The Friends of Carisbrooke Castle Museum is a small charity, which has worked for nearly 70 years to support the aims and activities of the Trustees of the Museum. Most of our members live locally.



What do we do?

We hold regular talks, meeting in the Museum ten times a year. These are varied in content but generally reflect the members’ interests in local history, social and art history. Fifty people usually come along each month.

We run raffles, draws, book sales, attend fetes, put on occasional events such as special daytime lectures, wine tasting, coffee mornings and an annual draw. We also aim to promote the public awareness of the Museum.

How does this help the Museum?

We are a separate charity to the Museum, allowing us to raise funds for special projects in a variety of ways. In recent years our fundraising has become increasingly important to maintain the Museum.

What have we provided for the Museum?

  • computer equipment and software to update the Museum’s systems
  • funding for projects such as the collecting boxes and games in the Museum, raising vital revenue
  • items for the collection, including the Princess Elizabeth Stuart Papers, an 1863 Island child’s diary and funding towards a full set of prints of Isle of Wight scenes by Thomas Walmesley from the early 1800s
  • help when required with funds towards setting up new exhibitions

The Friends do not organise any work at the museum.  We do not help
directly in the museum but many Friends belong to the team of
volunteers, organised and supervised by the museum staff,  who help with
a variety of hands on tasks behind the scenes and front of house at the

King Charles I portrait by Rita Greer

New King Charles I portrait by artist Rita Greer, presented to the Museum at a Friends event


There are a number of benefits in joining the Friends. Membership includes:

  • interesting talks at the Museum throughout the year
  • a pass to allow access to the Museum gives you access to the Castle without entry fee at all times when the Castle is open to the public
  • the option of using the Museum’s library, where we have an extensive collection of books relating to the Island and its history

How can I join the Friends?

There are two available options to join the Friends:

  • download the Membership form (PDF) – please print and return by post
  • come along to a meeting and join as you sign in – the regular meetings are normally on the third Wednesday of the month (except January and August)

For further advice, please contact Stephanie (Friends Secretary):

Help more by Gift Aiding your membership fee

The repayment of income tax via Gift Aid has provided a substantial increase to the funds that we can use for improvements the Museum. Please do sign up for Gift Aid if you are able to:

  • download the Gift Aid form (PDF) – please print and return by post


All events listed below take place in the Great Hall at the Museum and start at 7.30 (gate opens at 7.15pm) unless otherwise stated.

If you would like to bring a friend, non-members are welcome to come as visitors and we ask them for a minimum donation of £3 per visit.

Programme of talks for 2023-24

8th February (at 2.30 pm) Tracy Dove, “The Strange and Wonderful World of a Zoo Educator”

15th March Mark Earp, “A Chronological look at all the invasions of the Isle of Wight, both successful and unsuccessful”

19th April Ruth Waller, “Archaeology of the River Medina”

17th May Susan Weeks, “The Sparteli Family”

21st June Trevor Price, “Dinosaurs and the Isle of Wight”

19th July Rosemary Cooper, “Her Earnest Hope and Desire: Princess Beatrice and Carisbrooke Castle Museum”

20th September CANCELLED Independent Arts, “Changing Lives Through Art on the Isle of Wight”

18th October Gary Newman, “Commonwealth War Graves”

11th October Visit to Max Aitken Museum (If you wish to attend please contact us –

15th November (at 2.30 pm) Sarah Lang, “Princess Beatrice”

13th December Christmas Event – Details TBC

20th February 2024 (at 2.30pm, Tuesday) Nick Minns, “Augustus Vernon Harcourt”

20th March John Sole, “Newport Workhouse” and AGM