two youngest children were also imprisoned there, the youngest of which - Princess Elizabeth - died there at just 14 years of age.
Before becoming owned and controlled by English Heritage, Carisbrooke Castle was last occupied by Princess Beatrice, daughter of Queen Victoria and Governess of the Isle of Wight from 1896-1944.
Today, Carisbrooke Castle is home to the Isle of Wight Museum, and the Great Hall, Great Chamber and many of the smaller rooms (most of which are at least partly furnished) are open to visits from the public. The cost is £7.70 for adults and £4.60 for children.