History of Carisbrooke Castle Museum: Persons and Places

We are all very familiar with the landmark of Carisbrooke Castle high up on the hill, run by English Heritage, with its imposing gatehouse, impressive wall walks and, of course, the endearing donkeys.
Perhaps some may remember the time when those impressive drum towers of the gatehouse housed Carisbrooke Castle Museum, until it moved to the more spacious Governor’s residence in 1951, after the death of its founder, Princess Beatrice.
This Museum now cares for more than 33, 000 objects, pictures and documents, as well as a local history library. It has regularly changing exhibitions, welcomes researchers, and runs an outreach programme to reach people who cannot come to the Museum themselves. A large team of volunteers contribute very significantly to the Museum, and last year they were awarded the prestigious Queens Award for Voluntary Service.
But how has the Museum arrived where it is now, and who are the people who shaped it over the years from its founding in 1898, until its move to the Governor’s residence? At the outset, and through the early years, the Museum was, in fact, totally dependent on enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, as there were no paid staff at all. These people have their own unique fascinating stories to tell.
A forthcoming talk at the Museum will explore the contributions made by these enthusiasts (including a special feature on Rev. Edward Sydenham) all of whom ensured that our Isle of Wight heritage was collected and preserved for our own and future generations to enjoy. The Museum Insight will be held on Tuesday 20th February from 2-4pm, To book your places for this talk please ring 01983523112 or e-mail info@carisbrookecastlemuseum.org.uk. Booking is essential. The ticket price of £8 includes tea/coffee and biscuits.

The museum in the gatehouse

The museum in the gatehouse

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