For who is God besides the Lord?Psalm 18:31
And who is the Rock except our God?
Most medieval castles were never tested by extended conflict. They served their purpose as a deterrent, or the projection of power and wealth, and the enemy never came. Or they came, as in Bodiam’s one potential siege, and the occupants surrendered before a shot was fired.
Not Carisbrooke. The castle was attacked by the French in 1377 and resisted the siege. I’m not really surprised, though, because this place has some of the most impressive fortifications I have ever seen. Not only that, but it is mostly intact, including a marvelous perimeter walk around the ramparts that offers spectacular views over much of the Isle of Wight.
Check out this video from the top (note that I erroneously call the castle “Carisburg”):
Other than being super-cool, the castle is best known as the place where Charles 1 was imprisoned in the months before his trial and execution. The Royalists had been defeated by armies mustered by Parliament, and Oliver Cromwell’s forces kept the king on the Isle of Wight (and then – briefly – Hurst Castle on the mainland) until he was beheaded in 1649. This was followed by a few years with no monarch, during which time Cromwell was “Lord Protector.”
Rebekah and I enjoyed exploring the castle and its battlements, and feasting on the beautiful views. But it’s the history that takes these trips up a notch. Without story, castles are just old buildings. With the stories they come alive.
There is a second (short) video following this collection of photographs. Enjoy – DEREK