Newport is the administrative centre of the island and its Guildhall has a clock
tower commemorating Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee. Built in 1816, it stands on the site of a
much earlier building where, in 1648, Charles I met the Parliamentary Commissioners in an
ill-fated attempt to hold on to his throne. The remains of a Roman villa also stand in Cypress Road.|
The docks were once the hub of commercial shipping - some warehouses still
remain. Frequent French raids led the Normans to build Carisbrooke Castle in the 11th century on the site of a Roman fort.
It was expanded and strengthened over the next 500 years. Charles I was brought here by his supporters after he lost the Civil War in 1647.
Instead of reaching a truce he was imprisoned and moved to the mainland’s Hurst Castle the following year.
A ‘must see’ is the Museum of Island History which gives an overview of the island’s turbulent past, using touch-screen computers, hands-on exhibits and audio experiences.