Gatehouse, Carisbrooke Castle, Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight

Gatehouse, Carisbrooke Castle, Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight
Photograph taken 2008 © Historic England Archive Photo Library ref: N080386

The original gatehouse was made of timber and built in about 1100. It was flanked by the bank and ditch of the castle. This had been replaced by a stone building by 1136. It had a tower over the gate passage, was fronted by a deep ditch and crossed by a drawbridge. The present gatehouse was probably built in the late 13th century by Countess Isabella de Fortibus. The two cylindrical towers at the side were added in 1335-6 during a period of French raids. These towers had cross-shaped slits for archers, and were heightened in 1380, probably after the siege by the French in 1377. The 1380 additions had gun ports shaped like inverted keyholes to enable the use of early hand guns. The towers were further altered in 1470 when a projecting platform was added to enable missiles to be dropped on the enemy below. The coat of arms of Anthony Woodville is visible on the parapet, and it was probably he who had the work carried out. Woodville was the brother-in-law of Edward IV and captain of the Island from 1467-1483. By the late 19th century the Gatehouse had fallen into ruin and had no roof. It was restored by Percy Stone in 1897. This site is now in the care of English Heritage (2011). Find out more.


Isle of Wight Carisbrooke


Medieval (Middle Ages) (1066 - 1484)


gatehouse tower norman castle attack defence motte bailey medieval (1066 - 1484) architecture military english heritage