St Catherine's Point
St. Catherine's Point is the southernmost point on the Isle of Wight, it is close to the village of Niton and the point where the Back of the Wight changes to the Undercliff of Ventnor. On nearby St. Catherine's Down is St. Catherine's Oratory, locally known as the "Pepperpot", a stone lighthouse built in the 1323 by Walter De Godeton, it is Britain's oldest medieval lighthouse. De Godeton felt guilty for having scavenged wine, destined for a monastery from the wreck of the St. Marie of Bayonne in Chale Bay, he was ordered, on pain of excommunication. Fires were lit in the lighthouse tower to warn ships at sea of the presence of the coast. There was an attached chapel at one time. There is a Bronze Age barrow nearby, excavated in the 1920s. A replacement lighthouse was begun in 1785; however it was never completed. Locally this half finished building is known as the "salt pot". St. Catherine's point is foggy, so it is not the best location for a lighthouse, but as a weather station the location is suitable.
The weather station is one of the 22 locations whose reports are included in the BBC Shipping Forecast. Egypt Point Weather station information at Met Office
Undercliff (Isle of Wight)
For other locations of the same name, see The Undercliff. The Undercliff, Isle of Wight, England is a tract of semi-rural land, around 5 miles long by 0.25–0.5 miles wide, skirting the southern coast of the island from Niton to Bonchurch. Named after its position below the escarpment that backs this coastal section, its undulating terrain comprises a mix of rough pasture, secondary woodland, grounds of large isolated houses, suburban development, its sheltered south-facing location gives rise to a microclimate warmer than elsewhere on the island. Although inhabited, the Undercliff is an area prone to landslips and subsidence, with accompanying loss of property over time. Settlements along the Undercliff, from west to east, are: lower Niton, Puckaster, St Lawrence, the town of Ventnor, Bonchurch; the Undercliff is a landslide complex in Cretaceous soft rocks, a bench of slipped clays and sands above a low sea-cliff, backed by higher Upper Greensand and Chalk cliffs. The largest urban landslide complex in northern Europe, it dates from two main phases of landslides after the last Ice age: 8000–4500 years and 2500–1800 years ago.
It is flanked by active landslip zones that have seen major slides over the past two centuries: the Blackgang landslip at the west, the Bonchurch Landslips at the east. The main section is more stable, though there are ongoing concerns over coastal erosion, further slippage and subsidence; the main through road, Undercliff Drive, was disrupted by a mud slide near St Lawrence in 2001, requiring 18 months to build a new road section and in 2014 further erosion after heavy rain fell and the road was under repair, leading to more damage, nine houses being evacuated. Interactions between the heavy chalk-based rocks of St. Boniface Down, the highest chalk downland on the Isle of Wight, the softer rocks of the Undercliff below Ventnor means that subsequent erosion has caused Upper Ventnor, or Lowtherville, to start moving towards the cliff edge, in a feature referred to residents as'The Graben'; this rapid geological change in terrain is responsible for necessitating the town's distinctive routes in and out of Ventnor, which feature panoramic views across Sandown Bay to the north-east, the English Channel to the south.
Ventnor's microclimate is created by the shelter of St. Boniface Down; the stable section of the Undercliff has evidence of long human occupation, with ancient churches at Bonchurch and St Lawrence, archaeological evidence of Paleolithic and Neolithic habitation. Prior to the 19th century, it was the location of a number of large estates, including that at Steephill, whose owners included Hans Stanley, Wilbraham Tollemache, John Hambrough, builder of the now-demolished Steephill Castle; the Undercliff was a popular development site in the mid-19th century, which saw the construction of many cottages orné and marine villas, with associated grounds. These developments included Steephill Castle, owned in the early 20th century by John Morgan Richards. Bonchurch was a particular focus of development, a number of elite Victorians renting or owning homes there. Victorian Undercliff development extended westward beyond Niton to Blackgang out of the general trend for speculative building, in association with the establishment of the amusement park at Blackgang Chine.
These properties, have been obliterated by landslides and coastal erosion over the 20th century. The growth of Ventnor in particular was driven by its popularity as a health and holiday resort from 1830; the physician Arthur Hill Hassall, a tuberculosis sufferer, moved to the Isle of Wight in 1869. On the basis of his experience of the climate of the Undercliff, he established a sanatorium east of Ventnor, the National Cottage Hospital for Consumption and Diseases of the Chest. While the hospital was closed in 1964 and demolished in 1969, its grounds were redeveloped as the twenty-two acre Ventnor Botanic Garden, which takes advantage of the same mild conditions to grow plants from worldwide Mediterranean habitats. Undercliff residents included the writers Alfred Noyes and Aubrey de Sélincourt, the yachtsman Uffa Fox; the Undercliff is accessed by the A3055 road running its length from Niton to Bonchurch. West of Ventnor, the Southern Vectis 3 bus follows the section called Undercliff Drive as far as St Lawrence.
The road's low-level continuation between Niton and Blackgang was broken by landslips in the 20th century. The road between St Lawrence and Niton collapsed in two places at the westerly edge of St Lawrence on 17 February 2014 as a result of land movement following a period of prolonged rainfall amidst ongoing engineering works to stabilize the A3055 and prolong its use. There is no vehicular access between St Lawrence and Niton along the former road. Vehicular traffic must go via Whitwell. Pedestrian and cycle access was restored by late 2016. Bus routes are diverted and no longer serve St Lawrence. A few steep roads connect the clifftop to the lower Undercliff level: Niton Shute, St Lawrence Shute, Bonchurch Shute; the Undercliff was served by railway stations at Ventnor and St Lawrence. The area can be vi
St. Catherine's Lighthouse
St. Catherine's Lighthouse is a lighthouse located at St Catherine's Point at the southern tip of the Isle of Wight, it is one of the oldest lighthouse locations in Great Britain. The first lighthouse was established on St. Catherine's Down in 1323 on the orders of the Pope, after a ship ran aground nearby and its cargo was either lost or plundered. Once part of St. Catherine's Oratory, its octagonal stone tower can still be seen today on the hill to the west of Niton, it is known locally as the "Pepperpot". The new lighthouse, built by Trinity House in 1838, was constructed as a 40-metre stone tower; when first built the light was oil-fuelled. It was first lit on 1 March 1840. At the same time the lamp was increased from four wicks to six and a system of'dioptric mirrors' was installed to redirect light from the landward side of the lamp out to sea. In 1866 a Daboll trumpet fog signal was installed in a building on the cliff edge. In the 1880s the decision was taken to convert the St Catherine's light to electric power.
In 1888 a carbon arc lamp was installed, linked to a powerful set of De Méritens magneto-electric machines, powered by three Robey non-condensing compound steam engines.. A new optic was provided along with a subsidiary apparatus which redirected light from the rear above the main lens to form a red sector light directed towards the Needles; as well as a new Engine House, more cottages were built, to accommodate the additional staff required to operate the generating plant. A new fog signal house was built in 1888. Compressed air for the sirens was piped underground from the engine house, where the three engines were linked to an air compressor by way of a common drive shaft; the sirens sounded two blasts every minute: a higher note followed by a low note. In 1901 a series of trials of different sirens and reeds attached to trumpets of different sizes and designs took place at St Catherine's; the tests were overseen by Lord Rayleigh, scientific adviser to Trinity House, whose distinctive and eponymous design of fog signal trumpet was installed at several different fog signal stations in the wake of the trials.
In 1904 the 16-sided optic was removed from St Catherine's. At the same time the red sector light was reconfigured, to shine from a window lower down in the tower, marking Atherfield Ledge; the arc lamp was decommissioned in the 1920s. On 1 June 1943 a bombing raid destroyed the engine house; as part of the post-war repairs, a diaphone was installed in place of the siren. This was itself replaced by a'supertyfon' air horn in 1962, when new engines and compressors were installed. Today, the lighthouse has a range of 25 nautical miles and is the third-most powerful of all the lights maintained by Trinity House. Trinity House provides tours of the lighthouse year round. Furthermore, cottages around the lighthouse can be rented out as holiday accommodation. List of lighthouses in England Trinity House Photos and information on St. Catherine's Lighthouse
A lighthouse is a tower, building, or other type of structure designed to emit light from a system of lamps and lenses and to serve as a navigational aid for maritime pilots at sea or on inland waterways. Lighthouses mark dangerous coastlines, hazardous shoals, reefs and safe entries to harbors. Once used, the number of operational lighthouses has declined due to the expense of maintenance and use of electronic navigational systems. Before the development of defined ports, mariners were guided by fires built on hilltops. Since raising the fire would improve the visibility, placing the fire on a platform became a practice that led to the development of the lighthouse. In antiquity, the lighthouse functioned more as an entrance marker to ports than as a warning signal for reefs and promontories, unlike many modern lighthouses; the most famous lighthouse structure from antiquity was the Pharos of Alexandria, which collapsed following a series of earthquakes between 956 and 1323. The intact Tower of Hercules at A Coruña, Spain gives insight into ancient lighthouse construction.
Coins from Alexandria and Laodicea in Syria exist. The modern era of lighthouses began at the turn of the 18th century, as lighthouse construction boomed in lockstep with burgeoning levels of transatlantic commerce. Advances in structural engineering and new and efficient lighting equipment allowed for the creation of larger and more powerful lighthouses, including ones exposed to the sea; the function of lighthouses shifted toward the provision of a visible warning against shipping hazards, such as rocks or reefs. The Eddystone Rocks were a major shipwreck hazard for mariners sailing through the English Channel; the first lighthouse built there was an octagonal wooden structure, anchored by 12 iron stanchions secured in the rock, was built by Henry Winstanley from 1696 to 1698. His lighthouse was the first tower in the world to have been exposed to the open sea; the civil engineer, John Smeaton, rebuilt the lighthouse from 1756–59. He modelled the shape of his lighthouse on that of an oak tree.
He rediscovered and used "hydraulic lime," a form of concrete that will set under water used by the Romans, developed a technique of securing the granite blocks together using dovetail joints and marble dowels. The dovetailing feature served to improve the structural stability, although Smeaton had to taper the thickness of the tower towards the top, for which he curved the tower inwards on a gentle gradient; this profile had the added advantage of allowing some of the energy of the waves to dissipate on impact with the walls. His lighthouse influenced all subsequent engineers. One such influence was Robert Stevenson, himself a seminal figure in the development of lighthouse design and construction, his greatest achievement was the construction of the Bell Rock Lighthouse in 1810, one of the most impressive feats of engineering of the age. This structure was based upon Smeaton's design, but with several improved features, such as the incorporation of rotating lights, alternating between red and white.
Stevenson worked for the Northern Lighthouse Board for nearly fifty years during which time he designed and oversaw the construction and improvement of numerous lighthouses. He innovated in the choice of light sources, reflector design, the use of Fresnel lenses, in rotation and shuttering systems providing lighthouses with individual signatures allowing them to be identified by seafarers, he invented the movable jib and the balance crane as a necessary part for lighthouse construction. Alexander Mitchell designed the first screw-pile lighthouse – his lighthouse was built on piles that were screwed into the sandy or muddy seabed. Construction of his design began in 1838 at the mouth of the Thames and was known as the Maplin Sands lighthouse, first lit in 1841. Although its construction began the Wyre Light in Fleetwood, was the first to be lit; the source of illumination had been wood pyres or burning coal. The Argand lamp, invented in 1782 by the Swiss scientist, Aimé Argand, revolutionized lighthouse illumination with its steady smokeless flame.
Early models used ground glass, sometimes tinted around the wick. Models used a mantle of thorium dioxide suspended over the flame, creating a bright, steady light; the Argand lamp used whale oil, olive oil or other vegetable oil as fuel, supplied by a gravity feed from a reservoir mounted above the burner. The lamp was first produced by Matthew Boulton, in partnership with Argand, in 1784 and became the standard for lighthouses for over a century. South Foreland Lighthouse was the first tower to use an electric light in 1875; the lighthouse's carbon arc lamps were powered by a steam-driven magneto. John Richardson Wigham was the first to develop a system for gas illumination of lighthouses, his improved gas'crocus' burner at the Baily Lighthouse near Dublin was 13 times more powerful than the most brilliant light known. The vaporized oil burner was invented in 1901 by Arthur Kitson, improved by David Hood at Trinity House; the fuel was vaporized at high pressure and burned to heat the mantle, giving an output of over six times the luminosity of traditional oil lights.
The use of gas as illuminant became available with the invention of the Dalén light by Swedish engineer, Gustaf Dalén. He used Agamassan, a substrate, to absorb the gas allowing safe storage and hence
United Kingdom census, 2011
A census of the population of the United Kingdom is taken every ten years. The 2011 census was held in all countries of the UK on 27 March 2011, it was the first UK census. The Office for National Statistics is responsible for the census in England and Wales, the General Register Office for Scotland is responsible for the census in Scotland, the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency is responsible for the census in Northern Ireland; the Office for National Statistics is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department formed in 2008 and which reports directly to Parliament. ONS is the UK Government's single largest statistical producer of independent statistics on the UK's economy and society, used to assist the planning and allocation of resources, policy-making and decision-making. ONS designs and runs the census in England and Wales. In its capacity as the national statistics office for the United Kingdom, ONS compiles and releases census tables for the United Kingdom when the data from England and Wales and Northern Ireland are complete.
In the run-up to the census both the main UK political parties expressed concerns about the increasing cost and the value for money of the census, it was suggested that the 2011 census might be the last decennial census to be taken. The first results from the 2011 census and sex, occupied households estimates for England and Wales and Northern Ireland, were released on 16 July 2012; the first results for Scotland, the first UK-wide results, were published on 17 December 2012. More detailed and specialised data were published from 2013; the Registrar General John Rickman conducted the first census of Great Britain's population, was responsible for the ten-yearly reports published between 1801 and 1831. During the first 100 years of census-taking the population of England and Wales grew more than threefold, to around 32 million, that of Scotland, where a separate census has been carried out since 1861, to about 4.5 million. From 1911 onwards rapid social change, scientific breakthroughs, major world events affected the structure of the population.
A fire that destroyed census records in 1931, the declaration of war in 1939, made the 1951 census hugely significant in recording 30 years of change over one of the most turbulent periods in British history. The 1971 census was run by the newly created Office of Population Censuses and Surveys, a body formed by the merger of the General Register Office and Government Social Survey. In 1996 the Office for National Statistics was formed by merging the Central Statistical Office, OPCS and the statistics division of the Department of Employment. In 2008 the UK Statistics Authority was established as an independent body. A population census is a key instrument for assessing the needs of local communities; when related to other data sources such as housing or agricultural censuses, or sample surveys, the data becomes more useful. Most countries of the world take censuses: the United Nations recommends that countries take a census at least once every ten years; the design for the 2011 census reflects changes in society since 2001 and asks questions to help paint a detailed demographic picture of England and Wales, as it stands on census day, 27 March.
Data collected by the census is used to provide statistical outputs which central government uses to plan and allocate local authority services funding, which local authorities themselves use to identify and meet the needs of their local communities. Other organisations that use census data include healthcare organisations, community groups and businesses; the questionnaires, including people's personal information, are kept confidential for 100 years before being released to the public, providing an important source of information for historical and genealogy research. The 2011 census for England and Wales included around 25 million households. Questionnaires were posted out to all households, using a national address register compiled by the Office for National Statistics with the help of local authorities through comparisons of the National Land and Property Gazetteer and the Royal Mail and Ordnance Survey national address products. People could complete and submit their questionnaire online, or fill it in on paper and post it back in a pre-addressed envelope.
Guidance was provided online and through the census helpline. Completed questionnaires were electronically tracked and field staff followed up with households that did not return a questionnaire. Special arrangements were made to count people living in communal establishments such as. In these cases field staff delivered and collected questionnaires and, where needed, provided advice or assistance in completing the questionnaire. There was a legal requirement to complete the 2011 census questionnaire, under the terms of the Census Act 1920; as at 27 March 2011 everyone who had lived or intended to live in the country for three months or more was required to complete a questionnaire. Failure to return a completed questionnaire could lead to a criminal record. Lockheed Martin UK, the UK arm of US-based aerospace, technology company Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to provide services for the census comprising questionnaire printing, a customer contact centre and data capture and processing.
The contract is valued at £150 million one third of the total £1 million census budget
The River Yar on the Isle of Wight, rises in a chalk coomb in St. Catherine's Down near Niton, close to the southern tip of the island, it flows across the Lower Cretaceous rocks of the eastern side of the island, through the gap in the central Upper Cretaceous chalk ridge of the Island at Yarbridge across the now drained Brading Haven to Bembridge Harbour in the north east. For most of its course, the river passes through rural areas. At Alverstone, a small weir uses water from the river to power a water mill; the Yar is one of two rivers on the Isle of Wight with the same name. It is referred to as the Eastern Yar. Ordnance Survey One Inch Seventh Series sheet 180 Isle of Wight Estuaries Project
Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent; the island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, verdant landscape of fields and chines. The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes, it has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event held, it has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe. The isle was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies The British Crown was represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995.
The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890, it continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed; until 1995 the island had a governor. The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea. During the last Ice Age, sea levels were lower and the Solent was part of a river flowing south east from current day Poole Harbour towards mid-Channel.
As sea levels rose, the river valley became flooded, the chalk ridge line west of the Needles breached to form the island. The Isle of Wight is first mentioned in writing in Geography by Ptolemy. Bronze Age Britain had large reserves of tin in the areas of Cornwall and Devon and tin is necessary to smelt bronze. At that time the sea level was much lower and carts of tin were brought across the Solent at low tide for export on the Ferriby Boats. Anthony Snodgrass suggests that a shortage of tin, as a part of the Bronze Age Collapse and trade disruptions in the Mediterranean around 1300 BC, forced metalworkers to seek an alternative to bronze. During Iron Age Britain, the Late Iron Age, the Isle of Wight would appear to have been occupied by the Celtic tribe, the Durotriges - as attested by finds of their coins, for example, the South Wight Hoard, the Shalfleet Hoard. South eastern Britain experienced significant immigration, reflected in the genetic makeup of the current residents; as the Iron Age began the value of tin dropped and this greatly changed the economy of the Isle of Wight.
Trade however continued. Julius Caesar reported that the Belgae took the Isle of Wight in about 85 BC, recognised the culture of this general region as "Belgic", but made no reference to Vectis; the Roman historian Suetonius mentions. The Romans built no towns on the island, but the remains of at least seven Roman villas have been found, indicating the prosperity of local agriculture. First-century exports were principally hides, hunting dogs, cattle, silver and iron. Ferriby Boats and Blackfriars Ships were important to the local economy. During the Dark Ages the island was settled by Jutes as the pagan kingdom of Wihtwara under King Arwald. In 685 it was invaded by Caedwalla. In 686 Arwald was defeated and the island became the last part of English lands to be converted to Christianity, added to Wessex and becoming part of England under King Alfred the Great, included within the shire of Hampshire, it suffered from Viking raids, was used as a winter base by Viking raiders when they were unable to reach Normandy.
Both Earl Tostig and his brother Harold Godwinson held manors on the island. Starting in AD 449 the 5th and 6th centuries saw groups of Germanic speaking peoples from Northern Europe crossing the English Channel and setting up home. Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum identifies three separate groups of invaders: of these, the Jutes from Denmark settled the Isle of Wight and Kent. From onwards, there are indications that the island had wide trading links, with a port at Bouldnor, evidence of Bronze Age tin trading, finds of Late Iron Age coins; the Norman Conquest of 1066 created the position of Lord of the Isle of Wight. Carisbrooke Priory and the fort of Carisbrooke Castle were founded. Allegiance was sworn to FitzOsbern rather than the king. For nearly 200 years the island