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Bradshaw’s Guide


The village, Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight, England. Taken between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900. Original: Library of Congress

Carisbrooke, the former capital, where the governor used to reside. Old Church, close to some slight traces of a priory, founded after the Conquest, by William Fitz-Osborne, a Norman Knight, who built the Castle. This stands on a hill beyond the village and, including the wards, occupies a site of two acres within the walls. The fine gateway is machicolated, i.e., provided with slits for shooting arrows, &c., down on any one below. The keep commands a good view. There are some remains of the outer walls and towers; and they show (but this is doubtful) the window through which the unfortunate Charles I. tried to make his escape when imprisoned here 1648, in Colonel Hamond’s charge.

A modern-built chapel and the barracks are disused. There is a well 200 feet deep of pure cold water, which is raised by a patient ass. A candle is let down to show the depth to the visitors. The views from it are pleasing, but not remarkable. Parkhurst Forest is seen, but scantily wooded. Roads turn off to Gatcombe Park, and to Shorwell, under the Downs; but the views are much inferior to those obtained from their summit, along which however, there is no regular road.

At Swainstone, the seat of J. Simeon, Esq., a road turns off to Newtown, on a low creek of the Solent. It was a parliamentary borough till the reform bill disfranchised it; the town hall remains. The church was rebuilt 1837. All this coast is low and the least interesting of any in the Island.

Distances of Places from Carisbrooke
To: Miles.
Atherfield 6
Calbourne 4
Castle, The ½
Chillerton 3
Church, Old ¼
Gatcombe 2
Newport 1
Well, The

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