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Carisbrooke Castle, from which the game takes its name, is a real castle, on the Isle of Wight in the English Channel. Sometime around 1000 A.D., the Anglo-Saxons built a wall around a hill (following the path of earlier, Roman defenses) on the island, to help defend them against Viking raids. After the Norman invasion in 1066, the castle proper was built by the lord of the isle, William Fitz Osbern.
After being in private hands for some time, the castle was sold to King Edward I in 1293, and remained a crown property for some time. In the seventeenth century, the castle, its defenses newly upgraded due to the threat of invasion from France or Spain, ended up with its defenses put to another use -- it became a prison, most famously the place where King Charles I was held captive for about a year before he was finally executed by the Cromwellian government.
Since then, the castle has been the home of the island's governor (a tradition that ended in 1944, with the death of the last resident governor) as well as home to a museum
of the island's history. The castle's chapel is now a memorial to all those residents of the island who died in the first and second World Wars.