Interesting IOW Facts   Leave a comment

In OSGH breakfast room every morning we inform our guests of one thing they may not know about the Island. If you are an expert on the Island you may know them already. If you have any more please let me know. I am trying to come up with one for every day of the year!

1. Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield whilst staying at Winterbourne House in Bonchurch
2. Razel from the band Hanoi Rocks was killed by Motley Crew singer Vince Neil and is buried in Binstead church yard
3. Edward Elgar honeymooned at the Holliers Hotel, Shanklin and Alexandra Gardens, Ventnor in 1889
4. Vectis is the Latin name for the Isle of Wight
5. Sea level around the Island is rising by 6mm a year
6. Yarmouth Pier is the largest timber pier still in operation in the UK
7. St Agnes Church Freshwater is the only thatched church on the Island
8. St Boniface Down is the highest point on the Island at 241 metre
9. Queen Victoria died on the Island in 1901 at Osborne House
10. The first ever hovercraft was manufactured on the IOW
11. The IOW festival in 1970 was the biggest rock festival in the world with 600,000 people
12. King Charles I fled to the IOW during the English Civil war
13. King Charles I thought he was being protected by the people of the IOW who eventually handed him over to be beheaded at Whitehall
14. The Needles battery was the test site of 2 space rockets Black Arrow and Black Knight
15. The rocket Black Knight tested at the Needles was launched in Woomera, Australia. How long did it take to get there?
16. The light at St Catherine’s lighthouse was the first of it’s kind in 1323 set up by Walter de Godyton
17. St Catherine’s light is visible from 30 nautical miles away in clear weather
18. In Roman times Bembridge was an island
19. Culver (as in Down) means dove or pigeon
20.The Romans called Islanders Vectensians
21. Arreton Manor was in King Alfred the Great’s will around the year 901
22. There are 514 miles of walking trails on the Island
23. The oldest carnival in England was at Ventnor in 1889
22. The sea came up to the farmhouse outside the Brading Roman Villa in Roman Times
24. The garlic farm is the largest producer of garlic in the UK
25. Mew Langton Brewery claim to have invented screw top can to prevent beer going stale when it was shipped to India
26. The Romans divided the IOW into 8 vertical sections North to South giving 8 landowners varied landscapes for agriculture
27. Bonchurch old church is 48’6 long
28. Bonchurch Old Church was built in 1070 and was in the Domesday book
29. Earl Mountbatten was governor of the IOW from 1965 – 1974
30. Sweetcorn is a kind of grass
31. Sweetcorn was probably first used as a food around 3400 BC
32. More than 7 million cobs of corn are grown on the Island every year
33. There are always an even number of rows of kernel grown
34. The IOW Steam Railway celebrated it’s 40th anniversary in 2011
35. Shanklin Chine was opened to the public in 1817
36. The Dairyman’s Daughter pub in Arreton is named after a story written about Elizabeth Wallbridge who lived and died in Arreton 1770 – 1801
37. JWM Turner painted a picture of Bembridge Windmill in 1795
38. The Crab and Lobster Bembridge is the most Easterly pub on the Island
39. Queen Mary stayed at Fuzze Freeze (a house) on the site of what is now Warners adults only, Bembridge, whilst King George was sailing
40. The only existing railway Ryde Esplanade to Shanklin is 8.2 miles long
41. In 1894 The Sun Inn, Calbourne was destroyed by fire due to children leaving a lamp on in the upstairs room
42. Jimi Hendrix last public performance was at the IOW festival in 1970
43. The first stone for memorial hall in Freshwater was laid by Tennyson’s son Hallam in 1899.
44.The poet laureate Alfred Tennyon lived at Farringford Hall, Freshwater
45. The ‘Arch Rock’ at Freshwater only fell into the sea in 1992 leaving the 2 stacks remaining
46. The 2 stack rocks still standing in the sea at Freshwater Bay are called Mermaid Rock and Stag Rock
47. Stag Rock Freshwater is thought to be named after a stag which jumped onto it to escape a dog
48. Mermaid Rock Freshwater only detached from the cliff in 1969 to form a stack
49. The current and earliest railway line on the Island was opened in 1864
50. Express trains once ran from Ryde to Ventnor for patients of the respiratory hospital
51. There used to be 32 railway stations on the Island
52. Brading Wax Works/museum is haunted by Louis de Rochefort who was murdered there when it was an Inn. His screams are more often heard than his ghost is seen
53. Carisbrooke Castle is haunted by 3 women – the grey lady walks her dogs around the old moat, a face is often seen down the well and inside the castle a lady walks 3 tiny dogs on leashes.
54. Barrels can often be heard rolling about in Northwood House, thought to be by Henry a local smuggler
55. Trinity Theatre, Cowes, red footprints and mild poltergeist activity possibly blitz victims
56. Union Inn Cowes, A bearded man and fisherman’s wife haunt the Inn
57. Downend nr Knighton a manor house is sometimes seen and music heard on the site of a demolished house
58.  HMS Eurydice sunk in a storm off Dunnose Point and it’s ghost is often seen. Also caught on video by Prince Edward’s film crew
59. Several owners of The Red Lion Freshwater have heard booted feet on the floor above
60. Former owner of Knighton Manor Triston Dillington drives a coach and 4 horses on the anniversary of his death
61. Eleanor of Auitaine Henry II’s wife is said to haunt Quarr Abbey, though had never been there??
62. Military Road was built in Napoleonic times to transport troops from one side of the Island to the other
63. Over 1/3 of the Island has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
64. Parts of the film Mrs Brown about Queen Victoria (Dench/Connolly) were filmed at Osborne house
65. King Charles I was held at Carisbrooke Castle before being taken for trial and execution in London
66. The Ryde/Portsmouth Hovercraft passenger service was started in 1965
67. The Garlic Farm covers 100 acres
68. Briddlesford herd of 200 are direct descendants of original 15 cows of b4 1923
69. The Griffin family have farmed at Briddlesford since 1923
70 The Griffin family at Briddlesford have been farming for 200 years
71. Each Briddlesford Guernsey cow gives 7000l of milk a year
72. Briddlesford Guernsey girls won Oscow best performers
73. The Natwest in Ryde was once the Royal Theatre, but was burnt down in 1961.
74. Prince Heinrich of Prussia was taking the waters at Shanklin Spa Hotel when England declared war on Germany in 1914
75.The IOW was the last place in England to be Christianised
76. A Gallybagger (as in the cheese) means  scarecrow in Isle of Wighty
77. Yarmouth is the smallest town in the UK with a population of 1000
78. Island MPs have included 4 PMS – Canning, Melbourne, Palmerston & Wellington
79. The pre 1949 election Labour Party conference was held at Shanklin Manor
80. There are almost 2000 listed buildings on the Island
81. Shanklin Station is a listed building
82. Brighstone Forest is the largest Forrest on the Island, being only a few hectares bigger than Parkhurst
83. Lord Chief Justice Popham (of Shanklin Manor family) oversaw the trial of Sir Walter Raleigh & the Gun powder plot perpetrators
84. The Coastal Path round the Island is 67 miles long.
85. Queen Mary often visited Grange Gifts, Shanklin – then an antique shop and would sit around until she was given a suitable gift, as was customary should a Royal would visit. Apparently it was rather often though as she has a liking for antiques!
86. The first IOW hovercraft held the same number of people as a London bus
87. The original Hovercraft journey took 7 mins
88. Queen Elizabeth visited the new Hovercraft in 1965
89. The first hovercrafts were ‘on demand’ service only with no timetable
90. Signor Marconi sent the first ever wireless transmission from The Broadway Inn, Totland
91. Much of the London Underground signage is made on the IOW by A.J Wells & Sons
92.  Graham Bell demonstrated the telephone to Queen Victoria in the Council Room at Osborne House in 1878
93. Shanklin Theatre won the Queens Award in 2012 for it’s volunteers
94. The Steam Railway won the Queens Award in 2012 for it’s volunteers
95. 1200 boats took part in the 2012 Round the Island Race
96. Sheila Hancock was born at Blackgang
97. John Milne, inventor of seismology, lived in Newport, set up a seismology centre there and is buried at St Mary’s Church
98. Common seals can be seen in Bembridge Harbour. Most are pups.
99. The Green at St Helens is the 2nd largest in England

Facts 73 – 81 were with the aid of Jan Toms’ Little Book of the Isle of Wight

Posted February 19, 2012 by shanklinrocks

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