Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Brannon's Picture of The Isle of Wight - The Expeditious Traveller's Index to Its Prominent Beauties & Objects of Interest. Compiled Especially with Reference to Those Numerous Visitors Who Can Spare but Two or Three Days to Make the Tour of the Island.
Author: Brannon, George
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Brannon's Picture of The Isle of Wight - The Expeditious Traveller's Index to Its Prominent Beauties & Objects of Interest. Compiled Especially with Reference to Those Numerous Visitors Who Can Spare but Two or Three Days to Make the Tour of the Island." ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

WIGHT***


BRANNON'S PICTURE OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT;

Or

The Expeditious Traveller's Index to Its Prominent Beauties & Objects
of Interest. Compiled Especially with Reference to Those Numerous
Visitors Who Can Spare but Two or Three Days to Make the Tour of the
Island.

Printed and Published by George Brannon, Wootton, Isle of Wight



[Illustration: The Pulpit Rock, Bonchurch, looking towards Ventnor.]


[Illustration: NORRIS, I.W.]



EXPLANATION.


If nearly FORTY YEARS' RESIDENCE in the Isle of Wight may be allowed in
some degree to qualify an ARTIST for the office of Guide, the Author has
a fair claim to public patronage,--for few could have had better
opportunity of acquiring local information.

He has endeavoured to render THE PICTURE an intelligent _Cicerone_,
without being too garrulous or grandiloquous,--but always attentive to
the stranger, leading him to every remarkable object, and giving just as
much description of each, as would be acceptable to persons enjoying the
full use of their eyes. It affords him, _at first glance_, an INDEX of
what ought to be seen, and _how best seen in the shortest time_, in
every place to which he may be successively conducted. This novelty in
the work will prove very frequently of great utility, especially to
those visitors who have too little time for their trip, and who, for
want of such a laconic memento wherever they go, are known in a thousand
instances to pass by the most interesting objects unnoticed,--not being
aware even of their proximity.

       *       *       *       *       *

This being the production of the same hand as several other local
works, it is due to the stranger to explain in what respects they
differ:--

I.--THE VECTIS SCENERY is a handsome volume in Royal Quarto,
substantially bound, containing 36 highly finished line-engravings of
all the most celebrated landscapes, accompanied with ample letter-press
descriptions, price £1.5.0.

II.--THE PICTURE differs from the above in being intended for a
_hand-book_, it is in fact a Cicerone, and therefore occasionally dwells
with a degree of minuteness which could be interesting only to a person
actually on the spot; but the "Vectis Scenery" takes the higher rank of
an Exhibitor of picturesque scenes which ask little aid from verbal
explanation, and is entitled to a place on the drawing-room table with
other works of Art. The Engravings in the two publications are quite
different.

III.--The PLEASURE-VISITOR'S COMPANION is a compendium of useful
information, with the different Tours, &c. and Views of the Country
Inns, price 2s., or with Map, 3s.

IV.--The REV. LEGH RICHMOND'S DESCRIPTION of the Island, with
explanatory Notes and illustrative Engravings, price 2s.6d.

V.--A MAP of the Island and the Opposite Coast--with the Tours, &c., in
cover, price 1s.6d.

       *       *       *       *       *

     It were useless to complain of the piracies committed upon the
     Author's labors, both literary and pictorial, by parties in London
     as well as in the country; but he may be allowed however to remark,
     that some of the most common facts and delineations are strangely
     perverted from the Truth in their new dress,--however artfully
     disguised to prevent the consequences of palpable detection.

     In cases even where a professional Author may be engaged by a
     publisher on a local work, the time allowed is generally too
     limited for acquiring accurate knowledge of his subjects: he must
     depend either on prior publications or on his personal intercourse
     with the residents, for much of his information. In compiling from
     the first of these sources, he is very liable to mis-statement, by
     investing everything in a new dress to conceal his piracies; and
     the latter source leaves him open to imposition--for much of his
     matter will be sheer gossip, partial statements, or unfounded
     tradition, which a long experience only could detect, and place in
     a proper light.



CONTENTS.


CHAPTER I.--GENERAL ACCOUNT OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT.
                                                          PAGE
  Its Peculiar Advantages for a Summer's Excursion,          9
  Climate, Situation, and Extent,                           15
  Geology, Agriculture, and Zoology,                        18
  Eminent Natives, and Outline of the Local History,        21

CHAPTER II.--THE THREE PRINCIPAL TOWNS, AND THEIR ENVIRONS.
  Carisbrooke Castle and Village,                           25
  Newport and its Environs,                                 29
  East and West Cowes, and their Environs,                  34
  Objects on the road between Cowes and Ryde,               43
  Ryde and its Environs,                                    45
  St. Helen's, Bembridge, Sandown, Brading, &c.,            52

CHAPTER III--THE SOUTH-EASTERN COAST OF THE ISLAND,
    _Distinguished for its Romantic Scenery._
  Shanklin Chine and Village,                               59
  Cooke's Castle, and Luccombe Chine,                       63
  East End, commencement of the Undercliff,                 64
  Bonchurch, and Ventnor,                                   65
  Appuldurcombe and Godshill,                               71
  Steephill, and St. Lawrence,                              73
  The Undercliff, between St. Lawrence and Niton,           76
  The New Light-house, and the Sandrock Spring,             79
  Blackgang Chine, and St. Catharine's Hill,                81
  Wrecks on the Southern Coast,                             85
  Chale, Gatcombe, Shorwell, Brixton, &c.,                  87

CHAPTER IV.--THE SOUTH-WESTERN COAST OF THE ISLAND,
    _Distinguished for the most Sublime Scenery._
  The Road over the Downs to Freshwater,                    89
  Freshwater Cliffs, Bay, and Caverns,                      90
  High-down, Main-bench, and Scratchell's Bay,              93
  Needle Rocks, Alum Bay, Light-house, &c.,                 95
  Freshwater Village, Yarmouth, Calbourne, &c.,             97

Conspicuous Objects on the Hills,                          100
Tours through, and Voyage round the Island,                101
Lists of the Inns and Seats. Passage and Conveyance, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *



LIST OF THE ENGRAVINGS.


                                                              PAGE
    I--NORRIS CASTLE,                              _Frontispiece_.

   II--PULPIT ROCK, Bonchurch,                       _Title-page_.

  III--CARISBROOKE CASTLE,                                      24

   IV--WEST COWES: the Castle, Parade, &c.,                     36

    V--OSBOURNE, Her Majesty's Marine Residence,                40

   VI--Town and Pier of RYDE,                                   44

  VII--View from Bembridge Down,                                52

 VIII--SHANKLIN Chine; descent to the beach,                    60

   IX--Shanklin Church,                                         64

    X--COOKE'S CASTLE,                                       _ib._

   XI--The ancient Parish-church of BONCHURCH,                  68

  XII--VENTNOR, near the Church,                             _ib._

 XIII--STEEPHILL Castle and adjacent Coast,                     72

  XIV--ST. LAWRENCE CHURCH,                                     76

   XV--St. Lawrence Well,                                    _ib._

  XVI--The UNDERCLIFF near Mount Cleeves.                       80

 XVII--The new LIGHT-HOUSE near Niton,                       _ib._

XVIII--BLACKGANG CHINE,                                         84

  XIX--FRESHWATER BAY,                                          92

   XX--WATCOMBE BAY,                                         _ib._

  XXI--SCRATCHELL'S Bay and the Needle Rocks,                   96



CHAPTER I.

THE PECULIAR ADVANTAGES OF THE ISLAND AS THE OBJECT OF A SUMMER'S
EXCURSION.


Variety is the characteristic charm of the Isle of Wight; the scenery
being in fact a most happy combination of the grand and romantic, the
sylvan and marine--throughout a close interchange of hills and dales,
intersected by streams and rivers: combining the quiet of rural life
with the fashionable gaiety of a watering-place, or the bustle of a
crowded sea-port. But generally, its landscapes are more distinguished
for beauty than sublimity, and hence the very appropriate designation of
"THE GARDEN OF ENGLAND!" an emphatic compliment cheerfully paid by the
thousands annually visiting its shores for pleasure or for health: and
perhaps there is scarcely another spot in the kingdom, of the same
narrow limits, which can concentrate more of those qualities that at
once charm the eye and animate the soul. Nor should it be overlooked how
large a source of interest is derived from the proximity of those two
celebrated towns, Southampton and Portsmouth: and the beautiful
termination given to most of the open prospects by the retiring
distances on the opposite coast.

                 ----"Intermixture sweet,
    Of lawns and groves, of open and retired,
    Vales, farms, towns, villas, castles, distant spires.
    And hills on hills with ambient clouds enrolled,
    In long succession court the lab'ring sight."

But the crowning beauty of the Island is certainly THE SEA! viewed in
all the splendor of its various aspects;--whether under the awful
grandeur of the agitated and boundless _Ocean_,--as a rapid and
magnificent _River_,--or reposing in all the glassy tranquillity of a
spacious land-locked _Bay_:--now of a glowing crimson, and now of the
purest depth of azure: its bosom ever spangled with a thousand moving
and attractive objects of marine life.

To those who have never had the opportunity of viewing the sea except
under the comparatively dreary aspect which it presents from many
unsheltering parts of the southern coast, as for instance Brighton,
where almost the only relief to the monotony of the wide expanse is a
few clumsy fishing boats or dusky colliers, and occasionally the rolling
clouds of smoke from a passing steamer,--it may seem that we are rather
disposed to exaggerate the picture; but not so, as would certainly be
attested by every one who had visited the island: for here the scene is
ever enriched by magnificent SHIPS OF WAR, innumerable merchant-vessels,
and splendid pleasure-yachts, safely lying at anchor or gaily sailing
about in every direction; and what moving object in the world can
surpass, in grandeur, beauty, and interest, a fine ship under full
canvass with a light breeze? Let the reader only imagine how glorious a
sight it must have been, when 200 sail,--line-of-battle-ships, frigates,
and large merchantmen under convoy, would weigh anchor at the same time,
and proceeding on their voyage, _pass round the island_ as it were in
review!--thus affording a spectacle, as they floated

    "O'er the glad waters of the dark blue sea,"

never to be erased from the memory of those who had once the
incomparable pleasure to witness it. True it is, that in these happier
times of peace, such exhibitions are not to be expected: but frequently
even now, very large fleets of merchantmen, and perhaps several
men-of-war, which have put in through distress of weather, or been
detained by contrary winds, will all at the same moment weigh anchor at
the first favorable change. [Footnote: The glories of the olden time
have of late years been frequently revived at the departure of
Experimental and other squadrons rendezvousing at Spithead,--accompanied
as they sometimes are by hundreds of sailing-craft and steamers,
including the beautiful yachts of all the neighbouring clubs.]

We think it ridiculous to attribute qualities to the island (as is
often done,) which it really does not possess: all we contend for is,
that few spots can excel the Wight _altogether in the amount of its_
VARIOUS _attractions_; we mean especially to those parties who can only
snatch occasionally a very brief period for a summer excursion; not only
as regards its _peculiar and acknowledged local advantages_, but equally
so from those adventitious and auxiliary circumstances that are derived
from the present _rail-road_ conveyance from the metropolis: and from
the _shortness_ and _perfect safety_ of the passage across--being little
more than an hour from Southampton, and only half that time from
Portsmouth; the former an important mercantile port and fashionable
watering-place; and the latter, the first naval station in the
kingdom--its marine treasures too thrown open gratuitously to public
inspection: and what curiosity can afford a Briton more gratification,
than to visit such a dock-yard, and pace the deck of the very ship in
which _Victory_ crowned the last moments of the immortal Nelson?

Though the island has to boast of many passages of highly romantic and
_brilliant_ scenery, yet the predominant character of its landscapes is,
as was hinted above, calculated to amuse, to delight, and promote
_cheerfulness_, rather than to astonish or impress the spectator with
feelings of awe by their stupendous grandeur; circumstances which,
combined with its salubrity of climate, render it a most desirable
retreat to the valetudinarian and nervous invalid: indeed all the
alterations which have latterly been made, or are now in progress, tend
to soften, embellish, and in point of convenience to improve the face of
the country. On this subject however it will be a question with many
persons of good taste, whether any of these artificial operations are
really improvements upon the native character of the island. An artist
would most probably decide in the negative: but we know there are many
nevertheless, who consider that whatever deterioration the island may
experience in some of her more wild and romantic features, is amply
compensated by the spread of cultivation and rural decoration, by the
increased facilities of travelling, and the multiplied means of
enjoyment now afforded to the pleasure-tourist.

       *       *       *       *       *

A few particulars will suffice for the present, to prove the above
assertions, and may perhaps be found

USEFUL HINTS TO STRANGERS

Purposing a visit to the shores of the Garden of England. They may
arrange to breakfast comfortably at the usual hour in London--start by
the rail-road, and reach either of the above ports at noon, or even
earlier--steam-packets are in readiness to convey the passengers across,
and stage-coaches and other vehicles await their arrival at Cowes and
Ryde: our friends may then _ride round one-half_ of the island, and
return the next, or even _the same night!_ but this of course is
abridging the affair a little too much. But allow a full week, and that
will suffice to render it a very pleasant trip. If, for example, you
come to Southampton, sleep there, or at least tarry a few hours in the
examination of it: then take the last steamer to Cowes or Ryde, and
sleep there the first night: next morning commence the regular Tour of
three days, dining and sleeping twice or thrice at one or other of the
inns situated on the rocky side of the island, to enjoy at the same time
the more unusual feast of a wide prospect of the sea, and the music of
the foaming breakers thundering on the beach below. Supposing you start
from Cowes, as being opposite Southampton, the Route will bring you
round to Ryde; where you cross to Portsmouth, and having gone over the
fortifications, the dock-yard, and Nelson's ship, return by one or other
of the rail-roads. But if you arrive by Portsmouth and Ryde, then return
_via_ Cowes and 'Hampton.--For the details of the several routes, the
reader is of course referred to the chapter "Tours," at the end of the
Work.

That part of the island immediately opposite Hampshire is generally
well-wooded, with an easy descent to the shore--populous and busy, as
might be expected from the two considerable watering-places before
named, and several excellent harbors. But the south side (familiarly
called _the Back of the Island_,) being washed by the impetuous tides of
the ocean, presents a very different aspect, showing the resistless
progress of the waves:--and hence perpendicular cliffs of great
altitude, precipitous slopes constantly detaching large masses of earth
and rocks, and all the picturesque confusion produced by successive
landslips: here therefore the scenery is variously characterized by
dreary devastation, romantic beauty, or sublime splendor of effect. But
not so of _the Interior_ of the island, which presents the softer
pictures of pastoral and rural life: for ...

    "Creation's mildest charms are here combined,"

enlivened by several splendid mansions, with their parks and groves. The
churches are numerous: some "embosomed soft in trees," and others
picturesquely seated on commanding knolls: and many of the highest hills
are adorned by a light-house or signal-station--some lofty obelisk,
tower, or mill; so that in every direction a conspicuous object gives an
interest and discriminative identity to those broad features of scenery,
which would otherwise be perfectly tame and monotonous.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Situation, Extent, Climate, &c._

The Isle of Wight extends from east to west 23 miles, by about 14 from
north to south (being very nearly the figure of a lozenge),
circumscribes at least 60 miles, and contains upwards of 100,000 acres.
It is separated from the Hampshire coast by a strait called the SOLENT
SEA, varying from three to seven miles in width: and bounded by the
British Channel on the south--the nearest part of the French coast being
Cherbourg (18 leagues distant), which is said to have been seen from the
hills of Freshwater, &c. The extent of the English coast visible in
clear weather is above 100 miles, from Beachy Head in Sussex, to the
Isle of Portland in Dorset.

THE CLIMATE.--The purity of the air was always acknowledged by those who
ever visited the island owing to the dry and highly cultivated face of
the country: but it was left to an eminent Physician, Dr. James Clarke,
to give due celebrity to the unrivaled salubrity of the climate:--

"The Island, from the variety which it presents in point of elevation,
soil, and aspect, and from the configuration of its hills and shores,
possesses several peculiarities of climate and situation, which render
it a very favorable and commodious residence throughout the year, for a
large class of invalids. On this account, the Isle of Wight claims our
particular attention, as it comprehends within itself advantages which
are of great value to the delicate invalid, and to obtain which, in
almost any other part of England, he would require to make a
considerable journey." And he further remarks, that "the Undercliff bids
fair to exceed all other winter residences in this country, and the
island will have added to its title of the Garden of England, that of
the BRITISH MADEIRA."

The classical designation of the island is VECTA or VECTIS: but its
modern name is derived from Wect, With, or Wict, as it is found
variously written in Doomsday Book.

     Some writers have supposed the island to have been once connected
     with the mainland by an isthmus stretching from Gurnet, near Cowes,
     to Leap, on the Hampshire roast; but nothing decisive has yet been
     advanced in support of this strange hypothesis.

The surface of the island presents a constant succession of valley and
eminence--the two principal chains of hills being ... a range of chalk
downs of a smooth rounded shape, and from 500 to 700 feet high, that
stretch lengthways through the middle of the island, abutting the ocean
at Freshwater on the west, and Bembridge on the east:-and a still
loftier range, variously composed of chalk, firestone, &c., that skirts
the south-eastern coast from Shanklin Down to St. Catharine's (the
latter 830 feet in height,) and whose broken flank on the sea-side forms
the celebrated and romantic region of the UNDERCLIFF.

The principal streams in the Isle of Wight navigable for marine craft
are the Rivers Medina and Yar, and the Creeks of Newtown and
Wootton.--The Medina, whose source is in the south, and which joins the
sea at Cowes, divides the island into two hundreds of nearly equal
extent, respectively called the East and West Medene; the first
comprising 14, the latter 16 parishes.

The population of the island has doubled since 1802, and now exceeds
45,000. No manufacture of any consequence is carried on (with the
exception of the lace-factory near Newport,) Corn being the staple
article of trade,--for which there are about 42 mills, nearly all of
them worked by water.

Almost encompassed by formidable rocks and shelves, few parts of the
English coast are more dangerous to ships driving in a storm. The most
dreaded parts are the Needles and Shingles, at the western point;
Rocken-end Race at the south, and Bembridge Ledge at the eastern
extremity: few winters pass without the melancholy catastrophe of
shipwreck; though the danger is now of course diminished by the
establishment of Light-houses--especially of the new one near
Niton.--Owing to this cause, and to the precipitous nature of the coast
itself, the island presents few points favorable to an enemy's landing,
and even those were for the most part fortified by order of Henry VIII:
The forts of Sandown, Cowes, and Yarmouth still remain; and though they
might be of little use in the present state of military science, the
presence of "England's wooden walls" at the stations of Spithead and St.
Helen's, renders all local defences needless.

_Geology, Agriculture, and Zoology_.

The island presents many rare geological phenomena: and from its
smallness, easy access, and the various nature of its coasts, offers an
admirable field for scientific investigation.

One peculiarity deserves to be particularly noticed; namely, the
extraordinary state in which the FLINTS are found in the great range of
chalk hills,--for all those in regular beds, are broken into pieces in
every direction, from two or three inches long, to an almost impalpable
powder; and yet show no other indication of their fracture than very
fine lines, until the investing chalk be removed, when they fall at once
to pieces! But the separate flints or nodules in the body of the chalk
strata are not so: which led the late Sir H. Englefield to conjecture,
that the phenomenon was caused in the moment of the immense concussion
which subverted the whole mass of strata, and placed them in their
present nearly vertical position.

Another interesting circumstance in the geological structure of the Isle
of Wight, is a series of strata, _vertical_ or highly inclined, which
run across the middle of it from east to west; while the strata on each
side are _horizontal_; they consist of ... a very thick stratum of clay
and sand (observable at Alum Bay), flinty chalk, chalk without flints,
chalk-marle, green sandstone with lime-stone and chert, dark-grey marle,
and ferruginous sand.

A PROGRESSIVE CHANGE is evidently taking place in the boundary line of
the coast--the sea making considerable invasions on the south side,
which is exposed to the resistless currents of the ocean; while on the
north it is found to be more gradually receding, from the accumulation
of sand and shingle drifted and deposited by the less impetuous tides of
the Solent Channel.--About Brixton, for instance, between Blackgang
Chine and the Freshwater Cliffs, the loss of land has been estimated
(from the successive removals of paths and hedges,) to exceed 200 feet
in breadth in less than a century; while in the neighbourhood of Ryde it
is known that the bed of a valley formerly accessible to the sea is now
rather above its highest level; and even in 1760, when Fielding visited
the island, the coast there is described by him as a wide disgusting
waste of mud, which is now covered with an increasing layer of sand,
sufficiently firm to bear wheel-carriages; and no doubt but in process
of time there will be a great accession to the beach, from the constant
though slow operation of the same causes--denuding on the one side, and
reciprocally accumulating on the other.

Good Stone of various qualities is found in most parts of the island:
and with that procured from the quarries of Binstead, the body of
Winchester Cathedral was built. All the houses along the Undercliff are
constructed with a beautiful kind of freestone procured on the spot.

     Extensive pits are worked in the downs for the chalk, which is used
     for manure, burning into lime, &c. A stratum of coals was formerly
     believed to run through the central downs, and Sir Rt. Worsley
     actually sunk a shaft for it near Bembridge; his labors however
     were but poorly rewarded. Veins of coarse iron ore have also
     appeared in some parts of the island.

The finest white sand in the kingdom is obtained from the sea-cliffs at
Freshwater, and is carried in great quantities to the glass and
porcelain manufactories. Excellent brick-earth abounds in almost every
part of the island: common native alum, copperas, specimens of
petrifactions, and many curious varieties of sea-weeds, are picked up on
the shores; in the cliffs and quarries are found numerous beautiful
fossil remains,--especially oysters and other bivalve shells, of a vast
size.

The central range of chalk hills divides the island into two nearly
distinct regions, the soil and strata being essentially different,--a
stiff clay predominating on the north side, which is extensively covered
with wood, while the south side is principally of a light sandy soil or
mellow loam, and being exceedingly fertile, the whole tract is almost
exclusively employed in tillage.

     In geological terms, the north is formed of the _Eocene_ or
     freshwater deposits: and the south of the _Cretaceous_ or oceanic,
     except where the _Wealden_ exhibits itself at Sandown and Brixton
     bays.--Though affording a great variety of soil, the island is upon
     the whole well calculated for farming as may be inferred from its
     proverbial fertility; "it was many years ago computed to produce as
     much corn in one year as its inhabitants would consume in
     seven,--and the improved cultivation, with the additional land
     brought into tillage, has doubtless kept pace with the increased
     population."

In AGRICULTURE there is now a close approximation to the routine
practised in the rest of the county: and there is scarcely any
peculiarity observable either in the system of Husbandry, or in the
manners of the Yeomanry, who are a very intelligent and respectable
class.

     The constant intercourse which the inhabitants have with persons
     from other parts of the kingdom, has in fact erased all insular
     peculiarities. But the following extract from the Memoirs of Sir
     John Oglander, which were written about the year 1700, will be read
     with interest, as exhibiting a most

     _Amusing Picture of the Islanders in the 16th century_.

     "I have heard," says he, "and partly knowe it to be true, that not
     only heretofore there was no lawyer nor attorney in owre island,
     but in Sir George Carey's time [1588] an attorney coming in to
     settle in the island, was by his command, with a pound of candles
     hanging att his breech lighted, with bells about his legs, hunted
     owte of the island; insomuch that owre ancestors lived here so
     quietly and securely, being neither troubled to London nor
     Winchester, so they seldom or never went owte of the island;
     insomuch as when they went to London (thinking it an East India
     voyage), they always made their wills, supposing no trouble like to
     travaile."

The extensive downs of the island afford excellent pasture for sheep,
whose wool is of a staple not inferior to that produced on the South
Downs: and many thousand lambs are annually sent to the London markets.
From the improvements effected in Husbandry, there are now nearly
sufficient oxen reared and fatted for the use of the inhabitants,
instead of the butchers going as formerly, to Salisbury, &c. for their
cattle.

The demands of the dock-yards (both here and at Portsmouth,) have
greatly thinned the timber of the island, which is principally oak and
elm, and is found to grow most luxuriantly in the wooded tract from East
Cowes to St. Helen's.

     In the time of King Charles II, woods were so extensive, that it is
     recorded, a squirrel might have run on the tops of the trees from
     Gurnard to Carisbrooke, and in several other parts for leagues
     together.

       *       *       *       *       *

In ZOOLOGY there is nothing very remarkable, except the absence of
pole-cats, badgers, and till lately, even foxes: but the
poultry-breeders are now indebted for the introduction of the latter to
some sparkish amateurs of hunting: many have been killed, but they are
still breeding rapidly in the favorable fastnesses of the more rocky and
woody districts. Otters too are frequently seen.--GAME is abundant,
particular attention having been paid to its preservation. "The great
plenty of hares and other game is owing to the care of Sir Edward
Horsey, governor in 1582, who is reported to have given a lamb for every
living hare brought to him from the neighbouring counties."

THE NIGHTINGALE.--These much-prized birds of passage make the island
their early and most favorite resort; and to those visitors from the
north who perhaps never heard their unrivaled notes, the opportunity
would prove not the least gratifying circumstance in a day's pleasure.
On fine evenings in the months of May and June, the woods and groves in
every direction resound with the delightful chorus of their inimitable
songs.

Astonishing numbers of sea-fowl resort during the summer months to the
cliff's of Freshwater and Bembridge: in the latter, the eagle has been
known to build its eyry, and in the time of queen Elizabeth they were
famous for a breed of hawks, which were so valued, that it was made a
capital crime to steal them.

FISH of every kind common to the southern coast of England is caught off
the island, but not in that abundance which might be expected, except
crabs and lobsters, which are uncommonly large and fine. Mackarel are
some seasons extremely plentiful, small, but peculiarly sweet. Numbers
of porpoises are seen rolling along in the Solent Sea and Southampton
Water; sharks are frequently observed off the back of the island, and
sometimes even the grampus pursuing its prey. In 1814, a large whale was
taken off the Shingles (west of the Needle Rocks,) having been left
aground by the ebbing tide: and in the winter of 1841, another,
measuring 75 feet in length, was caught near the same spot.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Local Biography and History._

The following are amongst the most eminent natives of the island:

     Sir JOHN CHEEKE, Knt., one of the most distinguished scholars and
     virtuous men of his time: he was tutor to Edward VI, and a zealous
     protestant, but being induced during the following reign to make a
     public recantation, his death, which happened soon after, was
     supposed to have been hastened by shame of that humiliating
     exhibition.

     Rev. HENRY COLE, D.D., Dean of St. Paul's, a contemporary of the
     above, was born at Godshill: he shone in divinity and literature,
     and was a strenuous advocate of the Roman-catholic faith.

     THOs. JAMES, D.D., a learned divine and antiquary: was esteemed,
     from his extensive erudition, a living library, Born at Newport,
     died 1629.

     ROBERT HOOK, M.D., celebrated for his extraordinary inventive
     powers in almost every branch of art and science, was born at
     Freshwater anno 1635, and died at an advanced age, in Gresham
     College.

     JOHN HOBSON, rose by his skill and courage from the obscurity of a
     tailor's parish-apprentice to an admiral's rank in the reign of
     Queen Anne: he headed Sir George Rooke's squadron in the attack on
     Vigo harbour, where a numerous Spanish fleet was entirely captured
     or burned.--The little village of Bonchurch claims the honor of his
     birth-place.

We shall conclude this general chapter with a brief summary of the
local history, though the annals of a small dependent isle like this,
cannot be expected to possess any very exciting interest.

     [In fact it can boast of no important ancient settlements or
     records--no valued chronicles of the alternate successes and
     defeats of ambitious rival princes and their contending armies, or
     the unpitied sufferings of the sacrificed population: and perhaps
     it would never have been mentioned in the national history, had it
     not been for the imprisonment of fallen royalty in the case of
     Charles I. Its situation certainly exposed it to the attacks of
     Danish pirates, and subsequently of the French; but these distant
     events constituting but a broken and unconnected narrative, the
     ensuing brief sketch will we presume be sufficient for the majority
     of our readers. We refer those who wish further information on the
     subject to the valuable work of Sir Richard Worsley,--from which
     this article is partly abridged.]

     It was subdued by the Roman troops under Vespasian, A.D. 43; but
     the conquerors could not have experienced much resistance from the
     natives, as no remains of their military works have been here
     discovered. Under the empire, the island was reckoned to contain
     about 1200 families.

     The Saxon kings of the South of England several times attacked the
     island with their accustomed unsparing ferocity: particularly
     Cerdic, in 530, who replaced the slaughtered British by a colony of
     his own countrymen; and Ceadwalla of Murcia, who having seized it
     in 686, was so incensed at the idolatry of the inhabitants, that he
     resolved at first to extirpate them, and repeople the island with
     _Christians!_ but at the intercession of bishop Wilfred, great
     numbers saved their lives by submitting to be baptized.

     In the ninth and following centuries the island suffered, in common
     with the neighbouring coast, from the predatory visits of the
     Danes. For a time indeed they were checked by the great Alfred, who
     wholly captured or destroyed one large fleet, laden with the spoils
     of Hampshire and the Wight: but under the weak and disordered
     reigns of his successors, the northern pirates seem to have taken
     possession of this defenceless spot as often as they pleased; and
     after making it a depot for the plunder of the adjacent counties,
     and living freely on the inhabitants, sometimes wantonly burned
     towns and villages at their departure.

     The island was also severely harrassed by some of the rebellious
     Saxon nobles in the reign of Edward the Confessor; but after the
     Norman Conquest, its tranquillity was not materially disturbed till
     the year 1346, when a party of French landed at St. Helen's; they
     were soon repulsed by the islanders, though the warden, Sir
     Theobald Russell, was amongst the slain. About this time a variety
     of excellent regulations were made by the inhabitants for their
     better security: the landholders were by their tenures bound to
     defend the castle of Carisbrooke for 40 days at their own charges;
     the county of Devon sent for its defence 76 men-at arms, and the
     city of London 300 slingers and bowmen.

     Another party of the French seem to have made a more successful
     attack in the first year of Richard II: indeed the islanders at
     that time had little besides their own valor to depend on for
     protection; as there were no forts to obstruct an enemy's landing;
     Carisbrooke Castle standing in the centre of the island, could
     only serve for a partial retreat: and serious ravages might be
     committed ere any assistance arrived from the mainland. This want
     of domestic security so discouraged the natives, that many families
     withdrew, when an order was issued to the wardens to seize the
     lands of all such as refused to return.

     Not long afterwards a powerful body of Frenchmen landed in the
     island, the militia of which (900 in number,) had been reinforced
     from Southampton and London, in expectation of this hostile visit.
     The invaders were unable to reduce Carisbrooke Castle, which was
     commanded by the governor, Sir H. Tyrrel--and moreover suffered
     considerable loss by an ambuscade at a place near Newport, still
     called Deadman's Lane; [Footnote: A tumulus where the slain were
     buried, at the south entrance to the town, was exultingly named
     _Noddies'_ Hill--whence the present appellation Nodehill.] yet as
     the houses of the inhabitants lay at their mercy, they were at
     length bought off by the payment of 1000 marks, and a promise that
     no resistance should be offered, if they revisited the island
     within a year.

     In the reign of Henry IV, the French made two other attacks: on the
     first occasion they were repulsed with loss; and on the second,
     when a large fleet made a threatening demand of a subsidy, the
     islanders were so elated at their past success, that they invited
     the French to land and try their prowess in fair fight, after
     having had sufficient time to rest and refresh themselves: this
     handsome challenge was not however accepted.

     Owing to its comparatively remote situation, the island escaped
     those calamities which afflicted the rest of the kingdom during the
     bloody disputes of the rival Roses: nor was it engaged with any
     foreign enemy till the year 1488, when the governor, Sir Edward de
     Woodville, having raised a body of about 500 men, passed over to
     the continent in aid of the Duke of Bretagne against the king of
     France. At the battle of St. Aubin the Bretons were routed, and the
     islanders, whom hatred or contempt of the French probably impelled
     to a more obstinate resistance, perished to a man: this unfortunate
     event plunged the whole island into mourning; and in order to
     recruit the diminished population, an act of parliament forbad any
     single inhabitant from holding farms above the annual rent of ten
     marks.

     On the 18th of July, 1545, a large French fleet appearing off the
     Isle of Wight, the English squadron which lay at Spithead, though
     greatly inferior in force, stood out to meet them: but the
     admiral's ship _Mary Rose_ sinking with most of her crew, the
     others retreated into the Solent Channel; while the French landed
     several parties of troops, and after some sharp fighting, repulsed
     the islanders who had collected to oppose them; it was next
     proposed in a council of war to fortify and keep possession of the
     island, but this being considered impracticable by any number of
     men that could then be spared from the ships, they proceeded to
     pillage and burn the villages, till the inhabitants, being
     reinforced, attacked and drove them off with the loss of many men,
     and one of their principal officers. King Henry VIII, in order to
     prevent a repetition of such mischievous visits, erected several
     forts and blockhouses for the protection of the coast; and though
     the rapid advance of the British naval power still more effectually
     guarded it from the danger of foreign invasions, the islanders for
     many years afterwards neglected no precautions for their own
     defence: a train of field-pieces was provided among the different
     parishes, and the militia, in 1625, numbered 2000 men.

     In the division between king Charles I and the parliament, the
     islanders at first manifested some zeal in the royal cause; yet as
     soon as hostilities commenced at Portsmouth, the Newport militia
     expelled the weak garrison of Carisbrooke Castle, which, with the
     other forts, were delivered to the parliamentary troops; and on the
     arrival of the Earl of Pembroke, the gentlemen and principal
     farmers assembled at Cowes, and tendered him their best services.
     The inhabitants having thus taken a decisive step in closing with
     the prevailing power, remained undisturbed spectators of the
     ensuing commotions, till the king injudiciously sought here an
     asylum.

     On the 12th of November, 1647, Charles, who had just fled from
     Hampton Court, was met at Tichfield by Colonel Hammond, governor of
     the Isle of Wight, who invited him to take up his residence at
     Carisbrooke Castle. The offer was accepted, and for some time the
     royal guest appeared to be quite free and unrestrained in his
     actions and company; but afterwards his liberty was gradually
     abridged, his confidential servants removed, and himself imprisoned
     within the castle; the various unsuccessful attempts that were made
     to effect his escape only serving as a pretext to increase the
     rigor of his confinement. Yet during the subsequent negociations of
     the Treaty of Newport, he was set at large on his parole,--till a
     detachment of the army broke off the negociations by arresting and
     conveying him to Hurst Castle; 30 days before he lost his life at
     Whitehall.

     As its situation preserved it from scenes of hostility between the
     troops, the island enjoyed a much happier state than any other part
     of the kingdom during the civil war, which caused many families to
     retire hither: a circumstance that for the time rose the farm-rents
     in the proportion of 20 per cent. The subsequent local history
     presents nothing of any interest, with the exception perhaps of the
     powerful armaments which assembled in the neighbourhood during the
     last French war, and the large bodies of military which were in
     consequence here quartered.

     The absolute lordship of the Isle of Wight was given by William the
     Conqueror to one William Fitz-Osborne (in reward for his services
     at the battle of Hastings), "to be held by him as freely as he
     himself held the realm of England"; but in consequence of the
     defection of his descendant, it was resumed by the Crown. Henry I
     granted it to the Earl of Devon, in whose family it long continued,
     till the alienation of it was obtained by Edward I, for a
     comparatively small sum. The last grant was to Edward de Woodville
     in 1485; from which time there have been successively appointed by
     the Crown,--wardens, captains--and governors of the island: but the
     powers attached to the office have gradually declined, and at
     present it is a mere title, unaccompanied by duty or, we believe,
     emolument.--It is an amusing circumstance in the history of this
     little spot, that it had once the high-sounding honor of having a
     _King of its own!_--for the Duke of Warwick was so crowned by the
     hands of Henry VI, in the year 1444,--but it would seem that the
     glory of the name was all which his _Vectis_ Majesty derived from
     his accession.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER II.

Carisbrooke, Newport, Cowes, and Ryde.

       *       *       *       *       *

     As a stranger's attention is frequently diverted from noticing many
     interesting features of a scene in the hurried moment of his visit,
     an index >> is placed at the head of each section, pointing only to
     the _most remarkable objects_--a peculiarity which, it is presumed,
     will be found extremely useful to those who have little time to
     spare for minute examination or research.

     Our arrangement of the subjects supposes the reader to start from a
     point nearly central, and pursue his tour of the island in a
     regular progress, without frequently retrograding, or considerably
     deviating either to the right or left. This order must prove
     convenient for reference at all events, let the visitor commence
     his journey from any of the principal towns.

       *       *       *       *       *

CARISBROOKE CASTLE.

[Illustration: CARISBROOKE CASTLE, ISLE OF WIGHT.]

      "Still farther in the vale a castle lifts
    Its stately towers, and tottering battlements,
    Drest with the rampant ivy's uncheck'd growth."

>>_The chief curiosities within the castle are_ ... THE KEEP, _the
immense_ WELL, _and the apartments which were the_ PRISON _of King
Charles I and his family_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The high antiquity of this beautiful ruin, which occupies the crown of a
hill only one mile westward of Newport, renders it an object of the most
pleasing interest with all classes of visitors to the Isle of Wight; and
it is the only local specimen of ancient fortification deserving a
stranger's notice. It is known to have existed for at least fourteen
centuries, having in that long period been subjected of course to many
mutations. The Saxon chronicles mention it as a place of strength and
importance in the year 530, when Cerdic subdued the island; and it was
subsequently rendered almost impregnable, according to the mode of
fortification which prevailed among the Normans, by William
Fitz-Osborne, to whom the island was given by the Conqueror. And in the
reign of queen Elizabeth, it received the most substantial repairs and
ample additions; when the outer trenches and bastions were formed upon
the plan of those of Antwerp--circumscribing about 20 acres.

On our nearly reaching the top of the hill by the carriage-road, we see
first the ancient KEEP, peering above the rest of the ruins; and next,
the principal and well-guarded entrance to the interior of the fortress.
Passing through an ivied gateway, built in the reign of queen Elizabeth,
as appears by the legible inscription (40 E.R. 1520,) on a shield over
the arch: we proceed to another gateway in a spacious square building,
whose angles are strengthened by two noble round towers: this opens into
the interior area; had several prison rooms, and was armed with a
portcullis: but the whole of it is now in a sad condition,

    "Defac'd by time, and tott'ring in decay!"

Nothing can be more picturesque than the first view of this venerable
scene: the most luxuriant ivy everywhere mantles the grey walls and
mouldering battlements, interspersed with the waving branches of wild
vegetation: and the surrounding terraces are adorned with the opposing
tints of pines and every variety of deciduous trees.

Being admitted through the curious old oaken wicket to the inner court,
the attendant cicerone will lead the visitor to several objects in due
succession: the most remarkable are ...

The place in which the unfortunate king Charles I was confined (1647),
and his children imprisoned after his death: but the apartments are so
dilapidated that it is next to impossible to decide upon their
arrangement: the window however is shown through which he vainly
attempted an escape: this is generally examined with a greater share of
interest than perhaps any other part of the castle, and is often obliged
to contribute as a relic, some minute portion of its crumbling walls.

THE KEEP is certainly the most ancient part of the fortress, having been
built either prior to, or early in the time of the Saxons: and was
rendered an appendage to the more ample fortifications constructed by
the Normans. It is reached by a flight of 72 stone steps (nine inches
each); was guarded by a portcullis-gate; and provided with a well 310
feet deep, since partially filled by the falling ruins.

At the S.E. angle are the remains of another very ancient tower called
MONTJOY'S: the walls in some places are eighteen feet thick.

The WELL-HOUSE is to many persons the most attractive object within the
walls of the castle,--for should the solemn ruins fail to impress that
sentiment of reflection which proves to others the very zest of their
visit, they will at least be not a little amused by the apt performance
of a docile ass, whose task it is to draw up water from a well 300 feet
deep! This office he performs by treading rapidly inside of an immense
windlass-wheel (15-1/2 feet in diameter,) whereby he gives it the
necessary rotatory motion. The natural longevity of these patient
laborers is here exemplified by the instances on record; one done the
duty for above 50 years, another 40, and another nearly 30. To afford
some idea of the depth of the well, a lighted candle is lowered: and
water is thrown down from a bucket, which produces quite a startling
noise,--it will be three or four seconds in falling. For the same
purpose, pins were formerly employed, but these were strictly forbidden,
on account of their deleterious tendency on the water.

The Chapel, the Governor's apartments, the Barracks, Powder Magazine,
&c. are also pointed out; but to go over the whole works of this
venerable monument of antiquity, and give a minute detail of the several
parts usually shown to strangers, would be tedious to the _reader_,
though doubtless every spot and fragment must be viewed by the _visitor_
with a lively interest.

If a party be not pressed for time, they should go round the outer
terrace, reckoned a mile in circumference, the walk is in some parts
sequestered and most pleasingly solemn, in other points presenting very
charming views; and altogether calculated to raise our admiration, and
give a more perfect idea of this beautiful specimen of ancient
fortification.

The open space in the outworks, called the Place of Arms, is where the
Archery Club resort during the season for exercise; no spot certainly
could be more convenient: though by the bye, there is a degree of modish
gaiety on such occasions, which is not altogether in character (at least
to a picturesque eye,) with the solemnity of a scene betraying ...

    "The grey and grief-worn aspect of old days!"

     The military establishment of the castle is at present altogether a
     sinecure; formerly this was the regular seat of the insular
     government; but now it is quite deserted, save by the individual
     who has the privilege of showing the place to strangers, and his
     attendants.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE VILLAGE OF CARISBROOKE

Is an extremely pretty place, and still very populous, though much less
so than formerly, when it enjoyed the consequence of a CITY, guarded by
the only fortress in the island to which the inhabitants could fly for
refuge in the moment of invasion: it rises on a hill opposite that on
which stand the venerable ruins of the Castle: and in the intervening
valley a beautiful stream winds its course towards Newport, sufficiently
copious to turn several mills--the springs supplying water highly
esteemed for its purity. The church is of great antiquity: and its tower
is a very handsome specimen of Gothic architecture, proudly relieving
itself from the surrounding trees and habitations. There are several
genteel residences, and a few good lodging-houses in the village, whose
neatly dressed gardens, interspersed with lofty trees, and environed by
the most agreeable scenery, give to the place altogether an uncommon air
of rural beauty.

      "How picturesque the view, where up the side
    Of that steep hill, the roofs of russet thatch
    Rise mix'd with trees, above whose swelling tops
    Ascends the tall church-tower, and loftier still
    The hill's extended ridge, crown'd with yellow corn--
    While slow beneath the bank, the silver stream
    Glides by the flowery isles and willow groves."

       *       *       *       *       *



NEWPORT.

>>_To form an idea merely of the Town, it will be sufficient for a
stranger to pace two or three of the principal streets--the High-st. of
course from one end to the other; he will then see the_ TOWN-HALL: _the
old_ PARISH-CHURCH, _situated in the Corn-market; the public_ LIBRARY
_in the Beast-market; and the ancient_ GRAMMAR-SCHOOL. _The most
inviting short walks are over_ MONTJOY'S _to Carisbrooke_--_to the top
of_ PAN DOWN--_and to Hurststake, on the banks of the_ RIVER, _at high
tide_.

       *       *       *       *       *

NEWPORT is allowed by most travellers to be as clean and pretty a
country-town as any in the kingdom. The houses are of a modern and
respectable construction: the streets regular and well paved, with
sufficient descent to be always clean; and two copious streams water it
on the east and west.

Being closely surrounded by an amphitheatre of lofty downs, beautifully
checquered by pasture and cultivation, cottages and villas,--the
environs are of the most agreeable and inviting character, and the
climate mild and salubrious; to those therefore who love to blend social
intercourse with the pleasures of a cheerful yet quiet retreat, Newport
presents many decided attractions. Years ago it was observed, that
"there were few provincial towns which could afford independence more
sources of rational enjoyment:" and since then there has been a great
accession to the local means of intellectual pleasure, in respect of
philosophical and literary institutions, private and professional
reading societies, a Mechanics' Institution, circulating libraries, &c.
&c. The places of public worship too have equally increased; being three
episcopal (two of recent erection), two for Independents, two for
Wesleyan and Primitive Methodists, a Bible-Christian, a Roman-catholic,
a Unitarian, and a Particular-baptist. There are five respectable inns,
in the town (see the List), and two assembly-rooms.

From its central position, it is well calculated for being the principal
market-town, and, as it were the metropolis, of the island. On the
Saturdays in particular, it presents a very animated scene: being
frequented by all classes who are obliged to attend for the purposes of
business, or upon judicial affairs; which would naturally induce many
other parties to visit in favorable weather, were it only for the sake
of a pleasant jaunt.

These advantages of course give it a steady trade in almost every branch
of business; and latterly the shops have exchanged much of their
antiquated country appearance for the more imposing style of the
fashionable towns,--where dazzling glare is resorted to as the chief
attraction.

     Though Newport does not depend, like the watering-places, upon the
     annual influx of visitors engaging their lodgings for a season, yet
     many of the best situated and most convenient houses are handsomely
     fitted-up for the purpose; and should the river be ever
     sufficiently deepened to admit a passage steamer to ply at regular
     hours without regard to the state of the tide, Newport might defy
     all competition, by the rapid improvement of its various local
     capabilities which would necessarily follow.

The River (called the Medina, from dividing the island in the middle,)
is navigable from Newport to Cowes for vessels of sixty or seventy tons
burthen, during high water. The banks are beautifully dressed with
scattered groves and copse-wood: and interspersed with the arable fields
and meadows are several churches, seats, villas, farms, and cottages, on
either side: and as the lands rise rather boldly, the while scene is
viewed to advantage from the water, and will be found to afford a very
delightful trip on a summer's day, to or from Cowes; the party leaving
by the returning tide after about two hours' stay at either place.

     The gayest season at Newport is during the Whitsuntide Fair, and
     three successive Saturdays at Michaelmas, the time when the
     agricultural servants receive their wages, and re-engage for the
     following year. The old custom of the female-servants assembling at
     one part of the town, and the men at another, for the purpose of
     engaging in new situations, is still partially kept up; these
     occasions are familiarly called the "Bargain-fair Saturdays," the
     middle or principal one falling on the first Saturday in October.

       *       *       *       *       *


PUBLIC BUILDINGS.

Of these the most conspicuous is the GUILDHALL, situated nearly in the
centre of the town: it is rather a stately edifice of the Ionic order.
Here the magistrates of the whole island meet every Saturday for
hearing and deciding upon petty causes: and examining and committing
prisoners to the Winchester assizes, or in, minor offences to take their
trials at the quarter sessions for the Isle of Wight, formerly held at
Winchester, but which are _now_ very properly _adjourned_, to save the
inhabitants the great inconvenience and expense of crossing the water.
There are also the quarter sessions for the borough; and that excellent
institution, the County Court for the settlement of small debts.--In the
area beneath the hall is held the Saturday's market for poultry, eggs,
and butter.

Another showy building is the ISLE OF WIGHT INSTITUTION, or permanent
public Library, to which nearly all the neighbouring gentry subscribe.
Besides the reading-room and library it contains a museum for local
curiosities, &c. Temporary residents in the island may become
subscribers for six months by a payment of 25s.

The FREE-GRAMMAR SCHOOL is the only building claiming respect for its
antiquity (besides the parish-church), situated in the street leading to
the Cowes road: it was erected by subscription in the year 1619, and
duly endowed. Though recently having been repaired throughout, its
appearance is still rather picturesque: and possesses considerable
historic interest, from the memorable conference held here between the
parliamentary commissioners and king Charles the First, up to the
unfortunate moment when he was unexpectedly seized and imprisoned in
Hurst Castle.

The PARISH-CHURCH is considered to be of the age of Henry II, as it is
dedicated to St. Thomas-a-Becket: it is spacious, and has a fine lofty
square tower; but there is nothing very particular either in its
architecture or antiquities to call for minute description. The chief
curiosities are ... the Pulpit, remarkable for its rich and ingenious
carving: a monument to Sir Edward Horsey; and the spot where the second
daughter of King Charles was buried: she died while the family were
prisoners at Carisbrooke--and it was only by accident in the year 1793
that the vault was discovered.--ST. JOHN'S CHURCH, built a few years
ago on the south side of the town, at the foot of Montjoy's, is a
conspicuous object in most points of view: and though plain in
appearance, is very convenient in its interior arrangements: it is
supported on the voluntary principle.

Newport returns two members to parliament.--The number of inhabitants in
the town, which has considerably extended beyond the limits of the
borough, is about 7000. The corporate body consists of 24 members; but
since the passing of the Municipal Reform Act, there can of course be
nothing peculiar in their constitution of which the reader need be
informed.

     A Lace-factory on a very extensive scale is established just
     without the town, on the east side, going to Ryde: in the town is
     also an establishment which gives employment to many females in the
     lace-embroidering process.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Environs of Newport_.

The following villages and hamlets are nearly connected with, or
gradually approximating the town:--

On the eastern side, surrounded by meadows, is BARTON's VILLAGE, near
which a neat little church has lately been opened, on the road to
Ryde;--just above it is a gentleman's seat called BELLECROFT.

SHIDE, half a mile to the south, is picturesquely seated at the foot of
the steep and high down called Pan: the river Medina flows through the
grounds, and there are several respectable villas in its immediate
neighbourhood.

Westward is the NEW VILLAGE, a street of genteel and comfortable houses
(some of which are furnished for lodgings,) leading to Carisbrooke:
behind it is the hill called Montjoy's, from whose lofty summit is
obtained the most comprehensive view of Newport, its river, and the
adjacent country. There is also a small hamlet on HUNNY-HILL, north of
the town.

FAIRLEE is a principal seat, a mile north of Newport. The house is large
and of respectable appearance: standing at the head of an extensive and
beautiful lawn which slopes to the eastern bank of the river, surrounded
by close and open groves.

About a mile from Newport, on the road to West Cowes, stands the HOUSE
OF INDUSTRY, a very large building, generally containing between 500 and
600 paupers; it includes within its walls a lunatic asylum, hospital,
school, and chapel: and has an extensive garden attached.

     Its internal affairs and out-door relief are regulated by a Board
     of Guardians and Directors, consisting of a certain number of
     respectable inhabitants, chosen from every parish in the
     island,--under the provisions of an Act of Parliament obtained in
     the year 1770 for the parochial consolidation of the whole island.
     They are therefore independent of the Poor-law Commissioners, and
     have adopted only as much as they thought proper of the general
     statute.

ALBANY BARRACKS, on the opposite side of the road, are capable of
accommodating nearly 2000 troops--for a long time however the complement
stationed here seldom exceeded a few companies, and for months together
there would not be even a serjeant's guard: but latterly the depots of
several regiments have been removed hither: so that there are now often
from 1000 to 1500 men at the same time.

Westward of the Barracks, bordering the Yarmouth road, is the extensive
tract called PARKHURST FOREST, planted a few years since with oaks and
Scotch firs, by order of Government.

PARKHURST PRISON, to the north of the barracks, is an extensive range of
buildings, dedicated to the benevolent purpose of reclaiming from
infamy, if possible, a large number of juvenile criminals of the male
sex.

     To accomplish this truly desirable object (as _punishment_ ought
     certainly to be _corrective_ in the best sense of the word), the
     boys are regularly instructed by competent tradesmen, in such
     branches of popular business as may be best suited to their
     respective capacities: in conjunction with the most approved course
     of common school-education. Particular attention is likewise paid
     to the elevation of their moral character, so likely to be
     permanently influenced by means of impressive friendly admonition,
     the frequent inculcation and daily observance of religious duties,
     and the exciting hope of reward for good behaviour in a mitigation
     of their sentence: in short, by the most encouraging and kind
     treatment, as far as is compatible with the strictness of prison
     discipline. None therefore, but the thoroughly incorrigible, can
     leave the institution without being greatly improved in their
     habits and dispositions, if not altogether reformed; since _Order,
     Cleanliness, Activity_, and _Industry_, must become almost natural
     to them by the time they are discharged,--their understandings
     cultivated, and their minds more or less impressed with the
     sentiments of virtue and religion.

     It would be injudicious to enter in detail on the subject of the
     routine management, or the particular discipline adopted in the
     respective wards: as very probably many alterations will be
     introduced from time to time, as experiment and practice may
     suggest: and moreover, as a "Report" is annually published by order
     of Government (at a low price), containing the most minute
     particulars in every department of the Asylum. For the same reasons
     we have avoided any description of the architectural plan of the
     prison, a pretty good idea of which may be formed in passing by on
     the high-road.--We must however mention one fact that speaks highly
     favorably of the salutary system adopted, namely, that during the
     five years from the opening of the institution in 1838, there
     occurred but two deaths among the boys, though the number averaged
     about 250 at the same time.

     The establishment has been visited by several eminent persons, who,
     after having particularly examined the course adopted in every
     department, expressed themselves so well pleased with its
     management and beneficial tendency, that another building at a
     short distance was erected in 1843; and altogether there is
     sufficient room now for 700 or 800 delinquents. No stranger is
     admitted without an order from the Home Secretary of State.

The newly erected residences of the officers and other parties connected
with the prison, barracks, &c., altogether form quite a village, known
by the general term of Parkhurst.

       *       *       *       *       *


WEST COWES.

>>_The transient visitor here should immediately inquire
for the_ PARADE--_pass by the_ CASTLE _on the beach, to the
bathing-machines_--_retrograde by the carriage-road under the_ NEW
CHURCH--_mount the hill at the back of the Castle_--_reach the_ OLD
CHURCH, _which is contiguous to_ NORTHWOOD PARK--_and then return, to
cross over to E. Cowes_.

       *       *       *       *       *

The decided advantages of Cowes are ... its excellent shore for
bathing--and its safe and commodious harbour--which recommend it
strongly as a fashionable watering-place, and the resort of gentlemen
fond of aquatic amusements.

The appearance of this town from the water, particularly when approached
by the passage from Southampton, is extremely pleasing; as the acclivity
of the hill on which it stands is sufficiently bold to admit of the
houses being seen above each other, as if built on a succession of
terraces, while their starting formality is charmingly relieved by the
intervening shrubberies and groups of lofty trees. To a stranger
however, who may confine his walk to the streets just where he lands,
this favorable impression would be almost obliterated,--for they are
both narrow and crowded: though in these respects there is some
improvement the further he goes either to the east or the west; but it
is near the Castle that he must look for the greatest share of united
beauty and respectability. The truth is, the lower part near the quay is
of course occupied by tradesmen, for the advantages of business, and
convenient landing-places; and as their houses stand at the edge of the
water, many parties prefer their lodgings to those in the more open
quarters on the top of the hill,--and many of them are therefore
elegantly furnished for letting.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PARADE affords a delightful promenade, being on the water's edge.
Here are several first-rate houses, standing at the foot of the steepest
part of the hill, which is luxuriantly clothed with hanging shrubberies
and several groups of majestic trees, presenting a perfectly unique
picture of sylvan and marine beauty. The Royal Yacht-Club House, with
its ample awning, and the very elegant Gothic villa of Sir John
Hippesley, will be particularly noticed.

[Illustration: THE CASTLE, WEST COWES, ISLE OF WIGHT]

THE CASTLE stands westward of the Parade: but were it not for a small
battery of eleven guns in front, the stranger might search in vain for a
fabric which he could identify as "a Castle," at least by any portion of
its modernized architecture and surrounding embellishments. In fact, the
original dwelling was a few years ago greatly enlarged--made a story
higher--the open ground at the back inclosed (!)--with other alterations
to render it a fit residence for nobility. It was built by king Henry
VIII, about the same time as those at Sandown, Yarmouth, and Calshot,
for the purpose of securing the coast against the then frequent attacks
of pirates, as well as the more formidable invasions of the French.

Beyond the Castle are the bathing-machines; the villas of Earl Belfast
and Lord Grantham; and behind these several others built in various
tasty styles, and acquiring a picturesque effect from being more or less
screened by the copse-wood on the steep slope at their back. But the
chief ornament of this quarter is the new Episcopal chapel, whether
viewed near, or from a distance on the water,--being a chastely-elegant
structure in the Gothic style, in a most commanding situation: it is
private property. Should the stranger feel disposed to extend his walk
for about a mile further on the beach, which he would find very
agreeable--he will come to a gentleman's residence distinguished by an
air of antiquity, named Westcliff, though the neighbourhood is popularly
called EGYPT.

     We make this remark, because there is a lane close by, which turns
     up to the high-road from Cowes to Gurnard Bay, and by this road we
     would recommend the visitor by all means to return, for the sake of
     the magnificent prospect which it affords, and on the peculiar
     character of which the _permanent_ attractions of the place so much
     depend. But to do this justice, the reader must have recourse to
     his Map. The most prominent objects are Calshot Castle, standing
     apparently isolated at the mouth of Southampton Water, and the tall
     tower of Eaglehurst, seated on the neighbouring shore.

     By "permanent attractions," we mean, that many landscapes of the
     most romantic character fail to attract our attention for any
     considerable time, on _repeated_ visits, if destitute of those
     ever-varying circumstances which have in some degree the interest
     of NOVELTY such for instance as the rural, and more particularly
     the _marine_ prospects of the Isle of Wight; these afford an
     endless source of amusement to the speculative eye,--whether
     directed to the soft and gradual changes on the variegated face of
     Nature _under cultivation_, or to the more animated, and constantly
     shifting scene exhibited in a crowded sea-port, or where there are
     other safe and ample roadsteds for the heaviest ships of war. In
     these advantages Cowes and Ryde stand pre-eminent.

    "Scenes must he beautiful, which daily viewed,
    Please daily, and whose novelty survives
    Long knowledge, and the scrutiny of years--
    Praise justly due to those that I describe"



We are now supposed to have reached the top of the hill, where the old
CHURCH is situated: this is a spacious, plain building, having a very
tall square tower, as destitute of beauty as anything of the kind can
well be: yet as it peers loftily above all the surrounding objects, is a
great improvement to the outline of the hill, when viewed from any
considerable distance. Contiguous to the crowded cemetery stands ...

NORTHWOOD HOUSE, a large and elegant mansion in the Palladian style of
architecture. The PARK is an extensive demesne, and profusely planted;
there are however comparatively few of those venerable sylvan honors
which constitute the beauty of park-scenery.

On the eastern slope of the hill, where the high-road turns off for
Newport, stands WESTHILL, a charming cottage-ornee in the centre of a
smooth sloping lawn interspersed with magnificent elms and close
shrubberies.--In the environs of Cowes are several other genteel
residences: MOOR-HOUSE is distinguished by its Gothic pinnacles and
commanding station: and near Gurnard Bay is a pretty retired seat,
appropriately called WOOD-VALE.

Besides the two churches, there are Catholic, Independent, and Wesleyan
chapels. There are three large Hotels (see the List), and several minor
places of good accommodation; reading-rooms, a Mechanics' Institution,
&c.

       *       *       *       *       *

EAST COWES.

>> _The town itself has nothing to interest a stranger: but in the
vicinity are several first-rate seats and marine villas--the most
distinguished being_ OSBORNE, NORRIS, _and_ EAST COWES CASTLE.

       *       *       *       *       *

This little town is separated from West Cowes by the river Medina, which
here joins the sea. From the unexpected concurrence of various favorable
circumstances, it is looking-up to be a place of some importance: the
value of property has already considerably advanced, and trade in
general improved. It has one good Hotel, several respectable
lodging-houses: a neat episcopalian church, and an Independent chapel.
Having a large shipwright's yard, and a number of marine stores, wharfs,
&c., where merchant-ships lie alongside to take in or unload their
cargoes, it often exhibits much of the bustling appearance of a sea-port
town. There is a private landing-place near the ferry, for the
accommodation of Her Majesty. The Custom-house has been removed to the
other side of the harbour.

The immediate neighbourhood of East Cowes has long been extremely
beautiful, from being almost entirely covered with charming seats and
villas, whose luxuriant groves and shrubberies give the scenery an
uncommonly rich effect: and her Majesty having made this part of the
island her marine residence, it now possesses a proud distinction in
point of interest with the British public.

A stranger should make his perambulation by first ascending the hill by
the _old_ carriage-road, passing several villas (see list) secluded by
dense shrubberies and large trees; a circumstance little to be
regretted, as their chief boast is the amenity of their location. But
through the tall plantations on the right our eye will be delightfully
attracted by the picturesque turrets of East Cowes Castle, and the
surrounding beautiful grounds. At the pretty lodge-entrance to the
castle, the road divides,--the left-hand branch running to Norris, the
right to Osborne and Newport; and in about eight or ten minutes' further
walk, we can return by the new road through "East Cowes Park."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: OSBORNE, ISLE OF WIGHT]

_The Principal Seats near East Cowes._

OSBORNE, the property of HER MOST GRACIOUS MAJESTY, is entitled, equally
from public interest and its own importance, to the first notice under
this head.--The situation is everyway eligible for the _marine_
residence of a sovereign of the British Isles: for it commands a most
extensive and _animated_ prospect, including Spithead and other naval
stations: has a beautiful sea-beach (with a private landing-place); and
is sheltered by extensive woods and plantations. The original seat was a
plain family mansion surrounded by park-like grounds, which have been
extended by the purchase of several farms--including BARTON (whose fine
old Elizabethan manor-house has received a complete and judicious
reparation): so that the estate is now most conveniently bounded on the
west by the high-road from East Cowes to Newport; on the south by a
branch of the same road to Ryde; on the east by a sheltered cove called
King's Quay (as tradition will have it from the circumstance of King
John there concealing himself for a time when opposed by the barons):
and on the north-east by the beautiful Solent Channel. Thus compassed by
the sea and the best roads in the island, it extends from north to south
about two miles and a half, by nearly two miles from east to west;
enjoying the most delightful variety of scenery, from the simple picture
of rural life to the grandeur of our NAVAL GLORY, and the majesty of the
ocean itself.

     The quality of the soil differs very considerably; but the worst is
     well adapted for oak-plantations; and the thorough draining and
     other improvements now carrying on will make the whole admirably
     suited for agricultural pursuits, to which H.R.H. the Prince
     Consort is very partial. A great part of the estate is enclosed by
     a park-fence; and through the luxuriant woods and undulating
     grounds, several miles of excellent private carriage-roads have
     been constructed, much more being in progress.

The PALACE occupies the site of the old house; it is in the Palladian
style (which so admirably admits the application to domestic
architecture of the most beautiful features of the Grecian orders).
Within the ballustrade of its lofty flat roof is a charming promenade in
fine weather.

The flag-tower is 107 feet in height, the clock-tower 90, the first
terrace-wall 17, and the second 10. The Royal Apartments are contained
in the loftiest part of the building--they are handsome and spacious,
and standing altogether in advance, command on every side the most
uninterrupted views: at the back is the flag-tower, communicating with
an open corridor which extends the whole of the north-west face of the
building; and on the other side of the tower is the carriage-entrance,
opening on pleasure-grounds adorned with the choicest varieties of
ornamental shrubs--thriving with a luxuriance which promises well for
the appearance of the estate, when the whole shall have been finished.
The builder is T. Cubitt, esq.; but the design, we believe, was
principally furnished by His Royal Highness Prince Albert himself--whose
taste, and knowledge of the fine arts, well qualify him for the
undertaking.

     As it would be almost impossible to convey by verbal description a
     correct idea of the general appearance of this noble structure, we
     beg to refer our readers to the annexed Engraving--and also to the
     Views of Osborne, recently published in the "Vectis Scenery," and
     which may be purchased separately at 1s. each.

NORRIS is a noble specimen of the castellated mansion, having been
built in imitation of an ancient Norman fabric--massive in its
construction, and remarkable for a stern simplicity of style disdaining
all minute decoration. From this circumstance, and some of the loftiest
towers being enveloped in the most luxuriant ivy, the whole building has
so venerable an air of antiquity, even when closely examined, that we
can hardly suppose it to be the production of modern days: and enjoying
too as it does an uncommonly fine position on the most northern hill of
the island, its general aspect is truly magnificent in every point of
view. It is scarcely necessary to add, that the castle commands a most
interesting marine prospect.

Some of the rooms are of elegant dimensions, and the arrangement of the
whole considered good--such indeed might be expected from the reputation
of the architect, the late Mr. Wyatt. The stables, &c., are also on a
very ample scale, and in the same plain, substantial style as the
castle, for which they have not unfrequently been taken by strangers at
the first glance.

The grounds are now well timbered: the plantations beautifully dressing
the steep slope even to the water's edge. The utmost privacy might be
enjoyed, for there is the accommodation of a good landing-place, and a
carriage-road thence to the house.

     Norris was the property of the late Lord Henry Seymour, who was
     engaged many years in its construction, and must in the course of a
     long period have expended immense sums in improvements that may be
     said to be now buried from our view. After his demise, it was two
     seasons chosen for the residence of their R.H. the Duchess of Kent
     and the Princess Victoria (during which time the latter improved
     remarkably in her health): and has since been purchased on very
     moderate terms by R. Bell, esq.--who greatly extended the scope of
     the grounds by fresh purchases of land, especially by some
     belonging to the Osborne estate--previously to her Majesty's
     negociating for its possession.

EAST COWES CASTLE, which enjoys a truly enviable site (for it combines
an uncommon degree of shelter with the most extensive and _animated_
prospect), is built in the bold style usually termed the Moorish, and
has three handsome fronts of varied elevations, with a tasteful
diversity of towers, mantled more or less by the most luxuriant ivy, and
a great variety of elegant flowering plants. The Conservatory is a
splendid addition; and the grounds, though not extensive, are very
beautiful.

     East Cowes Castle was built by, and continued for many years to be
     the favorite residence of the late John Nash, esq., and was with
     him a sort of architectural pet, receiving from time to time such
     additions and alterations as appeared to be improvements to the
     general design, or called for on the score of enlarged
     accommodation; a circumstance certainly not calculated to insure
     the greatest amount of domestic convenience (as regards the size
     and arrangement of the rooms), though no doubt contributing largely
     to the picturesque effect of the exterior. On Mr. Nash's demise it
     was purchased by Earl Shannon,--and after his death by N. Barwell,
     esq., who in 1846 sold off all the furniture, and valuable
     productions of art which adorned this beautiful object of interest
     to visitors.

       *       *       *       *       *


"EAST COWES PARK"

Is the title of a very extensive building speculation, which comprehends
above 100 acres of land, lying between Osborne and East Cowes. This
tract was a few years back laid out for the erection of a number of
elegant villa-residences, each to be surrounded with its garden and
shrubbery, yet to command a delightful marine view. Excellent roads were
made, having on either side a foot-path, flower-border, and neat iron
pallisade; handsome gateways erected; and a pier, botanic garden, and
other attractive improvements commenced or projected. The speculation
did not however meet the success it merited, and comparatively few
houses have as yet been built.

       *       *       *       *       *


THE HARBOUR,

To which Cowes is principally indebted for its origin and present
importance, enjoys a high character for safety as well as convenience:
it is used by vessels of heavy tonnage, either in waiting for a
favorable wind, or for the purpose of repairing damages sustained at
sea; and after stormy weather, is often crowded with ships of various
nations, in addition to those registered at the place--this being the
port for the whole island.

There are spacious dockyards, patent slips, &c., both at East and West
Cowes: at the latter, excellent dry docks. The naval builders have long
held a high reputation for skill: several men-of-war were built here
during the last century; and of late years numerous beautiful
pleasure-yachts, merchantmen, sloops of war, and other vessels--including
the _Medina_, a first-rate steam-ship (lost on the West India passage),
and some large steamers for various foreign governments.

       *       *       *       *       *

     THE ROYAL-YACHT-SQUADRON

     Make Cowes their port of rendezvous: they contribute largely to the
     maritime gaiety of the place, and give particular classes of
     tradesmen an extensive share of employment; but the town altogether
     does not, it is said, derive that degree of fostering patronage
     from their presence which might be expected. The _Royal Thames
     Yacht-club_ often make this their summer-station.


     THE REGATTA

     Generally takes place in August, and is an exciting source of
     hilarity with the inhabitants of Cowes, as well as numerous
     visitors from every part of the island and opposite coast,--should
     the weather prove favorable at the time. The sailing-matches are
     now mostly confined to the members of the Royal Yacht-squadrons:
     and it is to be regretted, that owing to the distance which they
     sail, and the number of days engaged, comparatively little pleasure
     is afforded to the mere spectator: there is however usually one
     day's continued amusement--when sailing and rowing matches for
     liberal subscription-prizes likewise take place between the local
     watermen, &c.--excellent bands of music attend,--and in the evening
     there is a brilliant display of fire-works, both from the shore and
     from the yachts in various parts of the harbour. On these occasions
     the appearance of the whole is animated beyond description; and to
     a person from the country, the exhibition of such a numerous
     assemblage of the most beautiful vessels in the world must prove a
     lively gratification, for they are of every size and variety of
     rig, from the stately ship of 4 or 500 tons burthen down to the
     yawl of only 10.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Cowes lies extremely convenient for parties fond of aquatic trips:
     for which purpose a number of experienced watermen ply excellent
     boats: they are most frequently engaged in the short and pleasant
     excursions to Beaulieu, Netley, Southampton (on the opposite
     coast), and Newport; sometimes to Alum Bay, and even for a voyage
     round the island.

     The bathing here is considered very excellent: particularly so at
     W. Cowes, from the boldness and pebbly character of the beach,
     admitting the machines to be put in requisition in all states of
     the tide,--a very great advantage. There are also hot and other
     baths for the use of invalids, both at the machines and at certain
     parts of the town.

       *       *       *       *       *


_The Road from East Cowes to Ryde._

WHIPPINGHAM CHURCH stands near the second mile-stone, on the ascent of a
hill rising from the eastern bank of the Medina: it is perhaps the
neatest _old_ ecclesiastical structure in the island, and is frequently
attended by her Majesty and Prince Albert when residing at Osborne.
Close by are the Parsonages and PADMORE HOUSE, embosomed in groves, and
commanding an extensive prospect--the nearest object on the opposite
side of the river being the ancient though plain church of Northwood.
Altogether this is a very pleasing rural spot, and to visit it will make
the difference of only a few minutes in diverging from the regular road.

       *       *       *       *       *


WOOTTON-BRIDGE.

Here we pass over an inlet of the sea, indifferently called Fishbourne
Creek or Wootton River; the cottages border the road on either side, and
have a remarkably clean and comfortable appearance. There are also a few
good houses: the Parsonage, though rather secluded, enjoys a charming
marine prospect; and _Kite-hill_ will be known by its antique aspect and
screen of lofty firs. But the pride of the place is FERNHILL, a
first-rate seat: the house is built in the light Gothic style, and
stands at the head of an extensive lawn sloping to the water,
interspersed with groups of trees and flourishing plantations.

     We shall often see the prospect-tower of Fernhill peering above the
     masses of variegated foliage; and indeed the whole has much the air
     of a religious structure, enjoying one of those happy localities
     which distinguished such retreats of former days. The opposite
     banks of the river, or rather lake, are clothed with the finest
     oak-woods in the island, feathering from the very water's edge; and
     the whole neighbourhood presents the rich appearance of an
     extensive forest covering hill and dale. Should therefore the
     visitor reach this spot at the favorable concurrence of high water
     on a calm sunny day, he will agree with us that the whole forms a
     splendid landscape,--_rock_ being in fact the only feature denied
     to make it perfect.

     Excellent roads have recently been made (by the proprietor of the
     estate,) on the west side of the river, below the bridge: affording
     a very pleasant drive; and as they open many delightful sites, will
     probably cause a considerable accession of buildings in that
     direction.

     At the mouth of the creek on the east side is a large hamlet called
     FISHHOUSE, including a dockyard, where several frigates have been
     built.

WOOTTON COMMON is a mile nearer Newport: and affords an instance within
a few years of a wild tract of gorse and brambles being profitably
converted to tillage and garden. Here too are several scattered
dwellings forming an improving hamlet; and in one of them (called in
courtesy _Landscape Cottage_,) was produced _in all its stages_ the
present little work, as well as its other kindred publications.

About midway between Wootton and Ryde, on the sea side of the road, we
pass the remains of


QUARR ABBEY,

The most considerable ecclesiastical establishment ever founded in the
Isle of Wight, which had, like every other part of Great Britain,
previous to the Reformation, its full share of monastic and other
religious institutions. This was among the first settlements of the
Cistercian Order in England, having been built in the 12th century; was
most amply endowed, and had several illustrious persons buried in the
chapel, to whose memory sumptuous monuments were erected; but after its
dissolution, the property was purchased by a merchant of Southampton,
and the sacred edifice _reduced for the value of the bare materials_.

     The merchant's son afterwards sold the estate to the Lord Chief
     Justice, Sir Thomas Fleming, with whose descendants it still
     remains. Some of the outer walls are still extant, and must have
     circumscribed at least 20 acres. A foot-path passes through the
     grounds to Ryde, &c.

     Of this once-magnificent establishment little now remains; merely
     portions of the appendant offices, which were converted into barns,
     &c., for farm-purposes. What was spared in the moment of ruthless
     spoliation, lay long buried under heaps of rubbish and weeds--till
     a few years since, when one of the occupiers, with laudable zeal,
     rescued from total annihilation the few remaining fragments, which
     are now open to the view of strangers.

       *       *       *       *       *

     The other Religious Structures

     Scattered through the island were ... a Priory at St. Helen's; one
     at Appuldurcombe; one at St. Cross, near Newport; and another at
     Carisbrooke, vestiges of which may still be traced; together with a
     great number of oratories, chantries, chapels, and religious
     houses, amounting in the whole to 70 or 80, exclusive of the
     regular parish-churches;--and yet scarcely any of these interesting
     monuments have survived their reckless doom to ruin and neglect;
     not even a spiry fragment sufficiently large or romantic to form a
     pleasing subject for the pencil, invite the mind to contemplation,
     or aid the poet's retrospective muse.

       *       *       *       *       *

BINSTEAD, to which there is a good foot-path from Quarr through the
woods, is about a mile westward of Ryde. Several genteel residences,
mostly built in a pleasing cottage-style, adorned by groups of trees and
shrubs, are scattered over a wide space of broken ground, where
extensive stone-quarries have been worked for many centuries. It is a
favorite walk with the inhabitants of Ryde, across the fields to the
church (not seen from the road), which has lately been considerably
enlarged and improved. The names of the respective villas will be found
in the List of Seats.

       *       *       *       *       *

RYDE.

     >> _The best may of seeing this populous town, by those who have
     little inclination, or perhaps less time, for perambulation is,
     from the Pier, to enquire first for_ BRIGSTOCK TERRACE--_walk on
     for about five minutes still westward--returning, pass by the_
     CHURCH, _and round the_ TOWN-HALL, _and Market-place_, ST. JAMES'S
     CHAPEL, _and the Theatre;--look into the_ ARCADE, _a little
     below;--traverse the street nearly opposite the theatre, which will
     open the eastern part of the town, where there is a handsome_ NEW
     CHURCH--_and the very agreeable Environs in the direction of Appley
     and St. John's, which ought to be visited if time could be spared,
     going first on the beach, and returning by the high-road, a circuit
     of about two miles._

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: RYDE, ISLE OF WIGHT.]

Ryde now ranks the first town in the island for the number of its
elegant _modern_ erections, both public and private; and if building
should be carried on with an equal degree of spirit for a few years
more, it will also be considerably the most populous. It occupies two
sides of a lofty hill, falling with a regular descent to the sea on the
north, opposite Portsmouth, from which it is about five miles across.
This short passage, from its perfect safety and general convenience,
proves a great local advantage, being performed several times a-day by
superior steam-vessels in about half an hour. But besides these
established means of conveyance, large-sized wherries (most excellent
sea-boats,) are in constant attendance to take parties across on
moderate terms, or for hire by the day upon any aquatic trip, even to
Brighton.

The town used formerly to be distinguished into Upper and Lower Ryde,
from having several fields between, but now it is only the difference of
position which calls for any term of distinction; for where the green
meadows then formed the separation, is now the most closely built upon;
and at the beginning of this century, Yelf's Hotel stood a new and
isolated object.

The principal streets are very open, clean, and well-paved; regularly
disposed, most of them crossing each other nearly at right angles.
Several of the handsomest run parallel almost in a direct line to the
beach, thus affording the very desirable advantage of an interesting
sea-view.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE PIER being the first object to interest a stranger, and having
contributed more than anything else to the advancement of the town, is
well entitled to priority of notice.

     Up to the year 1814, when it was constructed by a company in
     subscription shares of £.50 each, landing or embarking was rendered
     generally a miserable task, except during very favorable weather,
     at the moment of high tide. The practice then was, to cram the
     passengers promiscuously into a common luggage-cart, till it was
     drawn out upon the almost level sands sufficiently far for a large
     wherry to float alongside, into which they were then transferred,
     and conveyed to the sailing-packet, perhaps lying off at some
     considerable distance. The reader will readily believe that this
     united cart and boat process of reaching the vessel or shore could
     not be very inviting at the best of times; but it was really
     terrific to weak and timid persons during the concurrence of a
     heavy rain, and the tide perhaps at its lowest ebb!--to say nothing
     of the horrors of a dark and squally night.

     The length of the Pier is now nearly half a mile (being double the
     extent it was originally), having had 500 feet added in the year
     1824: the same augmentation again in 1833; and in 1842 it received
     the crowning addition of a most spacious and well constructed HEAD,
     which was rendered everyway more convenient for passengers landing
     or embarking. This last improvement must afford a most delightful
     accommodation for the gentry who prefer the pier for their usual
     promenade; and where, from the great extent it stretches out into
     the open sea, those invalids who are precluded from exercise, may
     more conveniently enjoy the invigorating sea-breeze. It is firmly
     constructed of timber: has four or five landing-places at different
     distances to suit the state of the tide: a strong railing on each
     side; and is furnished with several open and covered seats.

       *       *       *       *       *

_PRINCIPAL BUILDINGS_.

The TOWN-HALL and MARKET-HOUSE affords the best proof of the public
spirit of the inhabitants of Hyde in regard to local improvements: for
this handsome edifice is on a scale to accommodate three or four times
the present population. It was first opened in the year 1831: and the
commissioners for improving the town endeavoured to establish a
permanent market for cattle, &c., to be held in the large open space in
front, but the attempt proved abortive--Newport lying so much more
conveniently for the general resort of agriculturists and tradesmen from
every quarter of the island.--It is remarkable, however, considering the
spirit of the inhabitants for public improvements, that it should have
been left to the year 1840, before the town was lighted with gas!

The ARCADE is an elegant piece of architecture, though it does not make
that imposing figure of its exterior, which the visitor would expect,
when previously told that it cost at least £10,000. It contains 14
shops, and a very large room for the exhibition and sale of works of
art: every portion being finished in the best style of workmanship.

     This bold undertaking for a private individual, we are sorry to
     say, has not yet realized a remunerating return. The mistake seems
     to have been in fixing upon a site which had no local advantages to
     recommend it for a fashionable promenade; nor likely ever to become
     a much-frequented thoroughfare, popular and busy. Moreover, the
     tradesmen generally find it more to their advantage to engage
     respectable houses in the best streets, where they can profitably
     let lodgings, and make a much more attractive exhibition of their
     goods. These remarks will also serve to explain, why comparatively
     so few persons avail themselves of the extensive accommodation
     which the Market-house affords.

BRIGSTOCK TERRACE is a fine range of first-rate houses built according
to a very judicious, uniform design, furnished by the late Mr. J.
Sanderson. They command a beautiful marine prospect, as they stand at
the head of a sloping lawn-like field, interspersed with several oaks
and elms: indeed the terrace is the most conspicuous part of Ryde when
viewed from the sea.

On the west side of the town too is a very spacious square, comprising a
great variety of tastefully-embellished mansions; indeed in every
direction a number of elegant houses are constructing,--tenants being
found for most of them even before they are completed.

     A very few years ago it was quite an easy task to point out by
     distinctive marks all the most important houses--it was only to
     name _Westmont_, and the two unobtrusive villas of the Duke of
     Buckingham and Earl Spencer. The stranger could then have no
     difficulty in discriminating these: but now, to give a List of all
     the residences that are entitled to notice with an equal share of
     pretensions, however judiciously described, would prove perfectly
     futile, and only calculated to mislead the stranger.

CHURCHES and other public places of divine worship.--These of course
increase with the population; for only as late as the year 1827, the old
chapel, now distinguished by its graceful spire (and seen at the back of
the terrace), was so inadequate in its accommodations, as to require
being considerably enlarged: and in the same year another was commenced
as a private speculation by Hughes Hughes, esq., this is a long, low
edifice, remarkable for its neat interior: a third has since been
erected on the eastern side of the town, of a handsome design both
inside and out, and very conspicuous from its open situation and lofty
spire:--all three being episcopalian chapels of ease to Newchurch. The
Independents, Wesleyans, and Primitive-methodists have also their
respective chapels, and one for Catholic worship has been lately built,
of the most elaborate style of architecture, especially the interior.

THE FAMILY HOTELS, INNS, &C.--Of these there are several, of various
ranks, some of them vying in splendor and extent of accommodation with
the best in the county (see the List). The lodging-houses are of course
very numerous, and in every grade, from the humble _jessamy_ or _myrtle_
cottage at 20 or 30 shillings per week, to the lordly mansion at as many
guineas.

During the latter summer months, the theatre is usually opened by a
talented company of comedians. The shops are generally very imposingly
fitted-up and well stocked: and in the literary and fancy lines are
several excellent establishments--news-rooms, circulating-libraries,
bazaars, &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


     _Aquatic Amusements, &c. at Ryde._

     THE ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT-CLUB, established in 1845, numbers amongst
     its members many gentlemen of the highest rank, and owners of as
     fine yachts as any in the world. Their Club-house is a handsome and
     commodious building on the beach west of the Pier; and they have an
     annual Regatta in the latter part of the summer, when several
     pieces of plate, etc., are sailed for by the vessels of this and
     other clubs. There is also a TOWN REGATTA held about the same time,
     for the purpose of giving encouragement to the skilful and
     deserving watermen: the sailing matches being between the wherries
     of the place, which are of a large size, and esteemed by nautical
     men to be the finest sea-boats in the kingdom: and as the race is
     confined to a circuit which can be distinctly seen from the whole
     of the Pier, there is as much interest excited as if the prizes
     were contested between larger craft. Rowing-matches also take
     place; good bands attend--and the diversions of the day usually end
     with a splendid display of fireworks, a dinner, or a ball. In
     short, nothing can exceed the gaiety of the scene, when the weather
     is at all fine: as it is made the occasion of a general festivity
     by the inhabitants--and resorted to as a holiday by great numbers
     from Newport, and the eastern parts of the island.

THE SHORE presents, when the tide is at its lowest ebb, a wide expanse
of sand, stretching for miles both eastward and westward of the Pier,
preserving upon an average the breadth of a mile: here and there
interspersed with ledges of rock, and the banks beautifully feathered
with groves and shrubberies. In some parts the sand has accumulated over
the mud in sufficient quantity to bear wheel-carriages (which is the
case near the Pier): and is found to be gradually increasing both in
depth and extent. The best time to take a walk upon the shore is
directly after the tide has begun to ebb,--for the sand is then firm and
cool to the feet; but after a few hours' powerful sun in calm weather,
it is rendered sufficiently hot to give the flowing sea almost the
temperature of a warm bath, on which account the bathing here is
preferred by many parties to a bolder shore.

     That part called the DUVER (now built on,) was remarkable as having
     been chosen for interring the crew of the Royal George, a ship of
     108 guns, which sank at Spithead on August 29th, 1782, by a sudden
     squall, while undergoing a careening of her bottom, when nearly
     1000 persons perished.

Near the Pier are the bathing-machines, well attended, and in full
operation; together with hot, tepid, and other baths for invalids.

     THE PROSPECT.--As the _amenity_ of every situation depends, we
     consider, greatly on the range and beauty of the view which it
     commands, we here give a faint sketch of the one obtained from Ryde
     and its neighbourhood: by which, however imperfect, it will be seen
     by the reader, that few prospects in England can surpass this,
     perhaps even in point of pleasing composition--but certainly not as
     _a perpetual source of the most amusing observation_.

     The foreground of the Pier generally presents a most animated
     picture,--crowded with promenading fashionables; and surrounded by
     numerous wherries, steam-packets, and other craft, at anchor or
     gaily sailing about; a busy scene which forms a striking contrast
     to the quiet sylvan charms of the home-coast extending many miles
     east and west, and embellished by several delightful villas and
     other marine residences, among which are Osborne Palace (indicated
     by a lofty prospect-tower),--and Norris Castle, just beyond. We
     have the Solent Channel seen from here to peculiar advantage,--on
     the one hand contracting to the appearance of a noble river, and on
     the other expanding and uniting with the open sea. The far-famed
     anchorage of Spithead occupies the centre, with St. Helen's to the
     eastward, for ships of war; and westward, the Motherbank and
     Stokes's Bay, for merchantmen and colliers; hourly altering their
     position with the changing tides, and their number as suddenly
     increased or diminished with every adverse or propitious breeze.

    "Majestic o'er the sparkling tide,
      See the tall vessel sail,
    With swelling winds, in shadowy pride,
      A swan before the gale!"

     The eye is soon caught by a splendid range of houses called
     Anglesea Villa, on the opposite nearest shore, contiguous to
     Monkton Fort; and is thence carried to immense mass of brick
     buildings that form the grand naval hospital of Haslar, with the
     town of Gosport in its rear; opposite which are the celebrated
     fortifications of Portsmouth, with its noble harbour affording calm
     security to the maritime glory of England:--Southsea Castle stands
     a little to the eastward, and beyond that is the low level of
     Hayling Island, where several handsome houses have recently been
     built.

     The line of Portsdown hills, on one of which is Nelson's monumental
     pillar, usually bounds the view to the north; but in clear weather
     our range of perspective embraces a portion of the South Downs
     which is crossed by the London road near Petersfield: and on the
     left, the beautiful retiring banks of Southampton Water to the town
     to itself, backed by the woodland heights of the New Forest;--while
     to the right it extends to the spire of Chichester Cathedral; but
     with the aid of a glass even to Beachy-head, which appears in the
     east like a faint cloud upon the horizon of the sea.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ENVIRONS OF RYDE

May be characterized as being beautifully rural, enlivened by peeps or
open prospects of the sea: for this is the best wooded quarter of the
island, adorned with several charming seats and villas, and intersected
by good roads.

     But perhaps it ought to be here explained to the stranger, that by
     _good_ roads, in the Isle of Wight, is only meant that they are
     kept in tolerably good order: not that they are level, or even
     gently undulating: for the very charm of the island consists in its
     sudden alternation of hill and dale, producing a constant change of
     scenery: one moment you may be enclosed in a sylvan theatre; and
     the next minute stand on the brow of a hill, sufficiently lofty to
     command an interminable panoramic prospect of land and sea.

We will first conduct our friends along the shore _eastward_ of the
town, for the distance of two or three miles. The principal objects to
the westward have been already noticed (p. 41, &c.)

APPLEY (about half a mile,) is a marine villa celebrated for its
amenity: hence an excellent road to St. John's, where several very
eligible sites for building on are to be disposed of: and a neat little
church has recently been erected.

ST. CLARE, another delightful residence: the house built in the
castellated style: and the pleasure-grounds and very extensive gardens,
truly exquisite.

PUCKPOOL, a sequestered Swiss Cottage.

SPRING-VALE, a pretty hamlet composed of lodging-houses.--A
carriage-road hence by the back of St. Clare.

SEA-VIEW (two miles), another pleasant hamlet, containing several
lodging-houses: and having near it the beautiful villas of SEA-FIELD,
FAIRY-HILL, SEA-GROVE, &c. A road hence to Nettlestone Green.

The grounds of the Priory extend eastward for about a mile: the sandy
beach the whole of the distance is remarkably fine.

     >> _From the above it is apparent, that a Party may have a very
     pleasant saunter just as far as may prove agreeable, according to
     their ability for walking; as there is a choice of roads by which
     to return, thus making a circuit of any extent they like._

       *       *       *       *       *

We now start by the regular carriage-road for the rocky coast (commonly
called the Back of the island), and first reach a hamlet on the rise of
the next hill, named OAK-FIELD, and then ...

ST. JOHN's, a first-rate seat,--mansion plain, but admirably situated
for prospect, and screened by beautiful wood, as will appear in the
road making several sudden turns, over-arched by lofty trees, especially
the silver fir. Shortly the tower of St. Clare appears on our left:
WESTRIDGE in a valley on the right; and several other minor seats are
successively passed,--some partially seen through the woods and
shrubberies, and others quite secluded.

     >> From the hamlet called _Nettlestone Green_ (about two miles from
     Ryde,) a carriage-road leads down to Sea-view, by which the party
     may on another occasion return on the beach to Ryde, passing the
     back of St. Clare.

THE PRIORY is three miles from Ryde: it takes its name from having been
the site of an ancient monastic cell--is a spacious, plain mansion, and
ranks among the finest seats in the island: here too, much of the wood
is uncommonly fine, notwithstanding its exposure to the sea-air.
Arriving at ...

ST. HELEN's GREEN,

We are presented with a beautiful view of the Peninsula of Bembridge,
Brading Haven, and the British Channel. The houses are mostly scattered
round a large verdant square (which gives the name): and a spacious
building, to answer the purposes both of a parish school and chapel, has
been lately supplied by the liberality of a resident gentleman. But the
chief object of curiosity here is THE OLD CHURCH-TOWER, _standing now at
the water's edge_, and still struggling against the further
"encroachment of the sea," which in the year 1719, was such as to oblige
the parishioners to build another place of worship in a more secure
situation: this we passed near the Priory. The old tower was
strengthened with a thick facing of brick-work, and painted white; for
it was required to be preserved as a landmark to ships entering the
roadsted. There is something extremely tranquil and pleasing in the
whole of the scene,--and though the composition is simple, forms an
excellent subject for a sketch.

     >> The Party may either cross the ferry with their vehicle to
     Bembridge--for there is a good horse-boat in attendance, and drive
     round Yaverland and Brading; or they may go to the latter place at
     once; returning over the downs to Ashey Sea-mark, which affords an
     almost unrivaled prospect,--and hence descend towards Ryde, making
     altogether a charming circuit of about sixteen miles.

       *       *       *       *       *

BRADING HAVEN

[Illustration: BRADING HAVEN, _As viewed from Bembridge Mill looking
across to the Town of Brading, Nunwell, &c._ ISLE OF WIGHT.]

Exhibits during high water the beautiful appearance of an extensive
lake: but at the recess of the tide, a mere waste of sand and ooze,
comprehending above 800 acres.

     As the sea comes through a very narrow inlet at St. Helen's,
     several unsuccessful attempts have been made to recover from its
     usurpation so valuable a tract of land:--in 1630 the famous Sir H.
     Middleton was engaged, and indeed succeeded for a short time, by
     means of a bank of peculiar construction. But the sea brought up so
     much sand, ooze, and weeds, as to choke up the passage for the
     discharge of the fresh water, which accumulating, in a wet season
     and a spring-tide, made an irreparable breach, and thus ended an
     experiment which _then_ cost altogether about £7000. "And after
     all, the nature of the ground did not answer the expectations of
     the undertakers; for though that part adjoining Brading proved
     tolerably good, nearly one-half of it was found to be a light
     running sand." But it should be observed, that previous to the
     above attempt, several of the rich meadows contiguous to the haven
     were at different times taken in.

     One circumstance was very remarkable: namely, A WELL, cased with
     stone, was discovered near the middle of the haven;--an
     incontestible evidence, that at some remote period, the spot was in
     a very different condition.

       *       *       *       *       *

     To the very remarkable CHANGE which appears (by the discovery of a
     well,) to have taken place in the condition of the haven--and the
     threatened existence of St. Helen's Church, from the "encroachment
     of the sea,"--we beg to call the attention of our more reflecting
     readers. History and tradition are silent as to the cause; and the
     popular opinion of the present day briefly dismisses the question
     by ascribing it to an increased elevation of the sea. But this
     hypothesis is not supported by the appearance of the coast
     immediately to the westward of the haven, where some creeks or
     inlets _have become dry_; a circumstance which induced the Rev. P.
     Wyndham, who wrote almost the first intelligent Guide to the
     island, to conclude that there actually had been a secession of
     tides in this quarter; yet, singular enough, he makes no allusion
     either to the haven or the church. Now as there is really no
     evidence whatever in the neighbourhood that would lead us to
     suppose in the slightest degree, that the sea has encroached upon
     the land _by its gaining a higher_ GENERAL _level_ (an idea
     deprecated by many eminent geologists), we must take the
     alternative in accounting for the phenomenon, and infer that the
     land of the haven must have SUNK at some very distant period, and
     that more recently, the same fate attended the foundations of the
     church, which certainly could not have been originally built so
     very close to the water's edge, as to be constantly enveloped in
     sea-foam during every fresh breeze from the east.

     Analagous to the above mutation in the state of the land, is the
     following singular fact related by Sir Rd. Worsley, of
     Appuldurcombe, who, living as it were on the spot, was not likely
     to be imposed upon. The reader is to picture to himself three very
     high downs standing nearly in a line,--St. Catharine's, Week, and
     Shanklin: the latter, when Sir Richard wrote the account in 1781,
     he guessed to be about 100 feet higher than Week Down, but which
     "was barely visible" over the latter from St. Catharine's, in the
     younger days of many of the old inhabitants of Chale, and who had
     also been told by their fathers that at one time Shanklin could be
     seen only from the top of the beacon on St. Catharine's. "This
     testimony, if allowed," says the worthy baronet, "argues either a
     sinking of the intermediate down, or a rising of one of the other
     hills, the causes of which are left for philosophical
     investigation:" and so with respect to the haven and the church, we
     leave it as a curious question to amuse our scientific
     friends--whether it is the sea that has risen, or the land which
     has subsided?

       *       *       *       *       *


BEMBRIDGE.

     >> _This is a peninsula about three miles long by one broad,
     terminating abruptly on the sea-side in a range of_ SUBLIME CHALK
     PRECIPICES. _The part easily accessible to strangers is White-cliff
     Bay, two miles from the ferry._

       *       *       *       *       *

     On account of the inconvenient situation of Bembridge as to the
     usual _routes_, it is not so much visited as Freshwater, whose
     precipices are on rather a grander scale, and the most celebrated
     in Great Britain of this magnificent species of coast scenery. For
     this reason, and also as the cliffs of both places agree almost
     precisely in their geological character (for they are but the
     termini of the same chain of hills), we shall merge the _general_
     description of the former in that of the latter; but we would
     advise the stranger who may sojourn at Ryde, by all means to visit
     Bembridge, if he should decline going to Freshwater; and if in a
     good boat on a fine day, so much the better,--he will be well
     gratified with the _brilliant_ spectacle which these noble "_white
     cliffs of Albion_" present.

Before the year 1830, Bembridge seemed to be shut out from intercourse
with the world: it was very rarely visited; possessed no facilities of
communication; and had no charms to call the traveller aside from the
routine track. But owing to the WISE and spirited exertions of a
resident gentleman, it was soon rendered a populous village.

Among the first improvements was the erection (by public subscription)
of a handsome little church for the accommodation of the inhabitants,
who before had no place of episcopalian worship nearer than Brading: the
next consideration was the establishment of a horse-boat, and other
regular means of passage across the haven:--land was sold off on
eligible terms for building; several tasty villas were soon erected, and
ample shrubberies formed:--new roads were projected, the old ones
widened and repaired, and travelling altogether rendered more agreeable.
A respectable Hotel was also built at the same time, near the beach.

The face of the country about Bembridge is pleasant enough, being
agreeably checquered by grove and meadow, cultivation and open
pasturage: but it is THE SURROUNDING PROSPECT which yields the chief
pleasure. The situation of the Church and other principal buildings, is
sufficiently evident to the visitor from St. Helen's, or as he crosses
the ferry.

The chalk precipices of Bembridge are named _the Culvers_, from the
circumstance it is said, of their having been the haunt of immense
numbers of wild pigeons; and they are now, as has been already mentioned
(p. 21), resorted to in the summer months by prodigious flights of
various sea-fowl. There is a small cavern called HERMIT'S HOLE in the
face of the cliff, about thirty feet from the top; the descent to it
however is steep and narrow, and it is comparatively but seldom visited.

BEMBRIDGE LEDGE is a dangerous reef of rocks, stretching out into the
sea a considerable distance: a floating beacon-light called "the Nab" is
always moored within a short distance, to warn ships of their position.

       *       *       *       *       *

YAVERLAND. This is a straggling village near the sea-shore, between
Brading and Sandown Fort. The little parish-church and the adjoining
mansion (now converted into a farm house,) exhibit a venerable
appearance, and being surrounded by groves of magnificent elms, the
whole presents one of the prettiest _rural_ scenes in the island; and to
the amateur of sketching, it must prove a treat. The Parsonage too will
be admired for its appropriate character and pleasant situation.--Passing
a few scattered cottages, our road will be on the pebbly beach to ...

SANDOWN,

Altogether an extensive village, containing several new houses built
near the sea-shore, intended for letting as summer lodgings: some of
them are large and splendidly furnished: and enjoy a beautiful view of
the British Channel, the dazzling cliffs of Bembridge, and the range of
coast for two or three miles in the direction of Shanklin. There is a
church, newly erected in the upper part of the village: and a neat inn
on the beach.

Midway between Sandown and Shanklin we pass through LAKE, a pretty
hamlet, having a few cottages that let occasionally for lodgings during
the summer months.

       *       *       *       *       *


BRADING

Consists of one long, ancient street (through which is the chief
thoroughfare from Ryde to Shanklin and the Undercliff,) and a few good
houses recently built on the outskirts: it lies about half a mile from
the haven; and still retains some of the privileges of an ancient
borough. The Church is considered the oldest in the island; as it was
certainly in existence early in the eighth century, though some date its
erection so high as the sixth, and contend that the first islanders
converted to Christianity were here baptized. On account of its
antiquity, the numerous relics which it contains, together with the many
well written inscriptions to be found on the tombstones in the cemetery
(the most noted of which perhaps is the one erected to the memory of
"Little Jane,") it is very frequently visited by parties making the
southern tour. The surrounding country too is agreeably varied by wood
and water, arable and pasture, and a very fine outline of hill and dale.

       *       *       *       *       *

To return to Ryde or Newport over the downs from Brading, will be found
exceedingly interesting to those strangers who delight in the
contemplation of grand prospects, and a most fertile and well
cultivated country:--having no objection at the same time to a _hilly_
road as the price of their enjoyment, and which _we_ call the most
beautiful in the island.

     But as artists are often enraptured with passages of scenery that
     to others prove comparatively uninteresting, we subjoin a sketch by
     Sir H. ENGLEFIELD, showing the deep interest and pleasure the
     surrounding landscapes are capable of affording:--

     "To enjoy in all its glory, the complete view of the northern
     tract, which in detail presents so many separate beauties, we must
     ascend the chalk range that rises immediately from the woods of
     Nunwell. When the weather is clear, it is impossible to describe
     the magnificent scene which these hills command, from Brading
     Downs, by Ashey Sea-mark, and soon quite to Arreton chalk-pit.

     "To the _north_, the woodlands form an almost continued velvet
     carpet of near 10,000 acres, broken only by small farms, whose
     thatched buildings relieve the deep tints of the forests. The
     Wootton River winds beautifully among them, and beyond the whole
     the Solent Sea spreads its waters, which in clear weather is tinged
     with an azure more deep and beautiful than any I ever saw. The
     Hampshire land rises in a succession of hills quite lost at length
     in blue vapour. The inland view to the _south_ is far from
     destitute of beauty, though less striking than the northern scene.
     The vale between the chalk range and the southern hills is seen in
     its full extent: and the southern hills themselves rise to a
     majestic height. To the _eastward_ the sea is again visible over
     the low lands of Sandown, and by its open expanse affords a fine
     contrast to the Solent Channel.

     "The nearer objects on the southern slope are also very
     interesting: Knighton House, with its venerable grey fronts mantled
     with luxuriant ivy, and bosomed in the richest groves, is as
     beautiful at a distance, as it is interesting on a nearer approach.
     Arreton is also surrounded with trees, which group happily with the
     pretty church and an old mansion now converted into a farm: and
     from the western end of the downs, the country about Newport and
     Carisbrooke is seen to great advantage. _Such is the faint outline
     of a scene, which, in richness of tints, and variety of objects,
     surpasses anything I ever saw._"

     _Note._--Since this was written, Knighton House has been pulled
     down.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Objects between Brading and Newport._

Our course will be for the first three miles due west. On the north side
is NUNWELL, the oldest seat in the island, having been awarded by
William the Conqueror to the ancestors of Sir William Oglander, the
present proprietor. Noble specimens of every kind of forest-tree are to
be found in the park: particularly oaks, several of which are many
centuries old, the family having long employed every possible means of
preserving these venerable chiefs of the grove. The house (a large,
plain building,) stands at the foot of the down, and therefore is not
seen from the road: but the surrounding park, woods, and farms of the
estate, spread before the eye in a most beautiful style ...

    "With swelling slopes and groves of every green."

ASHEY SEA-MARK is very conspicuously seen, being seated on a high down,
three miles from Brading, four from Ryde, and five from Newport: it is a
perfectly plain, triangular object, erected in the middle of the last
century to assist pilots in navigating St. Helen's anchorage.

On the south side of the down appears the pretty village of NEWCHURCH,
in the direct road from Ryde to Godshill, &c. The situation of the
Church is rather romantic, being nearly on the edge of a remarkably
steep sand-cliff, through which the road is cut, feathered with
brushwood and several overhanging trees.

       *       *       *       *       *

If the tourist be returning to Newport, he will pass through the long
village of ARRETON, whose church stands at the foot of the down of that
name: it is of considerable antiquity,--and though its style of
architecture is certainly heavy, is upon the whole both picturesque and
singular. Its chief internal decoration is a beautiful mausoleum to the
memory of Sir Leonard W. Holmes, bart.: and in the churchyard is buried
the young woman celebrated for her piety in the popular tract of "the
Dairyman's Daughter."

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER III.

THE ROMANTIC SCENERY

OF THE ISLAND,

EXHIBITED ALONG THE SOUTH-EASTERN COAST, FROM

SHANKLIN TO BLACKGANG CHINE.


       *       *       *       *       *

SHANKLIN.

     >> THE CHINE, _a beautiful woody ravine in the sea-cliffs, is the
     great object of attraction; inquire the road to the beach, and you
     will be conducted through the scene back to the village;--of the
     latter, a, pretty good idea may be formed in passing through it to
     Bonchurch,_

       *       *       *       *       *

Here we enter upon the romantic scenery of the island. The village is
most delightfully rural, and though it has several roomy lodging-houses,
and two large hotels, still, from the bold variety of the ground, and
the many shrubberies and clumps of fine elm and ash trees with which it
is adorned, the dwellings are so hid from one another, that in almost
every point of view it has the pleasing appearance of being but a small
quiet hamlet. Except in the most exposed parts, vegetation flourishes
with uncommon luxuriance,--even choice exotics: we would point to the
Parsonage as an instance, enveloped in myrtles that stand the rigors of
winter without protection: indeed it may well be said, that almost every
cottage in this beautiful spot is surrounded ...

    "With fragrant turf, and flowers as wild and fair,
    As ever dressed a bank, or scented summer air."

But the crowning feature from which it derives its celebrity as one of
the chief curiosities of the island, is THE CHINE--a term that certainly
does not convey to a stranger any idea of the scene: it is a provincial
expression for a ravine or cleft in the cliffs of the shore, and of
which there are several along the coast, possessing a beauty or
sublimity that renders them highly interesting.

Having reached the beach, the visitor should take a short walk under the
towering sandrock precipices which range to the right and left for
several miles, before he enters the Chine. Nowhere on the coast of the
island is there a more charming stretch of shore,--for the sand is of a
cool dark color, _firm enough for wheel-carriages and horses to be used
by invalids_, and therefore proves equally alluring to the aged as to
the young, to enjoy salubrious exercise and recreation; it extends
northward to Sandown--about two miles; its monotony being broken by
occasional pools of sea-water, and a sprinkling of weed-covered rocks.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE CHINE.

[Illustration: SHANKLIN CHINE, ISLE OF WIGHT. (_Descent to the Beach._)]

At the foot of the cliff stands a fisherman's cottage, which may attract
our attention from its picturesque situation.

The first view of the Chine from the beach is not the most favorable: as
the eye of the spectator is much too low to comprehend all the deep and
bold windings of the chasm, which contribute so essentially to its
romantic effect: but, gradually ascending by a narrow path, we soon open
a wider view, and should then pause, to contemplate it on every side. We
see suspended on the opposite slope, the humble ale house, resting

    "Beneath an aged oak's embowering shade."

Just below it, a pretty rose-mantled cottage: and not far off, the gable
end of a gentleman's villa, so prominently seated near the margin of the
precipice, as to completely overlook the awful abyss. This view is
altogether picturesque and animated: for the foreground is exceedingly
bold,--and the prospect of Sandown Bay and the sublime cliffs of
Bembridge, give wonderful brilliancy and interest to the perspective.

As we advance, the scene becomes increasingly romantic, especially when
we are about half-way through it: for the deep sides of the chasm so
fold into one another as to exclude all prospect, and yet afford a great
diversity of coloring, light, and shade; the one side being beautifully
hung with indigenous trees or shrubs, and the uncovered portions of the
cliff of a glowing tint; while the opposite side presents the contrast
of a sombre hue, and is generally too steep to admit of much vegetation
ever gaining a permanent footing. Nor is the most critical eye annoyed
by the indications of unnecessary artificial improvements--which so
often tend to destroy the delightful robe of simplicity that such scenes
of Nature's creation wear, _when they are fortunate enough to escape the
infliction of man's refinements_.

    "Still slowly climb the many-winding way,
    And frequent turn to linger as you go."

We now approach the waterfall, at the HEAD OF THE CHINE; and should
there have been lately any heavy rains, it forms a noble cascade of
about 30 feet; but after a continuance of dry weather, it is reduced to
a scanty rill.

Ascending by a rude path cut in the side of the cliff, we pass through a
rustic wicket, and take our leave of this celebrated scene, which has no
doubt been formed by the slow operation of the streamlet in the course
of many ages, insignificant as it may appear to a casual visitor in the
middle of summer. The Chine of Blackgang is indebted for its origin to a
similar cause: and this of Shanklin would have gone on rapidly
increasing, had not the proprietor resorted to the aid of masonry,
draining, piling, &c. to arrest in some measure its further progress
towards the village.--See p. 33 of the "Vectis Scenery" for a full
account of the formation of the Chines.

The sides of this chasm are about 200 feet in perpendicular height, and
perhaps 300 wide at the top, near the beach, gradually diminishing
towards the Head or waterfall, where the sides are perpendicular, and
only a few yards asunder.

       *       *       *       *       *

The earthy precipices between Shanklin and Luccombe Chines are called
DUNNOSE,--they form the southern termination of Sandown Bay, which is a
beautiful stretch of shore of above five miles in extent, bounded on the
north by the white cliffs of Bembridge.

       *       *       *       *       *

As we pursue our tour we can trace the course of the Chine (above the
head), by the freshness and luxuriant growth of the trees that stand on
its narrow banks: and just as we approximate the little parish-church,
pass over a bridge thrown across it--but the streamlet itself is almost
hidden by wild brushwood and aquatic weeds. The spring-head is a little
above the church.

[Illustration: SHANKLIN CHURCH, I.W. _And the Road leading to Luccombe &
the Undercliff_]

The Plate represents the church, and a remarkable portion of the road on
quitting the village for the back of the island; it is seen ascending
circuitously the side of a steep down, between a hanging copse and
several groups of the finest ash trees,--one of which (on the
left-hand,) has long been celebrated for its amplitude and beauty.

     It is quite impossible for language to convey more than a faint
     idea of the magnificent and interesting prospect which gradually
     opens to view as the traveller ascends the mountain ridge: the
     British Channel spreads its blue waters as the boundary on the one
     side; the greatest portion of the island recedes in the most
     charming gradations on the other: and the Solent Channel presents
     the animated appearance of a noble river, crowded with ships of
     every description; while the opposite coast of Hampshire and Sussex
     may be traced more or less distinctly for 70 or 80 miles.

       *       *       *       *       *

A series of pasturing downs stretch for several miles nearly parallel
with the sea-coast: of these the nearest is Shanklin--its northern slope
being abruptly broken by a fine range of cliff, composed chiefly of gray
free-stone feathered by hanging woods, and on the edge of this beautiful
precipice stand some very picturesque ruins called ...

COOKE's CASTLE,

[Illustration: COOKE's CASTLE. _An ancient ruin on the Appuldurcombe
Estate--Isle of Wight._]

Which being seen from a considerable distance in various directions, and
never before published, appeared to the Artist to well merit a sketch.
Sir Richard Worsley, in his History of the Isle of Wight, states it to
be the "ruin of an ancient castle" (though it has been said that it was
built as an object of view from Appuldurcombe House); but whether
artificial, or really a relic of antiquity, is of little importance,
while it proves so conspicuous an ornament to the scene.

       *       *       *       *       *


LUCCOMBE CHINE

Is another chasm in the sea-cliffs, similar to Shanklin in its
character, but on a very inferior scale: and therefore is seldom visited
by those in a vehicle who have little time to spare. But many walk from
Shanklin to it, either on the beach (if the tide be ebbing), or by a
foot-path near the edge of the cliffs, the distance being about two
miles: either way is extremely pleasant. A few houses and cottages
scattered about, serve to enliven the scene.

       *       *       *       *       *

We now approach a most singular and romantic tract of the south-eastern
coast, dividing the claim of _interest_ even with the sublime scenery at
the west end of the island: we mean ...

THE UNDERCLIFF,

Which commences at East End, and terminates at Blackgang Chine, an
extent of above eight miles, averaging about one mile's breadth: and
bounded on the land-side by a towering ridge of perpendicular stone
cliffs, or precipitous chalky hills; presenting in many parts the
venerable time-worn appearance of some ancient fortress. Between this
craggy ridge and the sea-cliffs, every spot bears the striking impress
of some violent convulsion, such in fact as would be produced by an
earthquake: but in proportion to the time that shall have elapsed, so
all the more rugged marks of devastation are either obliterated by the
liberal hand of Nature, or converted into positive beauties. Originally
the whole of this tract, or nearly so, was rock resting on a sort of
loose marly foundation: this being perpetually exposed to the
undermining action of the sea at its foot; accelerated in wet seasons
by the marle being rendered soft and yielding,--it is evident that,
sooner or later, such a foundation would give way to the immense
superincumbent pressure, and be attended with all the direful effects of
a real earthquake.

Most probably other subsidences will yet take place, until more of the
oozy, sliding foundation shall be removed, and its place occupied by a
sufficient quantity of fallen rock, as will secure the stability of the
ground; as we find to be the case for the greater part of this singular
tract, which has certainly been in a state of repose for seven or eight
centuries at least. Fragments of the cliff are indeed frequently
shivered off, but rarely or never attended with any very injurious
consequences: it is those extensive _landslips_ which are alarming, when
many acres of valuable land are completely overturned and laid waste in
a few hours. The huge masses of solid rock thus torn and dashed about,
produce the grandest scenes of terror: but are at the same time the
source of those singular beauties--that variety of fractured cliff and
broken ground, which are the greatest ornaments of this romantic
country.

       *       *       *       *       *


EAST END.

     >>_The Tourist ought, if possible, to walk through this very
     romantic scene, and if in a vehicle, be upon his guard that the
     driver does not hurry him by it, as is often the case._

       *       *       *       *       *

Here, as we have said before, the Undercliff commences: and as soon as
the stranger has nearly compassed the valley of Luccombe, he should
particularly enquire for the spot which is the entrance to this romantic
scene ...

    "Where twines a path in shadow hid,
    Round many a rocky pyramid."

The distance is only a mile: the carriage in the mean time may proceed
on to Bonchurch. But should the party decline the walk, they ought at
least to alight, and advance near enough to the edge of the
precipice, to have a view of the interesting scene below; and they must
bear in mind, that though it lies within a few yards of the road, yet
_to a person passing by_, there is no indication of its being so near.

The great interest of East End arises partly from its present wild
character, and partly from its being the scene of the latest formidable
landslips that have occurred in the island. In the year 1810, a founder
took place which destroyed about twenty acres of land: this was followed
by another, eight years after, that ruined in one night at least thirty
acres more: at which time above twenty full-grown trees were uprooted,
and several of them completely buried in the awful wreck. It therefore
affords the inquisitive traveller the best opportunity of examining the
cause of the peculiar character of this part of the island.

       *       *       *       *       *


BONCHURCH.

     >>_Formerly this was one of the most romantic scenes in the island,
     but has lately been converted into a fashionable village. Amidst a
     profusion of new houses, more or less tasty in their style--a
     villa, called_ EAST DENE, _and the neighbouring old_ CHURCH_, are
     all that will here particularly call the stranger from the
     carriage-road._

       *       *       *       *       *

In the year 1834, this beautiful spot was advertised to be sold off in
small lots for building 18 or 20 villas!--a circumstance much regretted
by the admirers of the peculiar scenery of the Undercliff, which was
exhibited here in its utmost perfection. Nearly the whole of the land is
now disposed of; some of the houses were built for the purpose of
letting lodgings; one has been opened as a first-rate Hotel; but the
greater number are private residences,--and certainly it must prove a
most enviable retreat for families or invalids during the winter months.
It is impossible for any spot to be better adapted for a number of
houses being built in a comparatively small compass: for the whole of
the ground is so romantically tossed about by the sportive hand of
Nature,--presenting here a lofty ridge of rocks, there a woody dell
adorned with a purling stream or a limpid pool, that most of the houses
are completely hid from each other's view.

     From the bad taste which too generally prevails--we mean the
     _vanity of glare_--the affectation of _elegance_,--so frequently
     carried out at the expense of all propriety, we were not without
     apprehension that many of the gentry at Bonchurch would also
     neglect the essential rule, that _the peculiar character of every
     scene demands an_ APPROPRIATE STYLE _in building and decoration_;
     for it avails little to have ivy-mantled rocks and mossy cliffs,
     the sunny knoll and the shady glen, with their groves and
     streams,--if the Genius of the spot be not consulted, and HARMONY
     made the rule of every innovation and improvement. In a word, it is
     too often in building as in dress, that many persons resort to show
     and refinement as the surest means of attracting the world's
     admiration for their superior taste and rank! But in justice to the
     Gentlemen who have located in this fairy-land, we must acknowledge
     that they for the most part avoided (as far as was possible),
     disturbing the natural beauties of the place, and have studied to
     make their happy retreats ...

        "Smile with charms
    CONGENIAL TO THE SOIL, and all its own:
        For Ornament
    When foreign or fantastic, never charmed."

     >>The reader who may feel an interest on this subject is referred
     to pp. 36 and 43 of the "_Vectis Scenery_."

The most delightful residence at Bonchurch is called EAST DENE: the
beauty of its locality is unrivaled; the exterior of the house in a
chaste style; and the interior fitted-up and furnished at a great
expense in the antique mode of the 16th century.

[Illustration: _THE PARISH CHURCH OF_ BONCHURCH _ISLE OF WIGHT_]

The Tourist should certainly visit the old Church, which stands near the
shore, and not far from the road, though concealed from it by a lofty
ridge of the fallen cliff: it is of simple construction, but beautifully
canopied by a grove of magnificent elms, and is supposed to have been
built in the 11th century,--which is taken as a proof that this part of
the Undercliff was certainly in a state of repose at the time of its
erection; and has undoubtedly remained so ever since. Still, we cannot
question for a moment, but this spot must have been in some previous age
(judging from analogy,) subjected to the same catastrophes which we have
witnessed even in our own time in its immediate neighbourhood at East
End. There is also a new Church, of a neat design, beautifully nestled
amongst the rocks in the higher part of the village.

As ROCK, in this part of the island, constitutes the chief source of
picturesque effect, it would be an omission not to point out two crags
which have gained quite a celebrity for their age and beauty: the first
is _Hadfield's Look-out_, boldly rising from the road; the other a
prominence in the face of the upper range of precipices, called _the
Pulpit Rock_: the former has generally the appendage of a
flag-staff,--the latter a rude cross, in unison with its name.

The road through the valley of Bonchurch presents a most enchanting
scene: shaded by noble trees; and edged by bold rocky knolls,--and a
small pellucid lake and stream, beyond which appears a romantic tract of
broken ground and wild brushwood, backed by the venerable grey
land-cliff and the lofty brow of St. Boniface Down. On emerging from
this beautiful spot, we have on our right a genteel residence called ST.
BONIFACE HOUSE, situated close at the foot of the high down which gives
the name; built in a very chaste rural style; and embellished by some
noble trees, and a sparkling rill.

       *       *       *       *       *

We now open a general view of the fast-improving town of ...

VENTNOR.

>>_This is the chief resting-place between Shanklin and Niton. The_
CHURCH, _and the_ COVE, _are the most interesting features_.

       *       *       *       *       *

Ventnor has risen into importance with a rapidity greater than any other
place in the island: for as late as the year 1830 it numbered but about
half-a-dozen cottages, one hotel, a small inn, and the accompaniment of
a humble grist-mill, so necessary in a _retired hamlet_ as this was
_then_. But such has since been the eagerness for building, that land
for the purpose which was at that time sold for £100 per acre, soon
advanced to 300 or £400; latterly the price has risen at the rate of 800
to £1000 per acre for the more eligible sites. And at present there are
three first-rate hotels and several minor inns; well stocked shops in
almost every line of business: and medical men established on the spot.
Several streets of considerable extent are completed, others are rapidly
progressing; and much has also been done in the way of public
improvements, such as paving, lighting, &c. The new Esplanade, on the
beach, cannot fail to prove a delightful convenience both to the
inhabitants and visitors at Ventnor.

It is greatly indebted for its prosperity to Dr. Clarke's popular
Treatise, to which we have already referred (p. 16,) when speaking of
the climate generally. Its progress was still more accelerated by the
interest which the proprietor of Steephill Castle, John Hambrough, esq.,
took in its success, by erecting a handsome church, a large free-school,
parsonage, &c.

Building being still carried on with undiminished speculation, the
general appearance of the town must be consequently anything but
agreeable--nor has there been the lapse of sufficient time for the
growth of the shrubberies (however genial the climate,) to attain that
size which would afford the relief of even a partial screen. Little
therefore can be particularized under the present _changing aspect_ of
the place.

Among the buildings which attract attention in entering by the old road,
are the connected range called St. Boniface Terrace, occupying a
commanding situation, and the houses concurring in one general design:
and below, some extensive erections, of rather a novel appearance to the
untraveled eye, being strictly in imitation of the airy and picturesque
style of the Italian villa.

The somewhat confused appearance of Ventnor is no doubt owing to its
unexpected advance having prevented the adoption of any uniform
ground-plan, as would no doubt have been done could the proprietor of
the land have foreseen the magnitude to which the place was so soon to
extend,--for in this respect a considerable improvement is visible in
the latest-erected part of the town. The most regularly laid-out streets
are near the shore: and one branch-road runs by the edge of the
sea-cliffs for about half a mile towards Bonchurch, thus affording the
houses an uninterrupted view of the sea.

[Illustration: To JOHN HAMBROUGH _Esq. of Steephill Castle, in the Isle
of Wight_, _This view of_ ST. CATHERINE'S CHURCH, _erected by him at_
VENTNOR, _is most respectfully inscribed by His much obliged humble
servant, GEORGE BRANNON._]

ST. CATHARINE'S CHURCH is a beautiful feature in every respect, both in
its exterior and interior, being the neatest in the island: and situated
as it is on a commanding knoll nearly in the middle of the town, affords
an admirable relief to the whole scene, by arresting the eye from the
scattered glare of the surrounding slate-roofed and white-walled
buildings,--which are almost the universal character of the houses.

       *       *       *       *       *

The COVE presents at certain times a very animated and engaging picture:
fishermen preparing for or returning from their voyage; invalids and
other respectable parties sauntering or reclining on the sunny beach:
some reading, others amused in listening to, and watching the curling
waves expire at their feet in spreading foam. The material of the shore
is principally fine shingle, or very small pebbles, among which
particles are frequently picked up, possessing a brilliancy that has
gained for them the title of "Isle of Wight diamonds;" and though they
may be comparatively of inferior value in point of intrinsic
quality,--still, the _interest_ taken in searching for them must prove a
source of the most agreeable employment to those visitors whose health
precludes any exercise of a more active nature.

ST. BONIFACE DOWN, which forms a green back-ground to the view, is also
an object of interest (at least with artists or amateurs of sketching,)
that ought not to be passed by unnoticed. It is exceedingly steep: has a
never-failing spring on its lofty summit, and is often cheerfully
sprinkled with sheep, of the South-down breed, safely nibbling the close
herbage on its precipitous side.

     Speaking of the down, we should deserve to be censured by those of
     our elderly readers who may have been to Ventnor ere it reached the
     magnitude of a town, not to inform them, that _the then only Hotel_
     (so beautifully seated close at the foot of the hill,) _is no
     longer a place of public accommodation_; the license has been
     transferred. Many were the respectable parties of the olden time
     who used to amuse themselves with the attempt to gain the summit of
     the down,--sometimes successfully, but more frequently at the
     expense of a rather too precipitate descent, to the no small
     diversion of their friends who had less daring to make the
     experiment. In this age of refinement, such displays of rural
     agility would be regarded as "utterly vulgar!" there are however
     more circuitous and accessible paths by which we may reach the
     eminence, and hence enjoy a most delightful prospect.

     In concluding this brief notice of Ventnor, it would be very unfair
     to Dr. Clarke, not to mention the fact, that he was decidedly
     opposed to the residences of invalids (with pulmonary consumption)
     being accumulated together "_in the form of a Town_;" he recommends
     that a number of _detached_ houses should be built along the
     Undercliff, each surrounded with the protection of a garden-wall
     and a few trees. But, begging the Doctor's pardon, we heartily
     rejoice that his advice could not be acted upon to any considerable
     extent (except at Ventnor and Bonchurch); because fortunately the
     most eligible and attractive spots in this romantic district are in
     the holding of gentlemen who have chosen such for their _private_
     residences: and certainly, if selfishness was ever pardonable, it
     is so in this instance; nay, for our part, we really congratulate
     the public, that the spirit of exclusiveness so widely exists in
     this happy region of the sublime and beautiful. For what a
     lamentable transformation it would prove of the natural character
     of the scenery, to have many large and often glary houses obtruding
     upon the eye in every direction! banishing all the _wildest_ and
     most interesting local beauties, for domestic convenience or
     fantastic embellishment! Where then would be the attraction to call
     the thousands annually to our romantic isle? Where those UNIQUE
     LANDSCAPES which now constitute its proudest charm?

     And after all, the Doctor's objection to a residence in town, is
     largely compensated for in the case of Ventnor, by the many
     advantages afforded to invalids, that could be procured only in a
     populous place: such for instance as regular stage-coaches running
     to and from Ryde and other places; a good landing-place;
     bathing-machines; a post-office and reading-rooms; the location of
     several apothecaries and eminent physicians: tradesmen of almost
     every description; and the facility of enjoying society in the
     dullest winter months.

Westward of Ventnor, we have a sudden and most agreeable transition from
the glare of the town to a quiet picture of rural scenery, broken only
by two or three cottages neatly built in the antique style; this is the
commencement of the property of Mr. Hambrough (of Steephill Castle),
which extends to St. Lawrence, the estate of Earl Yarborough; succeeded
by Old Park; and near Niton, the seats of Mrs. Arnold, Sir W. Gordon,
and Mrs. Vine: altogether a delightful distance of above four miles;
which we hope will long escape any desecration of its beauties by the
operations of building speculators.

       *       *       *       *       *

APPULDURCOMBE.

This splendid seat, from its proximity to the Undercliff, is most
frequently embraced either in the south-eastern or the continued Tour,
in preference to giving it a separate day: therefore here is perhaps the
best place for its notice, especially as the regular road from Ventnor
to Newport passes close by: and as it is only two miles from the former
town. It is thus described by Sir Richard Worsley, in his "History of
the Isle of Wight:"

     "The house is pleasantly situated about seven miles south of the
     town of Newport: it has four regular fronts of the Corinthian
     order, built of freestone; the pilasters, cornices, ballustrades,
     and other ornamental parts are of Portland stone; the roof is
     covered with Westmoreland slates. The grand entrance in the east
     front is through a hall 54 feet in length by 24 in breadth, adorned
     with eight beautiful columns of the Ionic order resembling
     porphyry. On this floor are several handsome apartments, containing
     many valuable portraits, and other good paintings; the offices are
     very commodious, and on the first and attic stories are upwards of
     twenty bed-chambers with dressing-rooms. The house was begun by Sir
     Robert Worsley, in 1710: and completed by Sir Richard Worsley, who
     made considerable additions, and much improved upon the original
     design."

Sir Richard spent a great portion of his life in collecting the
paintings and other relics of antiquity which adorn the mansion, and
published a very sumptuous descriptive work, entitled "Museum
Worsleyanum." The Estate descended to the Pelham family by the marriage
of the Baronet's niece to the late Earl Yarborough.

The park of Appuldurcombe is extensive; and the soil being extremely
rich, supports a great number both of deer and cattle,--the former of
which is nowhere else to be found in the island. At the back of the
mansion rises a lofty hill, whose sides are hung with groves of noble
beech, interspersed with many venerable oaks. On the summit is an
obelisk, originally seventy feet high, built of Cornish granite, to the
memory of Sir Robert Worsley: but of late years it has suffered severely
from the high winds, to the violence of which its elevated position
renders it so exposed. From almost every part of this down we gain the
most splendid views; below, is the rich vale of Arreton, Newchurch, and
Godshill: beyond is seen on the north, Portsmouth and the neighbouring
anchorages, with the wooded heights above Southampton Water; eastward
are the beautiful shores of Sandown Bay; to the west the prospect is
continued far beyond the white cliffs of Freshwater, by the coasts of
Hants and Dorset: and on the south expands the azure horizon of the
boundless ocean.

N.B. Strangers desirous of visiting Appuldurcombe, must provide
themselves with tickets at the office of the stewards, Messrs. Sewell,
Solicitors, Newport: the days allowed are Tuesdays and Fridays, between
the hours of 11 and 4 o'clock.

       *       *       *       *       *


GODSHILL,

Bordering on Appuldurcombe Park, is a populous village, chiefly
remarkable for the very picturesque situation of the Church, a large and
venerable pile, which stands upon a steep hill in the centre of the
village,--commanding such an extensive and beautiful prospect as will of
itself repay the tourist for the trouble of ascending. The interior of
the church is enriched by several interesting monuments, ancient and
modern, in memory of the various possessors of the Appuldurcombe
estates,--the most sumptuous being that to Sir J. Leigh and his lady,
whose marble effigies are canopied by a beautifully ornamented arch; and
the massive tomb of Sir Richard Worsley, which occupies the south
transept, where a colored window is placed to give it greater
effect.--Godshill has a small country inn called the Griffin.

       *       *       *       *       *

The distance from Ventnor to Godshill is four miles:--and thence to
Newport, six: the country is well-cultivated, but presents no object to
call for particular notice: we pass the hamlet of ROOKLEY: and the
villas of PIDFORD and STANDEN.

WHITWELL is a very retired village, winding between Godshill and Niton:
and having a church of some antiquity.

       *       *       *       *       *

Returned to the Undercliff, the next place in our route which boasts of
superior scenic beauty is ...

STEEPHILL,

[Illustration: STEEPHILL, UNDERCLIFF, ISLE OF WIGHT.]

Where a splendid CASTLE was erected in the year 1833, by J. Hambrough,
esq. (thence often called after his name), on a broad terrace of rock
that rises almost perpendicularly from the present road: and here it may
not be quite uninteresting to state--at least to some of our friends who
used to visit the island years ago, that the castle occupies the very
site of the once-noted Cottage of the late Earl Dysart, and which was
for many years that nobleman's favorite retreat. Steephill was then a
most charming rural hamlet; but the cottages are removed (much to the
advantage of the tenants), to afford a scope in the grounds
corresponding with the dignity of the new mansion. Rustic simplicity and
the wilder graces have given way to elegance and polished decoration:
but whether the alteration

    "Adds beauties to what Nature plann'd before,"

Is merely a question of taste, on which we shall not presume to decide:
various are the opinions,

          --"And many a stranger stops,
    With curious eye, to censure or admire."

As the public are now excluded from the garden and pleasure-grounds, it
is rather difficult to get a good view of the castle; the best places
however are ... a lofty knoll or promontory on the opposite side of the
road,--and a rocky mound near THE CAVE, which is in the face of the
sea-cliffs, marked by a flag-staff; and there is, close by, a path to
the beach. Half an hour's saunter would be quite sufficient to enable a
visitor to judge of the beauty of the scene--which at one time procured
it the title of _Queen of the Undercliff_. If but five minutes can be
spared, the tourist ought to quit his vehicle, and reach the brow of the
promontory above alluded to, were it only for the sake of the delightful
prospect which it affords.

The coast of Steephill forms a pleasant little cove or bay, with
remarkably bold and picturesque headlands: and the place altogether
equals any part of the Undercliff in its natural embellishment of rich
groves and sparkling streams, mossy rocks, and broken ground.

     DESCRIPTION OF THE CASTLE.--In the design of this stately edifice,
     it appears to have been the aim of the architect to combine, as
     much as possible, all the internal advantages of a plain mansion,
     with the commanding form and embellished detail which usually
     characterize a castellated structure. It is not therefore open to
     an objection which lies against many of the most picturesque
     specimens of this dignified style of building--that internal
     convenience was sacrificed to the production of bold and pleasing
     contrasts in the face of the exterior: or that it was the growth of
     successive improvements. Indeed, both inside and out, all appears
     to be handsomely proportioned and well-arranged; while in any point
     of view the whole presents an aspect of elegant simplicity.--The
     general form of the castle is an oblong; and the most prominent
     features ... one majestic square tower which springs from about the
     centre of the north side; another tower of an octagon form at the
     south-eastern angle; and a beautiful hall-entrance on the east. The
     predominant tint is a dark grey: but the battlements, quoins, and
     mouldings, are of a light warm color, resembling the Bath stone.
     This opposition of tints has a most pleasing, chaste effect, when
     closely examined: but at a distance the whole melts into a sober
     hue, like the grey impression of time, and hence harmonizes the
     more sweetly with the surrounding scenery. Both kinds of stone were
     procured on the spot.--The architect was the late Mr. James
     Sanderson, of Ryde.

       *       *       *       *       *

     _Remarks on the Exclusion of Strangers from most of the Gentlemen's
     Seats_.--However provoking it may prove to many visitors when
     making the tour of the island, to be shut out from a view of some
     of the most charming seats, still it may be justified in a
     considerable degree; and we feel it our duty to repeat what we have
     stated elsewhere, that we know several gentlemen who would freely
     open their gates to respectable visitors, provided they could be
     assured of every party being contented with a general view of the
     local beauties, without indulging a too prying curiosity; and at
     the same time would _refrain from plucking choice flowers, fruits,
     and shrubs_, many of which may perhaps have been cultivated by the
     hands of the owner with an affection of no little solicitude and
     pride; and of course it is not always convenient to keep a person
     merely to act as an attendant. But a more decisive reason with many
     gentlemen who love retirement is, that from the island becoming
     every year more and more attractive with pleasure-parties, an
     _unlimited admission_ of strangers would at once annihilate all the
     charms of rural seclusion; it would in fact be converting the
     flowery walks of a quiet country-villa into as giddy a promenade as
     almost any popular tea-garden in the suburbs of the metropolis.
     Still however, speaking generally, it requires only some slight
     grounds of introduction: and in the absence of the family there is
     of course less difficulty,--it being then a privilege often given
     to the servants.

       *       *       *       *       *

ST. LAWRENCE.

>>_The_ CHURCH, _here, is from its diminutiveness, quite an object of
curiosity; and the stranger will also notice_ THE WELL, _on the
road-side; but the_ VILLA _and_ COTTAGE _are both secluded from public
view_.

       *       *       *       *       *

    "Here lawns, and groves, and op'ning prospects break
    With sweet surprize upon the wand'ring eye:--
    While through romantic scenes and hanging woods.
    And valleys green, and rocks, and hollow dales,
    We rove enchanted."

The scenery of St. Lawrence is a singular union of the cultivated with
the wild and romantic--a pleasing interchange of the elegance of
splendid retirement with the unobtrusive dwellings of laboring peasants,
scattered amidst sheltering groves and ivy-covered rocks. Here the Rt.
Hon. Earl Yarborough has ...

    "A country-cottage--near a chrystal flood,
    A winding valley, and a lofty wood;"

Long celebrated as the favorite retreat of the late Sir Richard Worsley,
of Appuldurcombe Park, who embellished it in quite a classical
style--planting a vineyard, decorating the grounds with models of
ancient temples, &c. The house has since been considerably enlarged, and
ornamented in the old-English style with elaborate barge-boards and
pinnacles. At a short distance is the recently built residence of his
Lordship's brother, the Hon. Capt. C.D. Pelham, R.N.--also in the
Elizabethan style. By way of contradistinction, the original is
emphatically called _the Villa_, and the latter, _the Cottage_. It is
much to be regretted, that the public have of late been altogether
excluded from the grounds--from even walking on the edge of the
sea-cliffs!

[Illustration: ST LAWRENCE CHURCH _UNDERCLIFF ISLE OF WIGHT_]

The miniature CHURCH seldom fails of proving an amusing object with
every visitor,--for it ranks among the smallest parochial places of
religious worship in Great Britain: its belfry, the pretty little porch,
and its several windows, are all in character; it has however lately
been found necessary to lengthen the building, in consequence of the
increase of population in the vicinity.

[Illustration: _ST LAWRENCE.--The WELL near the Marine Villa of the
Right Honourable Lord Yarborough.--Isle of Wight._]

THE WELL encloses a fountain of ever-running crystal water, the soft
murmurs of which combine with the surrounding scene to produce the most
agreeable feelings; and it is marked by so much of that beautiful
simplicity which is the foundation of picturesque effect, that perhaps
no other object in its charming neighbourhood, except the little church,
will afford the stranger more immediate pleasure.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ROAD FROM ST. LAWRENCE TO NITON.

     >>_For the succeeding mile and a half, our attention will be called
     to no one particular object; but we shall have the Undercliff in
     all its native character, a circumstance which must prove
     gratifying to those who admire Nature in_ HER OWN _attire_,

       *       *       *       *       *

The reader will be pleased, we have no doubt, with the following brief
notice of this part of the coast, by the late celebrated Mrs.
Radcliffe:--

     "Oct. 15, 1811.--Passed Lord Dysart's beautiful cottage: it stands
     at some distance from the shore, and has several distinct roofs,
     well thatched: stands at the head of a winding lawn, with a fine
     beech-grove, and richly-colored copse. The little parish-church of
     St. Lawrence, perhaps the smallest in England, stands on a knoll,
     and terminates the cultivated valley; immediately beyond which we
     entered upon a scene of the wildest grandeur and solemnity. Many of
     the ruinous precipices of the upper cliffs project in horizontal
     strata, yet have perpendicular rents. Some of the shattered masses
     give the clearest echoes: we stood before one which responded every
     syllable with an exactness which was truly astonishing.--There is
     sometimes what may be called an amphitheatre of rock, where all the
     area is filled with ruins, which are however covered with verdure
     and underwood, that stretch up the sides with the wildest pomp: and
     shelter here a cottage, there a villa, among the rocky hillocks."

       *       *       *       *       *

Passing a gentleman's residence situated below the road on our left,
called OLD PARK (not from its display of sylvan honors), we should look
out for a romantic ascent in the lofty cliffs called ...

CRIPPLE-PATH:

It is worth examining, being a curious instance of the formation of the
bold horizontal crags and ledges which distinguish these hoary
precipices. For some distance the path is in a sunken stratum of soft
freestone, while the upper ledge of more stubborn rock overhangs it
several feet. Having reached the eminence by a rude winding staircase in
a rent of the cliff,--we shall be well repaid for our trifling labor,
by the beautiful prospect which is disclosed of the Undercliff, spread
like an extensive garden immediately under our feet. Many parties walk
hence on the edge of the cliffs to Niton, &c.

MIRABLES is another charming villa, through whose luxuriant plantations
the road is carried for nearly half a mile, affording a most grateful
shade: but, by the bye, at the expense of all prospect.

    "Refreshing change, where now the blazing sun?
    By short transition we have lost his glare,
    And stepp'd at once into a cooler clime."

The house is secluded from our view: it is in the plain cottage style:
but the grounds are not surpassed for rock and sylvan beauty by any seat
on the coast.

We successively pass through the grounds, close and open, of the three
following villas:

THE ORCHARD (on the same side of the road as Mirables, and like it, not
open to the public view): a spacious villa in the embellished style, and
the grounds immediately in front being formed into a succession of
walled terraces, where the grape-vine and the peach find a congenial
aspect: the coping too is adorned with a profusion of elegant vases,
filled with the choicest flowers, nor is a gentle fountain wanting to
complete the Italian beauty of the scene.

BEAUCHAMP, an unpretending residence in the simple cottage style, on the
right-hand side of the road, proceeding to Niton: we catch a glimpse of
it through the trees.

PUCKASTER COTTAGE, the property of the late James Vine, esq., remarkable
for its chaste and _appropriate_ design, _as a residence seated amidst
colossal rocks, precipices, and wild tufted knolls_. The house, the
improvements in the grounds, and every decoration, in character,--UNITY
marking the whole: rather an uncommon circumstance, where there is an
unceasing desire to give every grace to a favorite scene--and withal,
ample scope and means to indulge the wish.

The old road now makes a sudden turn on our right, and here occurs the
only considerable break in the upper boundary line of the Undercliff
from one end to the other. To the left of us, a considerable extent of
land has been laid out and partly disposed of, for the purpose of
building on; and new roads made accordingly: but as yet however the
speculation has not been carried on with much spirit.

At a short distance we come in front of the garden-wall of a gentleman's
villa called WESTCLIFF, a beautiful and well-sheltered spot where the
road abruptly divides, the left-hand branch pursuing the tour to
Blackgang Chine, and the right to Newport through NITON, a village
composed of a number of stone-built thatched cottages, some of which are
furnished for lodgings; and has also a decent small inn called the White
Lion. The Church is a pretty little object enough, standing at the foot
of the down, over which used to be the only direct high-road to Chale
and Blackgang Chine.

Continuing on towards the Chalybeate Spring, we pass Westcliff, and come
to the ROYAL SANDROCK HOTEL, placed in a most beautiful and commanding
situation; it will be readily distinguished by its ample verandah,
mantled with the choicest creepers.--Next to the Hotel appears MOUNT
CLEEVES, a respectable residence near the foot of the cliff, surrounded
by huge rocks and craggy mounds:--one of these is adorned by a small
obelisk that serves to mark a beautiful feature which would otherwise be
overlooked. The cottage-lodge below is a remarkably pretty object.--See
the Plate.

This part of the Undercliff is at once picturesque and lively; there
being just sufficient houses to give the scenery a cheerful aspect,
without intrenching too much on the natural beauties of the place.

We now enter on a scene which gives us a complete picture of the
Undercliff in all its genuine lines,--for it was the subject of an
extensive landslip in the year 1799, when a tract of about one hundred
acres was disturbed, the whole sliding forward in a mass towards the
sea, rifting into frightful chasms, and alternately rising and falling
like the waves of the sea: a cottage was overturned, but fortunately no
lives were lost.

[Illustration: THE UNDERCLIFF, _Between the Sandrock Hotel & the
Chalybeate Spring,--affording the best idea of the romantic character of
that part of the Isle of Wight._]

The annexed Plate of "the Undercliff, as it appears between the
Sandrock Hotel and Blackgang Chine," is introduced in order to give an
idea of the _general aspect_ of this singular tract: the wall-like
precipice which is the land-boundary rises abruptly on the right: the
intermediate space to the sea-shore is broken into a series of craggy
knolls and dells: the carriage-road threading its way between immense
masses of the fallen cliff,--now conducted along the margin of a
dangerous slope or precipice; and now descending into a theatre of
detached rocks and wild vegetation; but even here, though the softer
charms of scenery be wanting, it proves that ...

                --"Whether drest or rude,
    Wild without art, or artfully subdued,
    Nature in every form inspires delight."

       *       *       *       *       *

>> _The individual objects in the neighbourhood of Niton, calling for
particular remark, are few; notwithstanding the general aspect of the
scenery is strikingly wild and sombre. The_ LIGHT-HOUSE _will force
itself on our attention: the_ CHALYBEATE SPRING _ought not to be passed
by unnoticed; but the crowning feature of the district is_ BLACKGANG
CHINE, _a scene of the most terrific grandeur_.


ST. CATHARINE'S LIGHT-HOUSE.

[Illustration: ST. CATHARINE'S LIGHT-HOUSE NITON, ISLE OF WIGHT.]

The building of this lofty tower was commenced in the spring of 1839,
and finished in the following year: the undertaking having originated in
consequence of the loss of the ship _Clarendon_ (see p. 85). From the
frequent wrecks on this most dangerous part of the coast, it is rather
surprizing that such a warning friend to the hapless mariner was not
erected before: because many of the catastrophes were owing to the want
of some light or signal in the night, which could be distinctly seen by
seamen long ere they reached the fatal shore. It is true indeed, that
between 50 and 60 years ago, a Light-house was built on the summit of
St. Catharine's down, but for some reason not known to the public, it
never was equipped and lighted: and was in fact very soon abandoned. It
has been said that the site was too elevated, that it would be quite
obscured by fogs and mists in those very seasons when its friendly ray
was the most required;--it might be so, but certainly that was never
proved by the experiment: and it seems strange that these grounds of
objection were not suggested to the projectors in time.

The new Light-house stands near the edge of the sea-cliffs, at an
elevation of about fifty feet above the beach. The stone Tower is 101
feet high from the surface of the ground, besides the lantern of about
20 feet more: and the foundation is of _solid masonry_ to the depth of
thirty feet! The requisite offices for the two light-keepers are built
round the foot of the tower, and are comparatively low, so that at a
distance the lofty fabric appears as a magnificent column, or

    "Like some tall watch-tower nodding o'er the deep,
    Whose rocky base the foaming waters sweep."

Inside the tower a broad stone staircase winds spirally to the top; and
many visitors make the ascent, for the sake of the beautiful view
afforded of the adjacent part of the Undercliff, as well as for
examining the splendid and complicated lantern.

       *       *       *       *       *

As the carriage-road now pursues its mazy course through ...

    "Crags, knolls, and mounds, confus'dly hurl'd,
    The fragments of an earlier world,"

We soon reach the locality of the SANDROCK CHALYBEATE SPRING: easily
recognized by the low thatched roof of the Dispensary Cottage, that
stands nearly on the brow of the cliff, as the water issues from a rock
considerably below, inclosed in a plain piece of masonry. It has been
proved by repeated analyses, that there is a larger proportion of iron
and alumine in this than in any other mineral water yet discovered: and
its medicinal properties are therefore decidedly indicated in the cure
of those disorders arising from a relaxed fibre and languid circulation,
such as indigestion, flatulency, nervous disorders, and debility from a
long residence in hot climates.

Great improvement has taken place in the neighbourhood of the Spring,
within these few years, by _extensive draining_: thus preventing the
land-soaks and springs during winter from settling into frequent pools,
and thereby reducing the soil to the repulsive condition of a sterile
waste of quagmire and sliding rocks, and in every succeeding summer
drying up into a thousand dangerous holes and fissures. The ground in
fact is now sufficiently firm to invite the builder to the erection of
some good houses; and the surface exhibits a healthy herbage: roads have
also been made to the shore. A large and handsome-looking house, called
an "Italian Villa," has been erected on the east side of the
Spring,--but if the architect ever copied such for his model, he
certainly should have selected a site more appropriate, that would have
justified his choice of style by its genial aspect, its greenwood
shades, and the vegetative luxuriance of the soil.

       *       *       *       *       *

The shore here is called ROCKEN-END RACE, being composed of vast
confused heaps of rocky fragments precipitated in the course of ages
from the cliffs above, and now stretching out into the sea for nearly a
mile and a half.--Between this and Freshwater lie other formidable
reefs, respectively named from the nearest villages, ATHERFIELD,
CHILTON, and BROOKE; they are extremely dangerous: and previously to the
erection of the new Light-house, occasioned frequent shipwrecks.

       *       *       *       *       *


BLACKGANG CHINE,

[Illustration: BLACKGANG CHINE, I.W. _Taken from below the new Bridge,
which is a very general point of view, as the descent to the shore
thence becomes more abrupt and difficult._]

    "Where hills with naked heads the tempests meet--
    Rocks at their sides, and torrents at their feet,"

Deservedly ranks among the most striking scenes in the island, it is the
termination of the Undercliff, and of a character the very reverse of
Shanklin; for all here is terrific grandeur--without a green spray or
scarcely a tuft of verdure to soften its savage aspect. It differs also
from that sylvan spot, in being much more lofty, abrupt, and irregular:
though it does not penetrate the land so far. Both have their respective
admirers: this for its awful sublimity--that for its romantic beauty.

At the head of the Chine is a spacious Hotel, close to the road, and
distinguished by the name of the place.

The shelving sides of this gloomy chasm are proved to be little less
than 500 feet from the beach in perpendicular height; they are in a
constant state of decay--more or less considerable according to the
degree of rain and frost during winter: for the same description of
soil, namely, a mixture of clay and loose absorbent marle, interspersed
with veins of gravel, predominate here as we have seen elsewhere in its
neighbourhood. The only relief in fact to the dusky tint of the scene,
is two or three horizontal strata of yellowish free-stone, which give it
a step-like appearance. The most remarkable feature is a tremendous
gloomy hollow or cave, scooped out of the cliffs on the sea-shore by the
united action of the waves and the stream: the latter falls over a ledge
of the stubborn rock at the top, 70 feet high: and after heavy floods,
forms a noble cascade of one unbroken sheet: but like others of its
class, in summer fails in its amount, and often degenerates into a
noiseless dribble.

Nowhere can we get a complete view of Blackgang except off on the water,
which is not always practicable: certainly not in the very seasons when
the whole appears with the greatest interest,--when there is a strong
wind and tide setting in-shore, and the face of Nature is shrouded in
deepening gloom, with perhaps some hapless vessel in danger of being
wrecked,--it is then dressed in all the congenial horrors of savage
sublimity.--No one, a stranger to the sea-coast, would imagine how
awfully the surges lash the stony beach in tempestuous weather: the
high-curling waves break with a deafening roar, and mounting the lofty
cliffs in sheets of dazzling foam, are wafted in misty clouds half over
the island--even to Newport, where the windows facing the south are
occasionally dimmed with the saline vapors, almost to an incrustation.

The visitor will of course endeavour to descend to the shore; but this
is sometimes attended with considerable fatigue and difficulty, after
wet weather, to those who are delicate and infirm. For this reason, we
have taken our sketch from near the new bridge, to which the descent
from the hotel is generally easy: and from which the visitor may gain
such a view as will enable him to form a very good idea of the whole
scene. The windings of the Chine commence a little below the Hotel,
which (as already stated) stands at least 500 feet above the beach.

     From the proximity of several newly erected villas and
     lodging-houses, it ought here to be stated to the visitor, that the
     _true character_ of the place is in consequence greatly injured:
     for the garish and obtrusive habitations of genteel life but ill
     accord with that solitary and impressive magnificence which
     constitutes the very interest--the sublimity and peculiarity of a
     silent and cheerless scene, such as formerly were the aspect and
     condition of Blackgang Chine and its immediate neighbourhood.

     "There has long been a tradition that Blackgang Chine was once the
     favorite retreat of a gang of pirates, and from that circumstance
     its name was derived.--Without disputing the fact of its having
     offered occasionally concealment and a safe depository to
     smugglers, or even pirates for a time,--it is equally, if not more
     probable, that it is indebted for its very expressive appellation
     to its sombre coloring, and the _step-like_ appearance of the
     strata, if the word _gang_ be admitted to have the same
     signification as it has in a ship."

       *       *       *       *       *

Between Blackgang and Freshwater are several other Chines on an inferior
scale, partaking more or less of the same sterile aspect: such are
Walpan, Whale, Compton, Cowleaze and the Shepherd's, Grange, Chilton,
and Brooke: but though several of them are well entitled to notice, they
are seldom visited, owing to their remoteness from the public roads.

     >> It should be observed however, that though they possess less
     scenic interest than those already described,--they embrace a
     portion of the island most attractive to the geologist, from the
     circumstance of the cliffs and shores abounding in the most
     beautiful specimens of fossil remains.--We would moreover call the
     attention of those visitors who may desire to examine into the
     agency which has produced the chines, to the two called _Cowleaze_
     and _the Shepherd's_--the latter of which has been formed within
     the last 40 years, in consequence, it is said, of a countryman in
     an idle moment turning the course of the small rivulet which had
     hitherto run through Cowleaze. They are situated about a mile from
     Brixton.

       *       *       *       *       *

ST. CATHARINE'S HILL

(In the steep side of which on the south is Blackgang Chine), is the
highest in the island, or between 800 and 900 feet above the level of
the sea. An ancient octagon tower stands at the top, built on the site
of, or rather as an appendage to, a hermitage--originally endowed by a
benevolent individual for the purpose of providing lights in dark and
stormy nights:--there is also the shell of the old light-house mentioned
at p. 79.

The regular carriage-road between Chale and Niton used to be over this
down previous to the year 1838: and we in some measure regret (although
_celerity_ in travelling be now the order of the day), that it is
superseded by the road then made to Blackgang: to the admirers of
illimitable prospect it afforded a rich treat, "for language is scarcely
adequate to describe the various beauties which present themselves from
this elevated spot."

On the northern extremity of St. Catharine's down is an elegant and most
conspicuous object (72 feet high,) called the ALEXANDRIAN PILLAR: the
purpose of its erection is perhaps best told by the inscription itself:

     "_In commemoration of the visit of his Imperial Majesty Alexander
     I, Emperor of all the Russias, to Great Britain in the year
     1814--and in remembrance of the many happy years' residence in his
     dominions--this Pillar was erected by Michael Hoy._"

On the slope is a seat called the MEDINA HERMITAGE (formerly the
summer-residence of the gentleman named on the pillar): the house is
characterized by simplicity and neatness: and its greatest ornament is a
large verandah, having a broad _trellis_ roof, beautifully intertwined
with the sweetest varieties of climbing plants. From its very elevated
situation, it commands a rich display of the country from Niton to
Newport.

       *       *       *       *       *

CHALE CHURCH

Must be passed in the regular tour, going to or returning from Blackgang;
stands close to the road; and though simple in its architecture, has a
venerable and rather picturesque appearance--especially its square tower,
which proves a great relief to the flatness of the view looking westward
to the Freshwater cliffs: dates its erection in the 12th century; and
exposed as it is to the rage of the elements, affords an instance of the
stability which characterizes the structures of antiquity.

The cemetery of Chale incloses many a shipwrecked mariner--no doubt some
hundreds who were deposited, in the course of ages, without any memento
whatever: but the public are now more interested, from the circumstance
of the unfortunate sufferers in the wreck of the ship Clarendon being
here interred,--to whose memory tombstones are erected, on which the
date and other particulars of their melancholy fate are recorded.

       *       *       *       *       *

     WRECKS ON THE SOUTHERN COAST.

     We have already stated how dangerous this part of the coast is
     during a south or south-west wind, to vessels unmanageable in a
     storm: and previously to the erection of the new Light-house, few
     winters passed without two or more wrecks occurring between Niton
     and Freshwater Bay. In former times, the _waifs_, or possession of
     such remains of ships or their cargoes as were washed ashore, seems
     to have been a valued right of this, as well as some other manors
     in the Isle of Wight; and many tales have been told of the
     inhumanity of the wreckers who in those days are said to have
     resided in the neighbourhood,--which, if true, are strongly
     contrasted by the ready zeal and liberality which the present
     inhabitants display in assisting those unfortunates whom the
     furious elements so often cast on this fatal shore.

     Of the numerous vessels which have been lost here in our own time,
     the largest was perhaps the _Carn-brea Castle_ East Indiaman, in
     July 1829: she left Spithead at nine o'clock in the morning, and
     about six hours afterwards struck on the rocks near Mottistone: the
     weather being fine, her crew and passengers easily reached the
     shore. The size of the ship, and the remarkable circumstances under
     which she was lost, attracted a considerable number of visitors to
     the spot,--as she was not immediately broken up, though all hopes
     of removing her were soon abandoned.

     A far more disastrous wreck was that of the CLARENDON, a West India
     trader of 350 tons, which took place on the 11th of October, 1836:
     and will be remembered with increased interest, as the acknowledged
     fact of her loss being mainly attributable to the want of some
     warning beacon on the land, led almost directly to the erection of
     the splendid light-house at Niton. She had 11 passengers, male and
     female, and 17 seamen on board: her cargo consisted of sugar, rum,
     molasses, and turtle; she was heavily laden, and had been about six
     weeks on her voyage. The preceding evening was fine, and the breeze
     favorable, and the passengers retired to rest in fancied security,
     with the pleasing hope of safely reaching their destination on the
     following day. After midnight the wind increased; but though the
     ship drove rapidly before it, no danger was perceived till about
     day-break,--when, already in the surf, there was no longer a
     possibility of escape. The crew immediately proceeded to set all
     sail the storm would permit, in hopes of weathering the point; but
     their gallant efforts could not long delay the fate of the doomed
     vessel, she continued to drift towards the beach, on which she
     struck a little before six o'clock, and within five minutes was
     totally demolished. It would be a useless attempt to describe the
     horrors of that short but fearful period: all that could be
     gathered from the statements of the survivors was, that she twice
     touched the ground lightly, forward, at which time all her people
     were assembled on the deck; and presently one mountain wave hurled
     her broadside on the beach with such stupendous force, that the
     huge hull at once parted into a thousand fragments! The frightful
     brevity of the whole catastrophe prevented any measures being taken
     for the relief of the passengers and crew, although the ship was
     scarcely twice her own length from the cliff; and all perished
     except the mate and two seamen, who were rescued by the courageous
     exertions of some countrymen who had hastened to the spot as soon
     as dawn disclosed the inevitable danger of the vessel.--For some
     hours afterwards a hideous spectacle was here presented,--the naked
     and mangled bodies of the unfortunate sufferers, with the remains
     of the vessel and cargo, were tossed about in dire confusion by the
     raging waves, or dashed again and again on the stony beach; but
     before the close of the day, most of the former had been drawn
     ashore, and the broken fragments of the wreck were strewed on the
     beach for several miles. Six of the passengers (an officer named
     Shore, his wife, and daughters,) were buried in Newport churchyard,
     where a monument has since been erected to their memory; and it is
     a strange fact that the premises which adjoin that cemetery on the
     western side, had been but a short time previously engaged for
     their reception by a near relative, who there anxiously awaited the
     ship's arrival. Most of the others (as already mentioned,) were
     interred at Chale.

     Subsequently, the wrecks on the island coast have been less
     numerous, and rarely accompanied by loss of life or any other
     circumstance of particular interest: the case of H.M. Steam-sloop
     SPHYNX, however, having excited so large a share of public
     attention, claims a brief notice. Returning from her first voyage
     to Africa, she neared the coast during a thick fog about six
     o'clock on the morning of Jan. 16, 1847: and by the force of her
     engines was driven over the outer ledge (off Brooke), and firmly
     fixed in the clay beds within. The suddenness of the accident
     caused great alarm amongst her crew and passengers (300 in number):
     and the startling discharges of her heavy artillery quickly aroused
     the inhabitants for miles round: but daylight and the ebbing tide
     enabled her people to reach land with no great
     difficulty,--although a boat, sent to her from another war-steamer,
     capsized with the loss of seven men. For nearly two months,
     repeated efforts were made to extricate the Sphynx from her awkward
     position: and after her masts, guns, and most of her stores and
     machinery had been removed, and the hull itself buoyed up by a vast
     number of empty casks, and some decked lighters (called camels),
     she was at length brought off and towed into Portsmouth harbour on
     the 3rd. of March. Her bottom had sustained considerable injury,
     though much less than was expected from her having lain so long in
     such a situation, and during several severe gales.

       *       *       *       *       *

The VILLAGE OF CHALE lies at the foot of St. Catharine's Hill, and
comprises a considerable number of scattered cottages: none of them
however deserving a stranger's notice, except perhaps the Parsonage, and
the Abbey-farm-house; the latter covered with the most luxuriant ivy.

If the visitor be on his return to Newport, he will within three miles
of it pass GATCOMBE, a small village, and a first rate seat: exhibiting
altogether perhaps the most charming _inland_ scenery in the Isle of
Wight:--

    "Sweet are its groves, and verdant are its fields."

The mansion is a large square edifice, extremely well-situated,--in
front a fine lawn falls with an easy slope, shaded by many noble oaks
and elms: and immediately behind rises a steep hill luxuriantly clothed
with hanging plantations. At a short distance from the house is a small
lake; and near the latter, the neat little parish-church, and the
Parsonage, both beautifully embosomed in wood.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ROAD TO FRESHWATER-GATE.

>> _From Chale to the celebrated Cliff's of Freshwater is about twelve
miles; the first eight of which are through an agricultural district,
presenting only so many agreeable pictures of rural life,--and of these
the principal are_ SHORWELL, NORTHCOURT, _and_ BRIXTON.

    "A simple scene! yet hence Brittannia sees
    Her solid grandeur rise."

     The fact is, the greater part of the soil is so extremely fertile,
     as to be employed in tillage and meadow, almost to the exclusion of
     woods and coppice, which constitute the chief ornaments of a
     landscape. We have, however, nearly the whole of the journey such a
     charming view of the ocean, as to compensate for the deficiency of
     sylvan beauties.

       *       *       *       *       *

After passing a small church called KINGSTON, posted on a knoll, and
surrounded by a few trees which bespeak their bleak exposure, we reach
 ...

SHORWELL,

A considerable village, about four miles from Chale, and five from
Newport; it stands charmingly sheltered in a curve of the downs with a
southern aspect; has a pretty church; and boasts of the finest old
mansion in the island, called NORTHCOURT, built in the reign of James
I. This venerable pile has lately been thoroughly repaired: a necessary
operation by the bye that has stripped it for a few years of its
greatest ornament--the rich drapery of ivy which invested its lofty gray
walls and pinnacles: hills, clothed with hanging woods and plantations,
rise boldly around it; many of the oaks and pines, luxuriating in a
fertile soil and genial climate, are uncommonly fine: the grounds too
are embellished with a rustic temple, and a very elegant mausoleum to
the memory of Miss Bull, the daughter of a former owner,--the whole
scene indeed is replete with architectural and sylvan beauties. There
are in the neighbourhood two other ancient manorial residences, named
Westcourt and Woolverton, now converted into farm-houses: and the
cottages of Shorwell are remarkable for their neatness and comfortable
appearance, as well as for the abundant display of creepers and
flowering shrubs with which most of them are adorned.

Two miles further on we enter BRIXTON, a populous village in the heart
of a rich tract of cultivation: is one mile from the shore, and screened
from the north by a range of lofty downs. The Church is rather spacious,
and not unpicturesque; many of the cottages are neat, some few furnished
for lodgings: and there is a comfortable small inn. This place is
commonly called Brison, and one clergyman names it Brightstone.

MOTTISTONE succeeds: a pretty hamlet nearly shrouded in wood, with a
very picturesque church. On an elevated part of the farm are the remains
of some small druidical temple called LONGSTONE, which is a rude piece
of rock of a quadrangular figure, evidently erected by art, and rears
itself about twelve feet above the ground; near it another large stone
lies partly buried in the earth, of not less than eight feet long.

BROOK is the last village we pass till we reach Freshwater: much the
same character as the others: the Mansion-house, which is surrounded
with wood, being the only object to notice, besides the little church,
which we shall presently pass, posted solitarily on an eminence near the
foot of the down.

       *       *       *       *       *



CHAPTER IV.

THE WESTERN QUARTER OF THE ISLAND, DISTINGUISHED

FOR ITS

SUBLIME SCENERY.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Road over the Downs from Brooke to Freshwater-gate._

     We shall now leave the familiar scenes of cultivation and of
     village life for a time, to enjoy the charms of unbounded prospect,
     as we journey for four miles over a succession of pasturing downs,
     where in many parts our road will be upon a natural carpet of the
     finest turf.

     Tasteless indeed must be those who can travel over these lofty and
     _beautiful_ downs, without experiencing the most lively
     gratification from the checquered and magnificent prospects which
     invite their contemplation on every side: but to enjoy the pleasure
     in perfection we must occasionally pause, to discriminate (by
     reference to a friend or a map,) some of the more remarkable
     features.--Looking to the westward, the high cliffs of Freshwater
     stretch away in a noble promontory of three miles, forming the
     foreground to the soft azure perspective of the coast of Dorset:
     but to the north, so diversified is the extensive landscape with
     towns and villages, hills, woods, forests, sea, and river, as to
     mock our most ardent wishes to convey even a faint idea of the
     grandeur of the composition.

     Another source of no inconsiderable pleasure, when traversing these
     beautiful downs,--soaring as it were in the higher regions--is
     feeling that we actually breathe the purest atmosphere, so
     exhilarating to the human frame. Nor is the reverse of this
     desirable clearness of the weather without its share of
     amusement--to witness the formation of clouds, as the vapors are
     drawn up from the sea, and gradually condensed; rolling by, and
     enveloping us in their misty volumes. It is true indeed, that these
     exhibitions are not without danger to the traveller, lest he
     unwarily approach too near the fatal precipice: but this
     circumstance imposing the necessity of caution, excites an
     _interest_--and interest is the very zest of adventure. [Footnote:
     Near the edge of the cliffs about half a mile eastward of
     Freshwater-gate, a small tablet has lately been erected, to
     commemorate the unfortunate fate of a youth who slipped over and
     perished on the rocks beneath.--Some years ago two successive
     keepers of the Needles Light-house lost their lives in a similar
     manner over the precipices on which that establishment is located.]

     In short, whether for the splendor of the prospects, the refreshing
     purity of the air, or the novelty of literally walking in the
     clouds, we esteem the journey over these downs, as pleasurable as
     any portion of the tour.

We shall now suppose the Visitor to be descending the last down, and in
a few minutes, walking on the beach--here to commence his examination of
 ...


THE FRESHWATER CLIFFS.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: FRESHWATER BAY, I.W. _(The two remarkable isolated Rocks
and Entrance to the principal Cavern.)_]

    "Suspended cliffs, with hideous sway,
    Seem nodding o'er the caverns gray."

>>_Several romantic_ CAVERNS _near Freshwater-gate: the Needles_
LIGHT-HOUSE--_and the wonderfully_ COLORED SANDS _of Alum Bay, are
accessible without taking boat: the celebrated_ NEEDLE ROCKS _are seen
(though not to advantage,) from the down and beach: but the_ GRAND ARCH,
_the_ WEDGE-ROCK, _and several deep_ CAVERNS _and other curiosities of
Rock-scenery, can be viewed only by water, which is extremely desirable
in calm weather._

       *       *       *       *       *

THE WHITE CLIFFS OF ALBION is so favorite a poetical designation of the
English coast, that it is with some degree of pride we hail our
"sea-girt isle" as surpassing in the magnificence and splendor of this
characteristic, every other part of the kingdom; for even Shakspeare's
cliff at Dover, immortalized as it is by the pen of the bard himself, is
little more than half the elevation of some of the chalk precipices of
the Isle of Wight,--which, at Freshwater, rise from the bosom of the
blue ocean with a perpendicular face of the most dazzling whiteness, the
sublime altitude of more than 600 feet!--being nearly one-half higher
than the pinnacles either of St. Paul's or Salisbury Cathedrals.

A stranger from the inland districts, who may never have seen a
precipice upon a grander scale than is presented by the sides of some
deep chalk-pit, would be at a loss to imagine wherein consisted the
BEAUTY and the INTEREST of such seemingly monotonous scenes; especially
when informed that they are indebted to no borrowed ornament from either
tree or shrub: and indeed it would prove equally difficult on our part
to furnish a comprehensive definition. One eminent writer
enthusiastically eulogises their appearance as "_singularly elegant_
when viewed at a proper distance; and with the Needle Rocks,
constituting a whole that is scarcely to be equalled:"--another declares
that "the most lofty and magnificent fabrics of Art, compared with
these stupendous works of Nature, sink in idea to Lilliputian
size:"--and a third, that "the towering precipices of Scratchell's Bay
are of the most elegant forms;" and "the pearly hue of the chalk is
beyond description by words, probably out of the power even of the
pencil."

       *       *       *       *       *

As almost every visitor has a card of _all the local curiosities_
presented to him by some of the boatmen of the place, it would be
useless here to describe individually the several objects deserving
personal observation: we shall therefore confine our notice to a few of
the most prominent,--commencing at ...

FRESHWATER-GATE,

Remarkable for the brilliancy as well as beauty of the surrounding
promontories, of which an enchanting view is presented as we descend
from the downs. The outline of the precipices is here extremely bold,
forming several charming little coves or bays, and penetrated at the
base by numerous deep CAVERNS of the most romantic formation, that are
exceedingly interesting to visitors when explored. But what contributes
most to the picturesque character of the scenery is the presence of
several immense isolated rocks of grotesque shape, that rise from 30 to
60 feet above the sea. Two of these will particularly attract attention,
namely, the _Arched_, and the _Deer-pound_, [Footnote: This name was
given to the rock from the fact, it is said, of a deer having leaped on
it from the main land, when closely pursued by the hounds of the late
Lord Holmes, about 70 or 80 years ago: at which time the separation
could have been but a few yards! Whatever credit may be attached to this
anecdote by the reader, it at least serves to show the opinion which the
older inhabitants entertain of the progressive waste of land at this
part of the coast (the face of the cliffs being constantly exposed to
the weather and undermining action of the sea); and we remember it was
but a few years back when the top of this same rock was covered with a
considerable patch of green sod.] they are the remains of the original
cliff, but being composed of more stubborn and adhesive materials, have
long resisted the lashing waves and warring elements, while the parent
cliffs are constantly receding and forming a wider separation.

Here are two respectable Hotels: the _Albion_, close to the beach; and
_Plumbly's_, on the cliff: both of which offer to their guests the charm
of hearing ...

              ----"The restless waves that roar,
    And fling their foam against the rocky shore."

The CAVERN in Freshwater Bay was formerly an object of no little
curiosity to those who had never seen any thing similar of a more
striking character; but the romantic effect, and consequently interest
of the scene has been greatly injured by the fall falling-in of the
arched roof. Now, however, visitors can easily investigate other caverns
of a similar nature at WATCOMBE BAY (to which a good road has been made
from Plumbly's Hotel,) where there is also a pyramidical rock, curiously
perforated at the base.

       *       *       *       *       *

     >> A very common way of seeing these precipices is to go by water
     to Alum Bay, there land, walk up to the Light-house, and return by
     the beacon: or take boat at Alum Bay, and sail round the Needles or
     to Freshwater Bay, just as fancy may suggest. Some proceed on foot
     from Freshwater-gate to the Needles Light-house (about three
     miles), on the green sod, near the margin of the cliffs: other
     parties again go round by the carriage-road the whole distance in
     their vehicles. As, however, the grandest scenes can only be
     visited by boat, we shall best perform our duty as Cicerone by
     pointing them out as they appear in an aquatic excursion--that to
     parties generally affords a degree of elevated pleasure to which
     nothing else in the island can bear any comparison. Yet should the
     weather be too rough for this to be enjoyed, the visit to
     Freshwater may prove not the less interesting: since it is
     impossible for any spectacle to exceed in sublimity that which is
     displayed when a storm is raging around the majestic cliffs and
     vast detached rocks that here encounter the winds and waves of the
     British Channel:--

    "Down bursts the gale--the surges sweep,
    Like gathering hosts, against the steep,
    Sheeting, with clouds of snowy spray,
    Its lofty forehead, old and gray.
    With sudden shriek and cowering wing,
    To the wild cliff the sea-birds spring;
    Careering o'er the darken'd heaven,
    The clouds in warring heaps are driven;
    And crested high with lawny foam,
    Rushes the mighty billow home."

       *       *       *       *       *

(Another Hotel is situated on the north side of the down, within sight
of the Needles, by whose name it is distinguished.)

[Illustration: WATCOMBE BAY _FRESHWATER ISLE OF WIGHT._]

From Watcombe Bay the precipices continue to increase in height till
they reach their greatest elevation (617 feet) at HIGH-DOWN, on which
the beacon is erected: they are however less perpendicular here than we
shall presently find them; and the more sloping portions are covered by
extensive patches of turf, samphire, &c., which vary the pure white of
the upright masses, though perhaps the lofty appearance of the whole is
thereby rather diminished, at least to a spectator at their base.
Amongst the most remarkable objects in this part of the range are
NEPTUNE'S CAVE, and LORD HOLMES'S PARLOUR:--the latter, a cavern of
considerable height and breadth, derives its name from the nobleman,
whose name it bears, having occasionally enjoyed a repast with his
friends in the briny coolness of its shade, at least so tradition tells
us: it can be easily entered by boat in calm weather: and when viewed
from beneath its rough vaulted roof, has certainly a very romantic
appearance.

A little further on is the WEDGE-ROCK, a most singular result of
accident; being a piece of rock about twelve feet long by six or eight
wide, exactly the shape of a wedge, resting between the main cliff and a
large mass of detached chalk, just as if fixed there by some gigantic
hand to effect the separation. It is often practicable to land here, and
it is worth while on the part of the young and active, were it only to
be satisfied how extremely deceptive is the appearance of the rocks and
broken green ledges, as to their size and extent of surface,--for few
would suppose (in passing by,) that the piece near the Wedge-rock
contains upwards of an acre of ground.--The pyramidical mass connected
with the Wedge is about fifty feet high, and a hundred long at the base.

     Our friends will remember (as has been before said,) that we leave
     the history of many curious rocks and caverns to be given by the
     local watermen; for personal examination will invest a scene or
     object with a degree of interest which cannot be felt by the
     reader, who may have no expectation of ever seeing them.

Passing the OLD PEPPER-ROCK, a picturesque detached mass at the foot of
the chalk--we find ourselves under the noble promontory of MAIN-BENCH,
where the precipices again rise to upwards, of six hundred feet in
height: and being nearly perpendicular, present a truly sublime aspect,
viewed either from above or below: while the constant washing of the
waves at the lower part, by removing the looser particles of chalk,
gives it much the appearance of having been built with vast blocks of
masonry. As the water is deep even close to the cliff, and beautifully
transparent in calm weather, the reflection on its surface of the crags
above, and the sunken rocks and marine plants which appear beneath, must
add considerably to the interest of our aquatic excursion. Main-bench
terminates in a bold bluff or projecting angle called SUN CORNER;
rounding which, we enter ...

SCRATCHELL'S BAY, universally considered by visitors as the most
memorable spot on the island coast, alike for the grandeur, beauty, and
variety of its scenery. The dazzling whiteness of the chalk is here
relieved by thin curving beds of dark flint, which regularly divide it
into parallel strata of eight or ten feet thickness; the towering
precipices are of the most picturesque shapes; and the Needle Rocks form
an inimitable termination to the scene. Just within the bay is the
NEEDLES CAVE, the deepest along the whole range, as it penetrates the
chalk 300 feet: but the _unique_ feature which above all the rest claims
attention is the niche-like recess in the face of the cliff,
appropriately designated ...

THE GRAND ARCH;

It indicates little that is remarkable at a distance; but a truly
sublime effect is produced when the stranger is placed under its awful
roof with his back against the concave chalk: for he then sees above him
a magnificent Arch two hundred feet in height and overhanging the beach
at least one hundred and eighty!--yet so true, nay, even elegant is the
sweep, that it rather resembles the stupendous work of Art, than the
casual production of Nature. To form an idea of the sublimity of the
scene, the reader should task his memory with the dimensions of some of
the proudest architectural monuments in Great Britain: and the
comparison would immediately remove all doubt, that a sight of the Arch
itself would amply repay the trouble of a visit to Freshwater.

[Illustration: SCRATCHELL'S BAY, _And the NEEDLE ROCKS, as viewed from a
bold Bluff called Sun Corner, being the termination of the Freshwater
Cliffs.--Isle if Wight._]

Scratchell's Bay is about half-a-mile in breadth; being formed by Sun
Corner and the Grand Arch on the eastern side, and on the west by the

NEEDLE ROCKS,

Which stretch out into the sea a considerable distance: they are remains
of the original cliff, and forcibly illustrate the destructive power of
the ocean's stormy winds and waves, which in successive ages have
removed so vast a quantity of the adjacent chalk. Nor are their ravages
at all diminished at the present time: for it is only within the last
few years that the smallest rock has been completely insulated; while
another immense mass of the cliff is evidently separating by degrees,
and will probably become ere long entirely detached, forming a
magnificent pyramid two or three hundred feet high. It is impossible to
convey by verbal description a correct idea of these celebrated rocks:
for in passing round or through them, they assume a different shape
almost every dozen yards; sometimes appearing like a continuation of the
main promontory,--sometimes as one or more lofty acuminated
pyramids,--or again we see the different masses extending in nearly a
straight line, between which we catch a distant view of Christchurch and
other objects on the opposite coast. The name (inappropriate to their
present form,) was derived from a spiry rock, 120 feet high and very
slender, which fell in the year 1764, having been nearly worn through by
the incessant action of the tides: its base however is still visible at
low water.

     The _Pomone_, a fifty-gun frigate, was wrecked on the most western
     of these rocks, on June 11th, 1811, when returning home after an
     absence of three years; but owing to the fineness of the weather,
     the crew and passengers, including some Persian princes, reached
     the shore in safety; and most of her guns and stores were removed
     before she went to pieces. "The vessel," says Mr. Webster,
     "afforded me a scale by which to judge of the size of the Needles,
     and I was surprized to find that the hull of the frigate did not
     reach one-fourth of their height." The entrance to the Solent
     Channel "through the Needles" was always considered hazardous for
     ships of great burthen, not only on account of those rocks, but
     also of the immense banks of pebbles or "Shingles" that lie to the
     westward: recent surveys have however ascertained that the channel
     has sufficient width and depth for the safe passage of the largest
     ships of war.

ALUM BAY.

The brilliant and novel display of rock scenery which this spot affords,
and its being easily accessible either by water or land (for a road
leads to it from the north side of the down), cause it to be universally
visited by strangers who extend their tour to this quarter of the
island. It is bounded on the south by the Needles and the snowy
precipices of which they once formed part: but its greatest celebrity is
owing to the wonderful diversity and brightness in the cliffs on the
opposite side, which are composed of sand, clay, and ochreous earths,
disposed in alternate _vertical_ strata: and as the torrents of winter
carry away vast masses of the soil, forming numerous deep ravines--an
endless variety of the most beautiful peaks and romantic forms are thus
produced. The colored strata vary in thickness from a sheet of paper to
several yards; are now purely white, black, red, or yellow; then brown,
blueish, or dull green,--alternating in a surprizing manner with each
other, or blending into every hue: and many of the tints so vivid, yet
so delicate, that they are justly compared to the variegations of a
tulip, or to the shades of silk. "Alum Bay," says an eminent geologist,
"is so extraordinary a place, that I am unable to explain in adequate
terms, the surprize I felt on first seeing it. The scenery is indeed of
a species unique in this country: and nothing that I had previously seen
bore the least resemblance to it." This spot owes its name to the fact
of alum having been occasionally found on its shores.

       *       *       *       *       *

And now, having pointed out the most remarkable features in the cliffs,
it only remains to notice THE LIGHT-HOUSE, which is a gratifying object
of curiosity to persons unacquainted with the nature of such an
establishment, it stands near the extremity of the down, and commands a
prospect of great extent and beauty, particularly of the unrivaled
scenery of Alum Bay. The Needles are seen to most advantage from the
water: but when this has not been enjoyed, the party should cautiously
approach within a few yards of the precipice, "and to those whose nerves
are proof against the horrors of the position, the new into the bays
beneath, and of the cliffs and Needle Rocks, is extremely sublime. The
agitation and sound of the waves below are hardly perceived, and it is
scarcely possible to imagine that the quiet expanse which now seems
stretched in boundless repose under the eye, is the same turbulent
element which had but lately been seen bursting in clouds of foam, and
thundering on its rocky shore.--In hard blowing weather, the fury of the
wind on this promontory is scarcely credible. Very large flints and
fragments of chalk are blown from the cliffs, so as to endanger the
windows of the light-house; and for many days in succession, it is
scarcely possible to open the door."

       *       *       *       *       *

     The precipices of Freshwater, like those at Bembridge, are
     frequented at periodical seasons by prodigious flights of sea-fowl
     of various kinds. The birds are taken by the country-people at the
     hazard of their lives; they descend by means of a stout rope which
     turns round a crow-bar firmly fixed in the ground above; one end of
     the rope being fastened about their body, and the other end held in
     their hands, by which they lower and raise themselves from ledge to
     ledge of the horrid precipice. The aquatic fowl furnish most
     amusing sport to numberless shooting-parties during the season. The
     principal species are ... puffins, gulls, cormorants, Cornish
     choughs, the eider duck, auks, divers, guillemots, razor-bills,
     widgeons, willocks, daws, starlings, and pigeons. Their
     breeding-season is in the months of May, June, and July, and
     towards the end of August the greater part of them migrate with
     their new generations. Their flesh is too rank and fishy to be
     eaten, and is used only for baiting crab and lobster pots; the
     feathers are valuable, and the eggs are bought chiefly by visitors
     for curiosity.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE ROADS TO YARMOUTH, NEWPORT, &c.

>> _Having visited the western extremity of the Island, we
return--either by_ CALBOURNE _to Newport, which is the nearest; or round
by_ YARMOUTH, _this being perhaps the less monotonous road of the two._

       *       *       *       *       *

The tourist, on leaving the magnificent scenes of the western coast, can
hardly expect to see many spots in the remainder of his journey, capable
of engaging his attention. He may still however enjoy some very charming
prospects, particularly in the neighbourhood of Yarmouth, whither we
shall now suppose him to shape his course.

We shall pass two seats: FARRINGFORD, on the north side of the down,
surrounded by flourishing plantations; and about a mile and a half
further, the fine old manor-house of AFTON.

THE VILLAGE OF FRESHWATER is prettily interspersed with wood; but except
the church (whose front is more picturesque than most in the island),
has nothing to notice;--unless it should fortunately happen to be
high-tide at the time of our passing, and then the RIVER YAR will have a
lovely effect--winding between gently rising banks feathered with grove
and copse, shrouding here a mansion, and there a cottage; while
pleasure-boats and an unusual number of swans are seen gliding and
sporting on its silver bosom.

       *       *       *       *       *

Passing over a neat bridge, and through the fertile parish of THORLEY,
whose church is the plainest in the island, we reach

YARMOUTH,

Standing opposite Lymington, and once a place of considerable
importance, having obtained a charter of franchises in the reign of
Henry II: it is very clean and open,--and being situated in the
neighbourhood of the most interesting coast scenery, is upon the whole
an agreeable place, particularly for gentlemen partial to marine
pleasures. Its chief support is derived from the shipping that anchor in
its excellent roadsted, and the passengers to and from Lymington; there
are three inns--the principal one (the George,) is a large ancient
building, formerly the Governor's house, where King Charles II was
entertained by Sir Rt. Holmes on his paying the island a visit in
1667.--The Church has recently received the ornament of a new tower, and
the interior boasts a good statue of the above-named Sir Robert. The
Castle (as it is called), is a heavy, plain mass of building,
constructed in the reign of Henry VIII to protect this entrance to the
Solent Channel.

The village of NORTON is on the opposite side of the river, where there
are several very respectable villas,--so sheltered by groves and
shrubberies, that the whole neighbourhood presents the delightful
appearance of a bold foreland completely shrouded in wood, even to the
water's edge.

     Opposite _Carey's Sconce_, half a mile west of Norton, is HURST
     CASTLE, built at the extremity of a long strip of shingly land
     stretching out from the Hampshire coast, which here contracts the
     width of the Solent Channel to less than a mile. Close by are two
     Light-houses, erected for the purpose of assisting ships to clear
     the passage through the Needles.

Four miles from Yarmouth we pass through SHALFLEET, a clean and populous
village: the Church is next the road, of a heavy construction,--yet
affording a good subject for a sketch. Northward is NEWTOWN, a very
ancient borough; which was a populous place in the time of Richard II
(when it was burned by the French, but soon afterwards rebuilt), and
though now reduced to a few humble cottages, the course of its streets
may yet be traced. It has a new church, of a neat design; and is noted
for its extensive salterns, and convenient haven.--Previously to the
passing of the Reform Bill in 1832, Yarmouth and Newtown each returned
two members to parliament.

       *       *       *       *       *

_The Road by Calbourne and Carisbrooke._

The direct road from Freshwater-gate to Newport runs for the first three
or four miles at the northern foot of the range of downs described at p.
89; presenting no object worthy of separate remark till we reach
CALBOURNE, a considerable village, having a decent small inn. The pretty
situation of its neat little Church and Parsonage,--the handsome mansion
and luxuriant plantations of a first-rate seat called WESTOVER, close
by,--with a small stream running through the grounds and in front of the
neighbouring cottages,--altogether produce a very pleasing scene ...

    "Where sweet simplicity resides, which Grace
    And Beauty call their own."

Two miles further we pass SWAINSTON, another principal seat: the mansion
lies below the road, surrounded by trees; a copious stream, well stored
with fish, runs through the gardens and plantations, which are extensive
and judiciously laid-out; and the prospect-temple which crowns the hill
on the right is a very conspicuous object. From hence the road is on
the slope of a series of hills, often picturesquely shrouded in groves
and hanging woods; while in the more open parts some extensive views are
presented of the north side of the island, the sea, and the opposite
coast of Hampshire; but the prospect which is opened as we descend into
Carisbrooke is particularly grand: the village makes an admirable
foreground, backed by lofty hills,--on the left we see the town of
Newport and its adjoining hamlets, with E. Cowes Park, &c. in the
distance,--and on the right,

    "High o'er the pines, that with their dark'ning shade
      Surround yon craggy bank, THE CASTLE rears
    Its crumbling turrets: still its towering head
      A warlike mien, a sullen grandeur wears!"

       *       *       *       *       *


LANDMARKS AND OTHER CONSPICUOUS OBJECTS

_Erected on the Hills._

       *       *       *       *       *

The fact of so many of the hills and downs being crowned with some
far-seen object, such as a light-house, obelisk, or telegraph, must be a
source of considerable interest to a traveller in the Isle of Wight, not
only by their often giving an identity and attraction to many of those
broad features of scenery which would otherwise be comparatively tame
and monotonous, but also by enabling him to determine the bearings and
situation of places in their vicinity.

     We shall here name a few of the most conspicuous of these objects,
     nearly in the order pursued in the preceding description of the
     Tour of the Island:--most of them being visible from the
     neighbourhood of Newport, which, as we have before stated, occupies
     a central position. We shall therefore commence with Carisbrooke
     Castle.

     At West Cowes--the Church-tower, and Windmills. At East
     Cowes--Towers of Osborne, Norris, and East Cowes Castle. At
     Wootton--the Prospect-tower of Fernhill. Southward of Ryde--a large
     Windmill. On Ashey Down--the Sea-mark. At Bembridge--Mill on the
     Down. Godshill--the Church: behind which, on Appuldurcombe Down, is
     an Obelisk and private Signal-station. On Shanklin Down--Cooke's
     Castle. St. Catharine's Down--ancient Tower, and old Light-house;
     on the sea-cliffs, the new Light-house; on the northern extremity
     of the down, the Alexandrian Pillar. Freshwater Downs--Light-house,
     and Beacon.

       *       *       *       *       *

TOURS OF THE ISLAND.

       *       *       *       *       *

     Some years ago it was customary for the then limited number of
     Post-masters to adopt a regular three-days' Tour of the island,
     dividing it into the North-eastern, the Southern, and the
     North-western; differing but very little except as to the _order_
     of the days' excursion. Not so now--for a hundred plans would
     hardly describe all "the Tours" recommended by the different
     inn-keepers and numerous other letters-out of vehicles for
     pleasure-parties; to say nothing of the wide difference between the
     visitors themselves, as regards the _Time_ allowed.--We have
     anticipated, we hope, every question on the subject, by the
     arrangement in the preceding pages: but still it may be
     satisfactory to some of our readers, to see the most generally
     adopted Routes. The reader will perceive that _Appuldurcombe_ is
     frequently left as the object of a separate day's trip.

       *       *       *       *       *

CONTINUED TOUR FROM RYDE.

    FIRST DAY
                                   MILES
    St. John's: St. Clare, &c.,        1
    The Priory,                        2
    St. Helen's Green,                 1
    Bembridge (crossing ferry),        1
    Yaverland,                     3-1/2
    Sandown Fort and Village,      1-1/2
    Shanklin Chine and Village,        3
    Luccombe Chine,                1-1/2
    East End,                      0-1/2
    Bonchurch--Ventnor,                2
    Steephill Castle,                  1
    St. Lawrence,                      1
    Niton,                         2-1/2
      Sleep here, or at Blackgang.------
                                  23-1/2


    SECOND DAY

    St. Catharine's Light-house,   0-1/2
    Sandrock Spring,               0-1/2
    Blackgang Chine,               0-1/2
    Chale,                         0-1/2
    Kingston,                      2-1/2
    Shorwell and Northcourt,           2
    Brixton,                           2
    Mottistone,                        2
    Brooke,                            1
    Freshwater-gate,                   4
    Needles Light-house,           3-1/2
    Alum Bay,                          1
      Sleep at Fr. gate or A. Bay.------
                                      20


    THIRD DAY

    Yarmouth,                          6
    Calbourne and Westover,            6
    Swainston,                     1-1/2
    Carisbrooke Village,               3
    Newport,                           1
    Parkhurst Prison,                  1
    West Cowes,                        4
    East Cowes (crossing ferry),   0-1/2
    Whippingham Church,                2
    Wootton-bridge,                    3
    Quarr Abbey,                       1
    Ryde,                          2-1/2
                                  ------
                                  31-1/2


_Tour from Ryde, in which Parties sleep but one Night in the Country._

FIRST DAY: St. Helen's 4 miles, Bembridge 1, Yaverland and Sandown 5,
Shanklin 3, Luccombe and East End 2, Bonchurch and Ventnor 2, Wroxall
2, Newchurch 4, Ryde 6--total 29 miles, or by Brading 26.

SECOND DAY: Wootton 3-1/2, Arreton 4, Godshill and Appuldurcombe 5,
Steephill 3, St. Lawrence 1, Niton 2-1/2, Arreton 7, Wootton 4, Ryde
3-1/2--total 33-1/2 miles.

THIRD DAY: Through Wootton to Newport 7, Carisbrooke 1, Shorwell 4,
Brixton 2, Mottistone 2, Brooke 1, Freshwater-gate 4, Needles-point
3-1/2, Alum Bay 1,--total 25-1/2 miles. Sleep at Fr. gate or Alum
Bay.--FOURTH DAY: Yarmouth 6, Shalfleet 4, Barracks, &c. 5-1/2, West
Cowes, 4, East Cowes 0-1/2, Whippingham 2, Wootton 3, Ryde 3-1/2--total
28-1/2 miles.

       *       *       *       *       *


GENERAL TOUR FROM COWES.

    FIRST DAY.

    House of Industry, &c.           4
    Newport,                         1
    Carisbrooke Castle,              1
    Swainston, on the right,         3
    Calbourne and Westover,      1-1/2
    Yarmouth,                        6
    Alum Bay,                        6
    The Needles Light-house,         1
    Freshwater-gate,             3-1/2
      Sleep here, or at Alum Bay.-----
                                    28


    SECOND DAY.

    Brooke--Mottistone,              5
    Brixton                          2
    Shorwell and Northcourt,         2
    Chale and Blackgang Chine,       5
    Sandrock Spring,             0-1/2
    St. Catharine's Light-house, 0-1/2
    Niton Village,               0-1/2
    St. Lawrence Church, &c.     2-1/2
    Steephill Castle,                1
    Ventnor, and Bonchurch,          2
    East End,                        1
    Luccombe Chine,              0-1/2
    Shanklin Chine and Village,  1-1/2
      Sleep here, or at Ventnor.------
                                    24


    THIRD DAY.

    Sandown Fort and Village,        3
    Yaverland Church, &c.        1-1/2
    Bembridge.--Cross ferry,     3-1/2
    St. Helen's Green,               1
    The Priory, on the right,        1
    St. Clare--St. John's,           2
    Ryde                             1
    Wootton-bridge--Fernhill,    3-1/2
    Whippingham Church,              3
    East Cowes,                      2
                                ------
                                21-1/2

       *       *       *       *       *


TOURS FROM NEWPORT.

    NORTH-EASTERN TOUR.

    Fernhill--Wootton-bridge,    3-1/2
    Quarr Abbey,                 1-1/2
    Ryde,                            2
    St. John's--St. Clare,           1
    The Priory,                      2
    St. Helen's Green,               1
    Cross ferry to Bembridge,        1
    Yaverland Church, &c.        3-1/2
    Sandown Fort and Village,    1-1/2
    Brading Down,                    3
    Ashey Sea-mark,                  2
    Down-end,                        2
    Newport,                         3
                                ------
                                    27

    SOUTHERN TOUR.

    Arreton Church,                  4
    Shanklin,                        6
    Luccombe--East End,              2
    Bonchurch and Ventnor,           2
    Steephill Castle,                1
    St. Lawrence,                    1
    Niton,                       2-1/2
    St. Catharine's Light-house, 0-1/2
    Sandrock Spring,             0-1/2
    Blackgang Chine              0-1/2
    Chale,                           1
    Gatcombe,                    4-1/2
    Newport,                         4
      (Or return by Rookley.)   ------
                                    29

    WESTERN TOUR.

    Carisbrooke,                     1
    Shorwell and Northcourt,         4
    Brixton,                         2
    Mottistone,                      2
    Brooke,                          1
    Freshwater-gate,                 4
    Needles Light-house,         3-1/2
    Alum Bay,                        1
    Yarmouth,                        6
    Calbourne and Westover,          6
    Swainston,                   1-1/2
    Carisbrooke Village,             3
    Newport,                         1
      (Or return by Shalfleet.) ------
                                    36

       *       *       *       *       *

A VOYAGE ROUND THE ISLAND

If the weather be favorable, will prove very interesting, and indeed be
necessary to enable us to form a just estimate of the local attractions,
since many of the scenes we have described are seen to most advantage
from the water. Steamers perform the trip two or three times a-week
during the season (usually in about eight hours): and sailing-craft from
Ryde and Cowes are often engaged by parties for the same purpose.

If we sail to the eastward on leaving Cowes Harbour, the first objects
demanding our attention are Norris Castle and the royal Palace of
Osborne, with their extensive lawns sweeping to the shore, shaded by
numerous groups of noble trees. After passing the Creeks of King's Quay
and Wootton, we have a partial sight of Binstead: and a most
comprehensive view of the fashionable town of Ryde, just as we leave the
Pier. Hence to St. Helen's the coast forms several beautiful bays, lined
with gentlemen's seats and villas, hamlets, and luxuriant woods.

Brading Haven, with the adjacent villages of Bembridge, St. Helen's, and
Brading,--the whole encompassed by a semi-circular range of lofty
hills--forms a very agreeable picture, especially at the time of high
water. Our readers will have no difficulty in recognising the landmark
of St. Helen's tower on the beach, and that on Ashey Down, about four
miles inland.

Two miles further are the lofty Culver Cliffs, forming the north side of
Sandown Bay, on whose shores stand the village and fort of the same
name. At the southern extremity of this extensive bay rise the dark
precipices of Dunnose, penetrated by the Chines of Shanklin and
Luccombe. Near the latter commences the celebrated tract called the
Undercliff, whose varied and unique charms are nowhere so advantageously
seen as from the water, "whence it rises like a series of gigantic steps
that seem to lead from the lofty cliffs on the shore, to the summit of
the grand perpendicular wall" that bounds it on the land-side.--East
End, the lovely village of Bonchurch, the fast-increasing town of
Ventnor, and the stately castle of Steephill, are all fully presented to
our view: and less distinctly through the groves in which they are for
the most part embosomed, the villas of St. Lawrence, Old Park, Mirables,
&c. Beyond the pretty little cove of Puckaster we see part of Niton
village; and close to the shore, the gigantic tower of the Light-house.
A mile further is the Sandrock Spring, in the midst of a wild tract,
that terminates in the gloomy ravine called Blackgang Chine, backed by
the tower-crowned eminence of St. Catharine's Hill.

Hence to Compton Bay the coast is dreary and comparatively monotonous;
but we have a tolerable view of some of the smaller chines, and also of
the fine range of downs that stretch from the centre of the island to
its western extremity. Almost the whole extent of Freshwater Cliffs
meets the eye at once: but there is no great difficulty in recognizing
the most noted rocks, caves, &c. as we pass along. The various forms
which are exhibited by those huge masses of chalk the Needles, as we
approach and leave them, in connection with the beautiful precipices of
Scratchell's Bay, form perhaps the most interesting circumstance of our
voyage: the light-house seems placed on the very brink of the precipice:
and the brilliant scenery of Alum Bay will appear to advantage,
especially if it be a sunny afternoon.

Beyond this the coast consists of steep broken slopes and earthy cliffs,
some of them of considerable altitude, but presents no object of
particular interest till we near the river Yar, with its adjacent town
and villas: Newtown Creek opens about three miles further on. West
Cowes, as we approach it from Thorness Bay, has a beautiful aspect,
numerous genteel villas and first-rate lodging-houses covering the shore
for nearly a mile: and the ever-amusing scene of Cowes harbour will form
a delightful termination to our voyage.

       *       *       *       *       *

The Passage and Conveyance.

       *       *       *       *       *

JUNE 1, 1849.

       *       *       *       *       *

BY STEAM-PACKETS.

     >>_Strangers are particularly requested to attend to the following
     recommendation._--We have always made it a point to delay the
     publication of our Guides to as late a period as we well could
     (often to a degree of inconvenience), in order that our readers may
     be furnished with an accurate statement of the precise time of the
     several passage-vessels starting to or from the island: but this,
     instead of an advantage, often proved a disappointment: for perhaps
     a change of hours unexpectedly took place within a week or
     fortnight afterwards, in consequence of some new regulation in the
     time of the railways, or from some motive on the part of one or
     other of the steam-packet companies. We therefore particularly
     advise strangers to make inquiry at the local inns, on board the
     packets, or at the railway or booking offices, in all cases where
     it is of important consequence to know exactly to a minute.

       *       *       *       *       *

    _Between Southampton, Cowes, Ryde, & Portsmouth._

    FROM MORN. AFT.

    South'n to Cowes at. 3-1/2 8.40 10.40--1-3/4 4.40 7
            Ryde and Portsmo. 8.40 10.40--1-3/4 4.40
    Portsmouth to Cowes 8.40 10--2 4-1/2 6-1/2
                  Southampton 8.40 10--2 4-1/2
    Ryde to Cowes 9-1/4 10-1/2--2-1/2 5 7
            Southampton 9-1/4 10-1/2--2-1/2 5
    Cowes to Ryde 10 12--3-1/2 6-1/4
             Portsmouth 6-3/4 10 12--3-1/2 6.15
             South'n. 8-3/4 10.40 12--3-3/4 6-1/4 8-3/4
    South'n to East Cowes 3-1/2 10.40--1-3/4 4.40
    E. Cowes to South'ton. 8.35 11.50--3.35 6

        On Sundays the passages are less frequent.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Portsmouth, Portsea, Gosport, and Ryde._

From Gosport at 8.10, 9.45, 10.50, 11.50, 1-1/2, 2-1/2, 5-1/4, 6.35.
From Portsea at 8.15, 9.50, 10.55 11.55, 1.35, 2.35, 5.25, 6.40. From
Portsmouth each passage five minutes later.

From Ryde at 7.20, 9, 11, 12, 1-1/4, 2-1/2, 4-1/4, & 6.

ON SUNDAYS:

    From Portsmouth at 8, 3, and 5.
    From Ryde at 9, 4, and 6.

>>_In the height of the season, steamers leave Southampton for Cowes on
the arrival of every Railway train,--and Cowes for Southampton in time
to meet every Train: and between Portsmouth and Ryde run about every
hour from 7 to 7._

       *       *       *       *       *

     From LYMINGTON--the _Glasgow_ runs to Yarmouth three or four times
     a-day: the _Solent_ every morning to Cowes, whence she proceeds on
     alternate days to Southampton and Portsmouth--and by suiting her
     time to that of the other steamers, maintains a daily communication
     between all these places.

The steamers from Portsmouth, Southampton, and Lymington, tow
horse-boats across.

During summer, Steamers frequently make trips round the island, usually
in about seven hours.

       *       *       *       *       *

_Regular Sailing Passage-boats._

FROM COWES to NEWPORT, daily: the hours depending upon the state of the
tide.

From WOOTTON to PORTSMOUTH at 9 and 4 (3 or earlier in winter), daily:
and from Portsmouth at 9 and 2-1/2.

From BEMBRIDGE to Portsmouth and back, every other day, or oftener, in
summer.

To POOLE the sailing-hoys run twice a-week, calling off Cowes and
Yarmouth.

       *       *       *       *       *

Land-Conveyances.

The STAGE-COACHES.--The following are the summer arrangements for
1849:--

From Newport to Ryde, at 8, 12-1/2, 2-3/4, and 5-1/4.
From Ryde at 9-1/4, 11, 3-1/2, and 6-1/2.

From Newport to West Cowes at 8, 9-1/2, 2-1/2, and 5-1/2.
Cowes to Newport at 10, 12, 3-1/2, and 6-1/2.

West Cowes to Ventnor (thro' Newport, Blackgang, and Niton,) at 10,
returning at 3.
Ventnor to East Cowes (through Godshill and Newport,) at 8-1/2,
returning at 3.

From Ryde to Ventnor at 9-1/2, 11, and 3.
Ventnor to Ryde at 8-1/2, 1-3/4, and 3. Passing through Brading,
Sandown, and Shanklin.

     Most of the coaches omit travelling on Sundays.

It will be seen that by these conveyances, visitors arriving at Cowes or
Ryde in the morning may make the tour of one-half the island the same
day. If from Ryde in the morning, they would be returned to Cowes in
time for the last packet across, and the same from the latter to the
former place.

     But here we must caution our friends, as we did respecting the
     steam-packets, that frequent alterations take place in the hours of
     starting, perhaps in consequence of some change made by the
     vessels, but as often induced by the caprice of the rival
     speculators; some of them continuing throughout the year, and
     others running only during the summer.

The CARRIERS.--These of late have so increased, that there is scarcely a
village without one or more to Newport or Ryde,--between the latter
places there are three every day; between Cowes, Newport, and Ventnor,
several carts and vans daily; and from the less populous parishes, one
every other day.

       *       *       *       *       *

List of the Principal Inns.

NEWPORT,--the Bugle--Mew.
          Star--Bryant.
          Wheat-sheaf, Corn-market--J. Read.
          Green Dragon, Pyle-street--R. Read.
          Swan, High-street--Wardle.

RYDE,--Pier Hotel--Rendall.
       Hotel, Union-street--Yelf.
       Kent, ditto--Pegg.
       Crown, near the theatre--Woodrow.
       Hotel, near the pier--Beazley.
       Star, upper part of the town--Locke.
       Hotel & Boarding-house--Weeks.

SPRING-VALE Tavern--Heath.

WEST COWES,--Fountain, on the quay--Webb.
           Vine, adjoining; ditto--Roper.
           Marine Hotel, Parade--Helmore.
           Globe, ditto--Aris.

EAST COWES,--Medina Hotel--Drew.
             Prince of Wales, nr. toll-gate--Tucker

YARMOUTH,--George--Bright.
           Bugle--Butler.

FRESHWATER,--Hotel. Fr. gate--Plumbly.
             Albion Hotel, ditto--Groves.
             Needles Hotel, Alum Bay--Groves.

BLACKGANG CHINE Hotel--Brooks.

NITON,--Royal Sandrock Hotel--Kent.
        Boarding-house, on the shore--Bailey.
        White Lion, Niton village--Bright.
        Buddle Inn--

VENTNOR,--Hotel--Riles.
          Marine Hotel--Bush.
          Crab and Lobster--Cass.
          Commercial Inn--Cummins.

BONCHURCH,--Hotel--Ribbands.

SHANKLIN,--Williams's Hotel--Hale.
           Hotel--Daish.

SANDOWN,--King's-head--Thomas.

BEMBRIDGE, Hotel, on the beach--Fletcher.

BRADING,--Wheat-sheaf--Lale.

CALBOURNE, Sun--Woodford.

GODSHILL,--Griffin--Smith.

BRIXTON,--New Inn--Sanders.


LIST OF THE PRINCIPAL

SEATS & COUNTRY-VILLAS

WITH THE NAMES OF

Their Proprietors or Occupiers.

       *       *       *       *       *

>>_In those instances where no Occupiers' Names appear, such Residences
are generally to be sold or let._

       *       *       *       *       *

OSBORNE, Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen

APPULDURCOMBE,                     Earl Yarborough.
Afton Manor-house,                 B. Cotton, esq.
Appley, near Ryde,                 J. Hyde, esq.
Beauchamp, Undercliff,             Sir W. Gordon, bt.
Bellecroft, near Newport,          J. Cooke, esq.
Bembridge Parsonage,               Rev. F.G. Middleton.
Billingham, near Kingston          W. Stancombe, esq.
Binstead Cottage,                  Lord Downes.
--------Parsonage,                 Rev. Philip Hewitt.
Blackwater Cottage, S. of Newport, J. Rutherford, esq.
Brixton Parsonage,                 Rev. E. McAll.
Brook Manor-house,                 James How, esq.
Brookfield Cottage, Binstead,      Rev. Aug. Hewitt.
Calbourne Parsonage,               Rev. R. Sumner.
Calbourne Lodge,                   J. Fowler, esq.
Castlehurst, nr. Carisbrooke,      H. Pinnock, esq.
Chale Parsonage,                   Rev. A. Gother.
Costorphine-hill, Ryde,            J.P. Lind, esq.
EAST COWES CASTLE,                 ----
East Dene, Bonchurch,              Capt. Swinburne.
Egypt House, nr. W. Cowes,         Sir T. Tancred, bt.
Elm Cottage, near E. Cowes,        ----
FAIRLEE, N.E. of Newport,          Rd. Oglander, esq.
Fairlee Cottage, ditto,            ----
Fairy-hill, Nettlestone,           W.A. Glynn, esq.
Farringford-hill, Freshwater,      Rev. G. Seymour.
FERNHILL, Wootton,                 Samuel Sanders, esq.
GATCOMBE PARK,                     Captain Berners.
Gatcombe Rectory,                  Rev. W. Thompson, D.D.
Hampstead, near Shalfleet,         Mrs. Nash.
Haylands, south of Ryde,           Captain Locke.
Hill-grove, Bembridge,             Hon. A.H. Moreton.
Holmwood, Ryde,                    T.B. Maynard, esq.
Kite-hill, Wootton,                Sir H. Brook, bt.
Lowcliff Lodge, Blackgang,         ----
Mill-hill, West Cowes,             ----
Medina Hermitage, nr. Niton,       W.H. Dawes, esq.
Mirables, Undercliff, ditto,       Mrs. Arnold.
Mount Cleeves House, ditto,        the Misses Simes.
Moor House, near W. Cowes,         ----
Mottistone House,                  R. Jessett, esq.
New Close, s.w. of Newport,        T. Cooke, esq.
Ningwood House,                    Rev. ---- Cottell.
Niton Parsonage,                   Rev. R. Dixon.
NORRIS, near E. Cowes,             R. Bell, esq.
NORTHCOURT, Shorwell,              H.P. Gordon, esq.
Shide Cottage, S. of Newport,      Col. Napier.
NORTHWOOD PARK,                    G.H. Ward, esq.
Norton Lodge, Freshwater,          Sir G. Hamond, bt.
NUNWELL, near Brading,             Sir W. Oglander, bt.
Oakhill, near Ryde,                T.M. Leacock, esq.
Old Park, Undercliff,              J. Walkinshaw, esq.
Orchard, ditto, near Niton,        Sir W. Gordon, bt.
Padmore, Whippingham,              Rev. James Jolliffe.
Pidford, near Rookley,             ----------
Pitt-place, Mottistone,            ----------
PRIORY, N. of St. Helen's,         H. Smith, esq.
Puckaster Cottage, Undercliff,     Mrs. Vine.
Puckpool, east of Ryde,            Lewis Wyatt, esq.
Ryde House,                        Miss Player.
Rookley Cottage,                   John Woodward, esq.
Rosiere, Niton,                    ---------
Sealand Cottage, Blackgang,        R. Pinnock, esq.
St. Clare, east of Ryde,           Col. Vernon Harcourt.
ST. JOHN'S, ditto,                 A.F. Hamilton, esq.
St. Lawrence Villa,                Earl Yarborough.
------- --- Cottage,               Hon. Capt. D. Pelham.
St. Thomas' Villa, E. Cowes,       Miss Barrington.
Sea-grove, Nettlestone,            W. Gardiner esq.
Sea-field, ditto,                  Henry Beach, esq.
Spring-field, ditto,               John Callender, esq.
Steane Villa, Bembridge,           ---------
Shanklin Parsonage,                Archdeacon Hill.
Shorwell Parsonage,                Rev. E. Robertson.
Slatwoods, near East Cowes,        Miss Shedden.
Southlands House, Blackgang,       ------
Spring-hill, ditto,                George Shedden, esq.
Standen, south of Newport,         General Evelegh.
STEEPHILL CASTLE,                  J. Hambrough, esq.
Stickworth, south of Arreton,      Mrs. Bell.
Stonepits' Cottage, Binstead,      Capt. Brigstocke.
SWAINSTON, nr. Calbourne,          Sir Rd. Simeon, bt.
The Battery, Sandown,              T. Woodham, esq.
The Farm, nr. Newport,             B. Mew, esq.
The Marina, Norton,                Capt. Crozier.
Tower Cottage, Shanklin,           -- Cameron, esq.
Uplands, east of Ryde,             C. Payne, esq.
Upton House, south of Ryde,        Admiral Hoare.
Wacklands, s. of Newchurch,        William Thatcher, esq.
WESTOVER, Calbourne,               Hon. A'Court Holmes.
Westhill, Cowes,                   the Misses Ward.
---- Norton,                       R.B. Crozier, esq.
Westcliff, Niton,                  Captain Ker.
Westridge, east of Ryde,           Mrs. Young.
Westbrook, ditto,                  J. Le Marchant, esq.
Whitcomb, near Gatcombe,           Mrs. Hughes.
Woodlands, east of Ryde,           J. Percival, esq.
Woodvale, near Gurnard,            Captain Ffarington.
Wootton Parsonage.                 Rev. R.W. White.
Yafford, near Shorwell,            James Jolliffe, esq.
Yaverland Parsonage,               Rev. R. Sherson.

[Illustration: Map of the Isle of Wight]





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Brannon's Picture of The Isle of Wight - The Expeditious Traveller's Index to Its Prominent Beauties & Objects of Interest. Compiled Especially with Reference to Those Numerous Visitors Who Can Spare but Two or Three Days to Make the Tour of the Island." ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home