Carisbrooke Castle and the Tennyson Trail

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At one time the capital of the Isle of Wight, Carisbrooke - no larger than a village itself - embraces a fine medieval castle. This Norman structure, set high on a hill, was based on a Saxon fort that occupied the site during the 8th Century.
The village under the hill on which the castle stands was formerly a market town and the capital of the island. In the Domesday Book it is called Boncombe, a name still retained by the manor. Carisbrooke Castle is a compact and unusual arrangement of buildings spanning some 1,200 years, from fragments of a Saxon wall running below the Norman keep, to the Elizabethan and Jacobean influences seen in the various additions and enlargements to the basic 13th Century construction.
It is one of the oldest castles in England and is chiefly a Norman structure. Its erection is attributed to William Fitz-Osborne, who became lord of the island soon after the Norman Conquest. The original walls enclosed a square area of twelve acres. It was enlarged in the reigns of Richard II and Edward IV and in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, extensive additions were made. The walls then erected by Genebella, an Italian engineer, enclosed an area of twenty acres.
The church circa 15th Century has a spire rising 100 feet. The tower has a beautiful stone turret, battlements and pinnacles and is decorated with rows of gargoyles and queer animals. Halfway up are two figures holding a book on which is carved the date 1471. The elegant pulpit, with a doorway over it, is mid-17th Century; the font cover is about the same age. The oldest of three ancient gravestones has on it a quaint portrait of a prior, like a drawing of a child on a slate; it was done about 800 years ago. A picture painted on wood hangs on a wall in the nave in memory of William Keeling, an East India adventurer who discovered the Cocos Islands and attended James I. The picture shows a ship with Death at the prow, a beautiful woman at the stern and William Keeling in armour in a gay attitude by the mast. The Tennyson Trail is a classic, possibly the best inland trail on the island. It starts in the village of Carisbrooke and heads south-west towards Brighstone Forest. Fine views of the island and mainland are provided by its high aspect.
The whole trail is a challenging 15 miles long, from Carisbrooke Castle, Newport, to The Needles. The trail is of course, named after Alfred Lord Tennyson, former Poet Laureate and resident of the beautiful Isle of Wight. He moved here in 1853, living in nearby Farringford, Freshwater Bay; the natural surroundings were a source of inspiration to him. Another part of the trail is covered by Walk 3429, Brighstone Forest and Winkle Street.

England - South England - Isle of Wight - Countryside


Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Castle, Church, Flowers, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Museum, Public Transport, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland
4/30/2012 - Paddy Higgens

Walked 3829 on Tuesday 24th April 2012 with 19 friends. Very enjoyable walk. Free car park ar the castle but the toilets are inside the castle after the pay booth.

10/19/2011 - Walkingworld Admin

Roy Davenport reports that he has revisited this walk and all is OK. October 2011. Adrian (Admin)

8/24/2011 - IAN LITTLER

We did this walk on 22nd August 2011. It's a pleasant walk but there are long sections of the walk between high hedgerows or on sunken paths with trees on both sides. So maybe better done in winter or spring. We extended the walk at 6 by following the waymark saying 3/4 mile to Tennyson Trail rather than taking shortcut up the hill. Then Following the Tennyson Trail from next waymark back towards Carrisbrooke. This gave us some lovely views over the Solent and extended the walk by about 1 and 1/4 miles.

12/30/2009 - Robin Philpott

I did this walk on 28/12/09. A lovely easy walk to fill two hours. Be aware though that the first 2km are on well used bridleways and hence are extremely muddy. Wellies required.

5/11/2007 - Roy Davenport

Ok April 2007 RD

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