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Carisbrooke Castle 1875

REF NR: 1621

1: Carisbrooke Castle is but a short mile from Newport, on the edge of the village of Carisbrooke. The fortifications crown the crest of a steep hill, which seems as if it had been formed expressly for such a picturesque pile. By a winding, leafy foot-path, one approaches the imposing entrance, a lofty archway bearing the initials of Queen Elizabeth, and the date 1598. The turf-carpeted moat is crossed by a massive stone bridge, leading to the noble barbican erected by Antony Woodville. It is composed of two ponderous but elegant round towers, pierced with machicolations. The curtain which joins them is grooved for two portcullises, and bears the rose of the house of York and the Woodville escutcheon. Passing through this stately and venerable gateway, one enters the spacious courtyard of the castle, and finds himself surrounded by an unbroken circuit of brown, mouldering walls, profusely draped with ivy. On the left are the apartments occupied by Charles I. The roof has fallen in, but the fireplaces are still distinctly visible, and the divisions which marked his dining-hall and bedchamber. The window out of which he tried to escape is filled up with masonry, but the original outline remains. Climbing up to the summit of the barbican, the long, narrow walk along the ramparts leads one to the keep, on the north-east angle of the castle, said to stand on an artificial mound. It is an exceedingly venerable pile, erected by the Normans. They have seemingly wrought into it their sturdy and determined character. Like a sentinel who steadfastly remains at his post when all his comrades are gone, it towers above the land, grim and immovable, to guard the trophies of a race that long since passed away to the halls of oblivion. A light-house on a stormy coast, it braves alone the surges of ages, while from winter to winter wreck after wreck sweeps by. Its own turn must come at last.


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