Mason's Guide (1876) - Yarmouth
"Standing, as its name imports, at the mouth of the Yar, is about the largest place in the western part of the island, and bears evident marks of having once been much larger than it is now. Lying partly out of the general route of tourists, and possessing in itself but few attractions, it has not perhaps received its due share of attention. Within the last few years, however, some symptoms of increased vitality have been visible, and this ancient town may become a place of resort for visitors from the West of England. It is a corporate town, having a mayor and twelve burgesses, and formerly sent two members to Parliament. The town was twice burnt by the French, the last time in the reign of Henry VIII., who caused the Castle to be erected. The Market House, over which is the Town Hall is a plain brick building of small dimensions, in the centre of the town. THE CHURCH is a small structure, dedicated to St. James. In 1831, it was repaired and adorned by the elevation of its tower, which is visible for a considerable distance around. In a side chapel is a well executed statue of Sir Robert Holmes, governor of the island from 1667 to 1692. A long Latin inscription beneath records his various exploits. The Weslyans, Baptists, and Bible Christians have each chapels here. HOTELS.-The principal is the George (once the residence of Sir Robert Holmes, and in which he entertained Charles II.), also the Bugle, and the King's Head. Communication is maintained by Steam Boats with Lymington, and with Cowes, Southampton, Ryde, and Portsmouth."
[Description(s) from Mason's Guide to the Isle of Wight (1876)]