ISLANDERS are very familiar with the landmark of Carisbrooke Castle, up on the hill, run by English Heritage, with its imposing gatehouse, impressive wall walks and, of course, the endearing donkeys.
Perhaps some may remember the time when the impressive drum towers of the gatehouse housed Carisbrooke Castle Museum, until it moved to the more spacious governor’s residence in 1951, after the death of its founder, Princess Beatrice.
But how much do people really know about this small independent museum within the castle, founded by a member of the royal family as a museum of IW history, and now a charitable trust?
It is our very own IW Museum. 
This museum now cares for more than 33, 000 objects, pictures and documents, as well as a local history library. 
It has regularly changing exhibitions, welcomes researchers and runs an outreach programme, to reach people who cannot come to the museum themselves. 
A large team of volunteers contributes significantly to the museum and last year they were awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.
How has the museum arrived where it is now and who are the people who shaped it over the years, from its founding in 1898, until its move to the governor’s residence? 
At the outset and through the early years the museum was totally dependent on enthusiastic and dedicated volunteers, as there were no paid staff at all. These people have their own stories to tell.

A talk at the museum will explore the contributions made by these enthusiasts, including a special feature on the Rev Edward Sydenham. 

Museum Insight, on Tuesday, February 20, from 2pm to 4pm, will tell the fascinating early history of the museum.
There will be an opportunity to look at objects and documents connected with the museum’s history.  
Booking is essential. E-mail or ring 523112.The £8 ticket price includes refreshments.