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Carisbrooke Castle has been the most important stronghold on the Isle of Wight from at least Saxon times. The keep and main walls were built soon after the Norman conquest, and the castle was frequently updated over the centuries - under the threat of Spanish invasion in Elizabeth I's reign it was transformed into a state-of-the-art artillery fortress. During the Civil War it was used as a prison, most famously housing Charles I, who twice attempted - and failed - to escape while he was held here in 1647-8. The castle also served as a magnificent residence for the lords and governors of the Isle of Wight, including Princess Beatrice, Queen Victoria's youngest daughter, who used Carisbrooke as her summer home until 1938. This guidebook provides a full tour and history of the castle and its occupants.
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