Carisbrooke Castle is a very interesting place. It lies just outside Newport, the Isle of Wight's biggest town. There are signs of settlement there going back to pre-Roman times, but most of the fortifications date to later than the Norman keep that sits on the motte (or mound) overlooking the site.
The castle has been remodelled several times, which can be seen even at the entrance gatehouse.
There was extensive remodelling of the castle during the sixteenth century under the guidance of Sir George Carey, due to the threat from the Spanish Armada. However, some of the buildings from this time are now in ruins.
The chapel of St Nicholas in Castro was renovated in 1904, after falling into disrepair through lack of use because the church in the village was more accessible to most people. It is now a memorial to Charles I as well as being the war memorial chapel for the Isle of Wight. There are some nice Edwardian woodcarvings on the pews, showing the symbols for the writers of the gospels.
The castle houses a very interesting museum with many of the exhibits concerned with King Charles I, who was imprisoned at Carisbrooke for fourteen months before being taken to his execution. His daughters were also imprisoned there and one, Princess Elizabeth, died there.
Quite a few of the exhibits are of interest to a carver. One is an ivory gaming piece, dating to Norman times, from a game called 'tables', which was similar to backgammon.