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Island Fortress Facts

Williams being driven to prison, he tries his first escape by stabbing himself in the arm with a needle and telling the guards he has HIV and fails.

Williams being driven to prison, he tries his first escape by stabbing himself in the arm with a needle and telling the guards he has HIV and fails. (View larger version)

Photograph by BK3 Productions/Diego Garcia

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  • One of the Isle of Wight’s biggest events is the summer garlic festival.

  • Visitors can enjoy many different beaches on the Isle of Wight. In some areas, you can ride horses along the shore.

  • The Parkhurst prison site on the Isle of Wight has capacity for more than 500 prisoners.

  • To save money, three prisons on the Isle of Wight, Parkhurst, Albany and Camp Hill, were merged into a single institution in 2009.

  • Amid security concerns, the prisons on the Isle of Wight changed their locks in 2010.

  • In 1974, Parkhurst Prison inmate Michael Guaghan, who was a member of the Irish Republican Army, died after refusing food for 64 days.

  • The Beatles' song "When I'm Sixty-Four" refers to renting a cottage on the Isle of Wight.

  • The Isle of Wight is 23 by 13 miles and lies off of England’s South Coast.

  • Island historians are not sure why the island is named ‘Isle of Wight,’ but do know that it has nothing to do with the white cliffs found on the island. One theory is that “Wight” originally meant “to split” and referenced the way the island divided the waters.

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