The castle at Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight had strategic importance in the face of a possible Spanish invasion. Modifications were made to the inner bailey in 1587, and more extensive bastions and outer works were constructed between 1597 and 1602 to the design of the Italian FederigoGiainibelli. These included the creation of arrow-headed bastions.
Yarmouth Castle on the Isle of Wight retains a number of Ministry signs. One on the upper gun deck reminds visitors ‘to avoid accidents’.
For other types of Ministry warning signs:
- ‘Please keep off banks’ [Dirleton]
- Uneven and slippery steps [Easby Abbey] [Brougham]
- ‘Do not climb over railings’ [Tantallon Castle]
- ‘Beware open medieval culverts’ [Melrose Abbey]
- ‘Do not climb on the walls’ [Lindsifarne] [Thornton Abbey] [Bury St Edmunds] [Kirkham] [Pickering] [Hadleigh]
- ‘ … at their own risk’ [Saxtead]
- ‘Mind your head’ [Brougham]
For guidebooks to Yarmouth Castle see here.
Hurst Castle was built to guard the western approach to the Solent. At the centre lies the Tudor artillery fort constructed between 1541 and 1544.
The coastal defences were strengthened during the 1850s, and the west and east wings at Hurst were added in the 1860s and 1870s. It served as a coastal battery in World War II.
Opposite Hurst Castle was Fort Albert (on the right of the picture below).
The 2016 figures for Leading Visitor Attractions have been published. They include figures for properties in the care of Historic Environment Scotland (Historic Scotland).
The properties are:
- no. 16: Edinburgh Castle, 1,778,548
- no. 68: Stirling Castle, 481,970
- no. 84: Urquhart Castle, 396,397
- no. 103: Glasgow Cathedral, 296,062
- no. 177: Skara Brae, 93,375
- no. 182: Doune Castle, 90,279
- no. 188: St Andrews Castle, 77,038
- no. 190: Linlithgow Palace, 74,428
- no. 194: Iona Abbey, 65,092
- no. 198: Fort George, 60,924
- no. 200: Melrose Abbey, 52,073
- no. 203: Argyll’s Lodgings, 49,197
- no. 210: St Andrews Cathedral, 46,488
- no. 212: Tantallon Castle, 42,708
- no. 215: Caerlaverock Castle, 35,633
- no. 219: Elgin Cathedral, 30,502
- no. 220: Blackness Castle, 30,053
Significant rises were seen in the numbers for Edinburgh Castle, Urquhart Castle, Glasgow Cathedral (62%), Doune Castle, Linlithgow Palace, St Andrews Cathedral, Elgin Cathedral and Blackness Castle.
The 2016 list of Leaving Visitor Attractions in the UK has been published. The top English Heritage site continues to be Stonehenge (at no. 23) with 1,381,855 visitors, with a modest 1.1 % increase on 2015 figures.
The remaining English Heritage properties are (with overall ranking):
- Dover Castle (no. 98): 333,289
- Osborne House (no. 116): 265,011
- Tintagel Castle (no. 125): 229,809
- Audley End House and Gardens (no. 149): 165,799
- Whitby Abbey (no. 151): 151,810
- Clifford’s Tower (no. 154): 146,703
- Battle Abbey (no. 160): 137,771
- Kenwood (no. 161): 134,416
- Carisbrooke Castle (no. 164): 127,012
- Wrest Park (no. 166): 124,305
- Kenilworth Castle (no. 169): 107,993
- Housesteads Roman Fort (no. 172): 102,004
- Eltham Palace and Gardens (no. 176): 94,635
- Bolsover Castle (no. 179): 91,880
- Walmer Castle and Gardens (no. 180): 91,752
- Pendennis Castle (no. 191): 73,907
The major increase in visitors were seen at Osborne House, Tintagel Castle, Audley End House and Gardens, Battle Abbey, Carisbrooke Castle, Wrest Park, Walmer Castle and Gardens. There was a significant downturn in visitors for Kenwood.
The Governor’s House at Dumbarton Castle was in a state of restoration during a visit in 2015. But Historic Scotland had provided an information panel about the use of scaffolding over time.
King George’s Battery was created in 1735.
There are three monuments in State Guardianship on Tresco in the Isles of Scilly. Cromwell’s Castle, King Charles’s Castle and the Old Blockhouse. All three were acquired in 1950 (and feature in the Ministry’s guidebook).
The Old Blockhouse at Old Grimsby and King Charles’s Castle (note the sign uses King Charles’ Castle) near New Grimsby are contemporary.
The text for the sign echoes Bryan H. St John O’Neil’s guide:
Guidebook: ‘The western end is semi-hexagonal in order to provide a wide field of fire, and was two-storeyed to give at least two tiers of guns.’
Sign: ‘The western end was semi-hexagonal to provide a wide field of fire and was two-storeyed to give at least two tiers of guns.’
Guidebook: ‘… one bastion and a demi-bastion … It was intended to protect the castle from a landward attack across the headland.’
Sign: ‘During the Civil War, low, earthwork defences of bastioned form were thrown up beyond the castle to protect it from landward attack.’
I am grateful to Patrick Taylor for digitising images of these signs.