We are in the process of upgrading the site to implement a content management system.

Isle of Wight - Miscellaneous

"ALUM BAY, a remarkable bay near the most westerly extremity of the Isle of Wight, in county Hampshire; having at its northern limit the lofty Headon Hill, separating it from Tolland's Bay; and at its southern limit, the singular detached rocks called the Needles. The bay is enclosed by cliffs rising to the height of 300 or 400 feet. At the western end they are of chalk, of a delicate pearl colour, with thin layers of wood coal; but on the eastern side they consist of vertical strata singularly varying in character,-red and yellow ochres, fullers' earth, black flints, and grey and white sands. The white sand, which is very pure, is exported largely for the manufacture of glass and porcelain. Of the coloured sands, chimney ornaments are made, by arranging them after various patterns in glass phials. Alum and copperas stones are found and exported. The water in the bay is very clear, and the sea-bed is rocky."

"BLACK-GANG-CHINE, a remarkable ravine in the Undercliff, on the south coast of the Isle of Wight, county of Hants., 1 mile to the E. of Niton. It is one of the finest and wildest chasms in the island, running far up among the lofty rocks that form the coast of Chale Bay. The cliffs are dark and very rugged, and rise on each side about 500 feet. At the head of the chasm a small body of water passes over the half-cup-like ledge, there about 80 feet in height. This fall, which in dry weather almost ceases, becomes larger and more striking after much rain. The rocks are bare of vegetation, and their wild aspect and sombre hues are said to remind the visitor of Alpine scenery. In one part of the ravine there is a singular echo. The name "Black-Gang" is probably equivalent to Bleak-Way."

"COLWELL, a bay near Freshwater, Isle of Wight, in the county of Hants, opposite Hurst Castle."

"COMPTON BAY, a small bay in the Isle of Wight, county Hants., about 1½ mile to the N.W. of Brixton, near Compton Chine."

"CULVER CLIFFS, at the east end of the Isle of Wight, in the county of Hants. They rise 400 feet high, commanding a fine view of the sea. In the reign of Elizabeth these cliffs were the haunt of hawks and eagles. Samphire is collected on the beach."

"EAST MEDINA, (and West Medina) liberties in the Isle of Wight, county Hants. The liberties comprise the whole of the island, which see.

"HEADON HILL, on the N. side of Alum Bay, Isle of Wight, county Hants. It rises to the height of 400 feet, and is a remarkable geological formation, having a marine between two fresh-water formations, containing shells, &c."

"KING'S KEY, a spot on the Solent, in the Isle of Wight, county Hants, 2 miles N.W. of Wooton, where King John hid away after signing Magna Charta."

"LUCCOMBE CHINE, a shelf of rock under Shanklin Down, Isle of Wight, county Hants, 6 miles S.E. of Newport."

"MEDINA, (or Mede), a river of the Isle of Wight, county Hants., rises near Kingston, and falls into the sea at Cowes, where it forms a good harbour.

"SCONCE POINT, a headland in the Solent, in the Isle of Wight, county Hants, opposite Yarmouth."

"SCRATCHELL'S BAY, a cove in the Isle of Wight, county Hants. It is situated a little to the S.E. of the Needles, and is a quarter of a mile wide surrounded by lofty chalk cliffs."

"SOLENT, the channel separating the Isle of Wight from the opposite coast of county Hants. It is about 7 miles long by 2 broad, and deepens towards the Needles."

"SPITHEAD, an important anchorage beyond the Spit Sand, midway between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, county Hants."

"STAPLER'S HEATH, an open spot in the Isle of Wight, county Hants, 1 mile E. of Newport."

"THE NEEDLES, a group of sharp-pointed chalk rocks off the W. point of the Isle of Wight, county Hants, 4 miles S.W. of Yarmouth. They are above water, and are marked by a lighthouse on the opposite cliffs 469 feet high, with a red fixed light visible for 27 miles. The West passage to the Solent lies between these rocks and Hurst Point, having from 5 to 7 fathoms water, with a strong current. One, the highest of these rocks, fell in 1760, and the sea is continually wearing away the chalk.

"UNDERCLIFF, a rugged terrace, formed by successive landslips, facing the sea at the back of the Isle of Wight, county Hants. It is about 6 miles long, from Dunnose Cliff to Black Gang Chine, by half a mile wide, being sheltered on the N. and N.E. by a range of cliffs which rise from 100 to 300 feet high. It includes Bonchurch, Ventnor, Steephill, St. Lawrence, Mirables, Knowle, and Niton, and commands a succession of fine sea views. It is a favourite resort for invalids on account of its mild climate."

"WATCOMBE, a bay on the coast of the Isle of Wight, county Hants. It lies near the Needles."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]