Carisbrooke Castle: Tudor defences

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Carisbrooke Castle, south-west bastion © David Gill

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.

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Carisbrooke Castle, south-west bastion © David Gill

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Carisbrooke Castle, east bastion © David Gill

Yarmouth Castle: safety first

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Yarmouth Castle © David Gill

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:

For guidebooks to Yarmouth Castle see here.

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Yarmouth Castle © David Gill

Hurst Castle

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Hurst Castle © David Gill

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).

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Hurst Castle from Needles Point © David Gill

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Hurst Castle and east wing © David Gill

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Fort Albert, the Needles, and Hurst Castle © David Gill

Leading Visitor Attractions 2016: Historic Environment Scotland

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Iona Abbey © David Gill

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.

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Linlithgow Palace © David Gill

Leading Visitor Attractions 2016: English Heritage

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Pendennis Castle © David Gill

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.

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Walmer Castle and Gardens © David Gill

Heritage Scaffolding

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Signage at Dumbarton Castle © David Gill

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.

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Entrance to King George’s Battery at Dumbarton Castle © David Gill

King George’s Battery was created in 1735.

Heritage signs on Tresco

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Old Blockhouse, Tresco © Patrick Taylor

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.

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King Charles’s Castle, Tresco © Patrick Taylor

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.’

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Cromwell’s Castle, Tresco © Patrick Taylor

I am grateful to Patrick Taylor for digitising images of these signs.