In the reign of Queen Eliabeth I, the Italian engineer Federigo Gianibelli was employed to improve the earthwork defences around the castle. The modifications were designed to make it harder for cannons to fire in a direct line at the walls of the castle. The outer gateway was also rebuilt in the Elizabethan period.
Carisbrooke Castle served as the prison for Charles I after he was captured trying to flee the country. In more recent times the castle was the home of the governors of the Isle of Wight, the last of whom was Princess Beatrice, daughter of Queen Victoria.