Posts Tagged ‘Isle Of Wight’


The Great Laxey Wheel, Isle of Wight

The Laxey Wheel (also known as Lady Isabella) is the world’s largest working waterwheel, built in 1854 to pump water from the mine shafts, and now run as a tourist attraction.

Image and text from Lemon Tea & Earwig Biscuits

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Shanklin Chine


Shanklin Chine is a geological feature and tourist attraction in the town of Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight, England. A wooded coastal ravine, it contains waterfalls, trees and lush vegetation, with footpaths and walkways allowing paid access for visitors, and a heritage centre explaining its history.


A chine is a local word for a stream cutting back into a soft cliff. Formation of the Chine, which cuts through Lower Greens and Cretaceous sandstones, has taken place over the last 10,000 years. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, stones were laid at the top of the waterfall to arrest this progress. There are a continuous series of spring lines on the cliff faces in the Chine. The Isle of Wight has a number of chines, but the largest remaining is Shanklin. With a drop of 32 m (105 ft) to sea level, and a length of just over 400m (a quarter of a mile), the Chine covers an area of approximately 1.2 hectares (three acres).



Prior to the Victorian era Shanklin was merely a small agricultural and fishing community, the latter nestling at the foot of the chine, and it was not until the early 19th century that it began to grow. Like most of the chines on the south of the Island, Shanklin Chine was well-used by smugglers.

A romantic landscape

The Chine became one of the earliest tourist attractions on the Isle of Wight, with records of the public visiting the site to view it as far back as 1817. Keats found inspiration for some of his greatest poetry while staying at Shanklin in 1819 and wrote: "The wondrous Chine here is a very great Lion; I wish I had as many guineas as there have been spy-glasses in it." It was a favourite subject for artists including Thomas Rowlandson and Samuel Howitt. Descriptions of the site at the time are surprisingly similar to the present day:

‘The delightful village of Shanklin. In this sequestered spot is a good inn, fitted up for the accommodation of visitors. The object of attraction at Shanklin is the Chine, (which is situated at about ten minutes walk from the inn. This phenomenon of nature is a combination of beauty and grandeur; it is formed by the separation of a lofty cliff, whose height is 280 feet perpendicular, and 100 feet wide at the top. On entering the Chine from the shore, we pass along one side, rugged and barren; through which a winding path has been cut by a poor fisherman; while below the rippling stream urges its way to the ocean, which pours its rolling waters at its feet, and spreads its boundless expanse before it. On the other side the cliff is fertile, covered with hanging wood and bushes, adorned with a neat cottage, and having a little rustic inn. About the middle of the Chine is a small Chalybeate: and the path now conducts by a serpentine course to a scene of awful grandeur, formed by stupendous masses of matter on each side, and the rustling of a small cascade, which falls from the head of the Chine, and passes between the dark and overhanging cliffs.


Extract from Beauties of the Isle of Wight published by S Horsley 1828

And if you’re wondering whether I’ve been there, the answer is yes – Ted 😉

Text and images from Wikipedia

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The 1896 bridge was the first built by Whites of Cowes. In 1909 the ferry received the newer boiler from the 1882 ferry which was being withdrawn. The ferry was sold to yacht builder Uffa Fox around 1925, who used it as both workshop and house.


The Cowes Floating Bridge is a vehicular chain ferry which crosses the River Medina on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. The ferry crosses the tidal river from East Cowes to Cowes. The first floating bridge between East Cowes and Cowes was established in 1859 and is one of the few remaining that has not been replaced by a physical bridge. The service is owned and operated by the Isle of Wight Council, who have run it since 1901.

Before any kind of floating bridge existed, a rowing boat ferry operated between Cowes and East Cowes transporting pedestrians only. This service was owned and operated by the Roberton family from 1720 to 1859. From 1842 cars and animals could be transported across using a pontoon which was winched across under horse power. In 1859 the Floating Bridge Company was formed and bought the ferry rights. From 24 November 1859 the first steamboat was used, built on the River Itchen in Southampton. In 1868 the ferry was bought by The Steam Packet Company (which now trades as Red Funnel), and bought a new ferry for the service in 1882. This was used regularly until 1896 when it was used only as a spare when a new ferry was purchased.

The route was first taken over by the local authority in 1909, when the Cowes and East Cowes Urban District Councils took over their operation. With this, a new ferry was bought and started the system of naming vessels still used today, by numbering them in order of acquisition, the first being named Bridge No.1. These newer bridges were significantly different from past designs, with Bridge No.1 featuring power ramps and electric lighting and was built from steel. In 1925 Bridge No.2 was built, being the last steam powered ship. It was larger than any that had previously operated the route at over 100 ft long (30 m), with a capacity for eight cars. This was later sold on for use at Sandbanks when Bridge No.3 was built and arrived in 1936, being the first diesel-electric powered vessel. Bridge No.4 entered service in 1952 with a capacity for 12 cars. This was used regularly until 1975 when the current Bridge No.5 arrived with a capacity of up to 20 cars. From 1982 there were no reserve vessels in place for the route, leaving Bridge No.5 as the sole ferry operated. In 1988 a direct bus service was created between Ryde and Cowes which involved the bus travelling over on the floating bridge. Small buses had to be used to guarantee space on the crossing, however the service was withdrawn by 1990.

Text from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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I was 16 on my first trip to England and I was travelling with my older sister and a friend of ours. I don’t remember why and how we ended up on the Isle of Wight, but just east of Sandown there is a marvellous camping ground by the White Cliff Bay and there we stayed for almost a week. A short walk across the cliffs took you down to Sandown.

I’ve been back several times with several different girlfriends so as you gather the place has a lot to recommend itself with – Ted

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01906_isle_of_wightMemories from
the Isle of Wight
This story caught my eyes as I was browsing through some images on Francis Frith’s site of nostalgic photos, maps, books and memories of Britain as I’ve spent quite e few summer holidays myself on the Isle of Wight back in the seventies. First with my sister and a friend of ours, later with a few girlfriends.
Roy Beiley has written a nice piece on his summer holidays there and you can read it here.

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A fantastic, exhilarating way to explore many outstanding areas and sights of the beautiful Isle of Wight. From picturesque award winning beaches to peaceful walks across miles of National Trust downland. Whether it’s for relaxation, water sports, walking, cycling, sailing, the Island has so much to offer. Enjoy a memorable family holiday, a quiet break for two or a holiday with friends – The Isle of Wight has something for everyone.

I can recomend this strongly, I’ve been to the Isle Of Wight a lot of times, the first time as long back as in the mid seventies. it was a great place even before it became fashionable again.

Retated article
Raise the roof for a vintage break

Check out their website:


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