About Princess Beatrice Garden at Carisbrooke Castle
The Princess Beatrice Garden at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight is an Edwardian-style garden, inspired by the privy garden of Queen Victoria’s youngest daughter.
Princess Beatrice Garden history
Princess Beatrice became Governor of the Isle of Wight in 1896 following the death of her husband, Prince Henry of Battenberg, who had previously held the position.
As her mother Queen Victoria‘s favourite and faithful companion, she had spent many years at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, and following her appointment as Governor undertook a number of renovations at Carisbrooke Castle. This included in 1898 when she opened a museum in the gatehouse as a memorial to her husband.
In 1913 she moved into Carisbrooke Castle, the traditional residence of the Governors of the Isle of Wight, and began using it as a summer retreat, renovating it further to suit her needs. At this time she also cultivated her private garden, which since the 17th century had been used for leisure and as a kitchen garden.
Beatrice’s garden was the inspiration for its modern-day counterpart, which was created in 2009 by award-winning garden designer Chris Beardshaw. Using the colours of Beatrice’s heraldic crest – blue, red and yellow – and taking inspiration from her original geometric plans, Beardshaw created an Edwardian-themed garden in remembrance of the woman who dedicated much of her life to the castle and the island on which it sits.
Princess Beatrice Garden today
Today the Princess Beatrice Garden is a pleasant visit amongst Carisbrooke Castle’s many attractions. With a fountain at its centre, the garden is decorated with a host of herbaceous plants, flowers, and fruit trees, with gravel paths and benches weaved throughout.
The garden can be enjoyed both on the ground or from above on the wall walk, where its intriguing design may be viewed – look carefully, it matches the shape of the chapel’s windows! With various plants flowering over the different seasons, visits to the Princess Beatrice Garden may be enjoyed all year round, and each are labelled to give ideas for your own garden!
The equestrian statue found in the garden also provides a solemn moment of contemplation. It memorialises General Jack Seely and his war horse Warrior, who rode into battle together during the First World War.
Warrior was bred on the Isle of Wight and survived all 4 years on the Western Front between 1914-18, taking part in some of the War’s most deadly battles, including the Battle of the Somme and the Battle of Ypres. Four years after his return he won the Lightweight Race at the Isle of Wight Point-to-Point, and lived to the ripe old age of 32.
Getting to Princess Beatrice Garden
The Princess Beatrice Garden is located at Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight,1 1/4 miles southwest of Newport, and can be reached by following signs to Carisbrooke village and then to the castle. The nearest ferry port is West Cowes, 5 miles away, while the Southern Vectis 6, 7, 12, and 38 bus services pass near to the site.