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

Mottistone: Neolithic long barrow

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Mottistone © David Gill

The long stone on the down above Mottistone originally formed part of the entrance to a Neolithic long barrow [National Trust].  The mound was excavated by Jacquetta Hawkes in 1956 (and published in Antiquity).

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Mottistone © 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

Mottistone: signs of privacy

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Mottistone © David Gill

I noticed a sign on the garden gate at National Trust Mottistone: it appears to be a standard Ministry of Works sign. It needs to be remembered that the Royal Label Factory produced signs for both the Ministry and the National Trust.

For other Ministry ‘private’ signs:

Orpheus at Brading Roman Villa

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Orpheus, Brading Roman villa © David Gill

A mosaic showing Orpheus playing a lyre (with scarlet strings) is located in Room VI of the West Wing at Brading Roman villa. This position served as the main entrance to this part of the villa.

Orpheus is seated on a rock and wears a red Phrygian cap. He is surrounded to his right by an ape and a peacock, and to his left a bird and a fox.

J.M.C. Toynbee (Art in Roman Britain, no. 195) dated this mosaic to the 4th century AD and noted that it is ‘the best-preserved, and in many ways the most attractive, of all the British renderings of Orpheus himself’. Other examples of Orpheus on mosaics from Britain include Barton Farm Villa, outside Cirencester, and Woodchester Villa in Gloucestershire.

Toynbee suggests that heads appeared in the four corners of the mosaic.

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Orpheus, Brading Roman villa © David Gill

  • See also Sarah Scott, ‘Symbols of Power and Nature: The Orpheus Mosaic of Fourth Century Britain and Their Architectural Contexts’ [TRAC]

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

Hidden defences at St Helen’s Duver

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St Helen’s Duver © David Gill

The 13th century tower of old St Helen’s church stands above the beach at St Helen’s Duver on the Isle of Wight [National Trust]. It formed part of the Benedictine Priory, that was abandoned in the early 15th century. In the 18th century the tower was bricked up and served as a landmark.

Adjacent to the tower is a World War II pillbox intended to defend the entrance to Bembridge harbour [HER] [Citizan]. This was carefully disguised to look like part of the ruins.