"CARISBROOKE, a parish in the liberty of West Medina, Isle of Wight, in the county of Southampton, 1 mile to the S.W. of Newport. The village, seated in a picturesque wooded dell under the hill on which the castle stands, was formerly a market town, and the capital of the island. In Domesday Book it is called Boncombe, a name still retained by the manor. The parish includes the liberty of Parkhurst Forest, the hamlet of Bowcombe, and part of the tything of Chillerton. Carisbrooke Castle, from which the place derived its importance, is one of the oldest in England, and is chiefly a Norman structure, although most probably erected on the site, and even embracing some portions, of a much more ancient fortress. Its erection is attributed to William Fitz-Osborne, who became lord of the island soon after the Norman Conquest. The original walls enclosed a square area of 12 acres. It was enlarged in the reigns of Richard II. and Edward IV., and in the reign of Queen Elizabeth extensive additions were made, the walls then erected by Genebella, an Italian engineer, enclosed an area of 20 acres. "
[From The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]
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