The Solent is the strait that separates the Isle of Wight from the mainland of England. It is about 20 miles long and varies in width between 2 1⁄2 and 5 mi, although the Hurst Spit which projects 1 1⁄2 mi into the Solent narrows the sea crossing between Hurst Castle and Colwell Bay to just over 1 mi; the Solent is a major shipping lane for passenger and military vessels. It is an important recreational area for water sports yachting, hosting the Cowes Week sailing event annually, it is sheltered by the Isle of Wight and has a complex tidal pattern, which has benefited Southampton's success as a port, providing a "double high tide" that extends the tidal window during which deep-draught ships can be handled. Portsmouth lies on its shores. Spithead, an area off Gilkicker Point near Gosport, is known as the place where the Royal Navy is traditionally reviewed by the monarch of the day; the area is of great ecological and landscape importance because of the coastal and estuarine habitats along its edge.
Much of its coastline is designated as a Special Area of Conservation. It is bordered by and forms a part of the character of a number of nationally important protected landscapes including the New Forest National Park, the Isle of Wight AONB; the word first appears in Saxon records as Solentan, but pre-dates the Saxon languages and is first recorded as Soluente in 731. This original spelling suggests a possible derivation from the Brittonic element -uente, which has endured throughout the history of Hampshire, as in the Roman city of Venta Belgarum, the post-Roman kingdom of Y Went, the modern name of Winchester. A pre-Celtic and Semitic root meaning "free-standing rock" has been suggested as a possible description of the cliffs marking western approach of the strait; this Semitic origin may be a relic of the Phoenician traders who sailed to Britain from the Mediterranean as part of the ancient tin trade. Another suggestion is. A river valley, the Solent has widened and deepened over many thousands of years.
The River Frome was the source of the River Solent, with four other rivers — the Rivers Avon, Hamble and Test — being tributaries of it. Seismic sounding has shown that, when the sea level was lower, the River Solent incised its bed to a depth of at least 46 metres below current Ordnance Datum. Link to map showing former course of Solent River The Purbeck Ball Clay contains kaolinite and mica, showing that in the Lutetian stage of the Eocene water from a granite area Dartmoor, flowed into the River Solent. Seabed survey shows that when the sea level was lower in the Ice Age the River Solent continued the line of the eastern Solent to a point due east of the east end of the Isle of Wight and due south of a point about 3 kilometres west of Selsey Bill, south-south-west for about 30 kilometres, south for about 14 kilometres, joined the main river flowing down the dry bed of the English Channel. During the Ice Age, meanders of the Solent's tributaries became incised: for example, an incised meander of the River Test is buried under reclaimed land under the Westquay shopping centre, near Southampton docks.
Since the retreat of the most recent glaciation the South East of England, like the Netherlands, has been slowly sinking through historic time due to forebulge sinking. A new theory – that the Solent was a lagoon – was reported in the Southern Daily Echo by Garry Momber from the Hampshire and Wight Trust for Maritime Archaeology; the Isle of Wight was contiguous with the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset — the Needles on Wight and Old Harry Rocks on Purbeck are the last remnant of this connection. Ten thousand years ago a band of resistant Chalk rock, part of the Southern England Chalk Formation, ran from the Isle of Purbeck area of south Dorset to the eastern end of Isle of Wight, parallel to the South Downs. Inland behind the Chalk were less resistant sands and gravels. Through these weak soils and rocks ran many rivers, from the Dorset Frome in the west and including the Stour, Beaulieu River, Test and Hamble, which created a large estuary flowing west to east and into the English Channel at the eastern end of the present Solent.
This great estuary is now referred to as the Solent River. When glaciers covering more northern latitudes melted at the end of the last ice age, two things happened to create the Solent. Firstly, a great amount of flood water ran into the Solent River and its tributaries, carving the estuary deeper. Secondly, post-glacial rebound after the removal of the weight of ice over Scotland caused the island of Great Britain to tilt about an east-west axis, because isostatic rebound in Scotland and Scandinavia is pulling mantle rock out from under the Netherlands and south England: this is forebulge sinking. Over thousands of years, the land sank in the south to submerge many valleys creating today's characteristic rias, such as Southampton Water and Poole Harbour, as well as submerging the Solent; the estuary of the Solent River was flooded, the Isle of Wight became separated from the mainland as the chalk ridge between The Needles on the island and Old Harry Rocks on the mainland was eroded. This is thought to have happened about 7,500 years ago.
The process of coastal change is still continuing, with the soft cliffs on some parts of the Solent, such as Fort Victoria eroding, whilst other parts, such as
East Cowes is a town and civil parish to the north of the Isle of Wight, on the east bank of the River Medina next to its neighbour on the west bank, Cowes. The two towns are connected by the Cowes Floating Bridge, a chain ferry operated by the Isle of Wight Council. East Cowes is the site of Norris Castle, Osborne House, the former summer residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert; the Prince had a major influence on the architecture of the area, for example on the building of St Mildred's Church in nearby Whippingham, which features distinctive turrets imitating those found on a German castle. The name Estcowe comes from one of two sandbanks each side of the River Medina estuary, so called after a supposed likeness to cows; the name was subsequently transferred to fortifications built during the reign of Henry VIII on the east bank to dispel a French invasion, referred to as cowforts or cowes, which subsequently gave the name to the town. The naming of Cowes was done in a similar fashion.
They replaced the earlier name of Shamblord. The settlement of Shamblord at East Cowes was first recorded in 1303, it grew as East Shamblord, became a much more significant settlement than the Western Shamblord. As the Isle of Wight was the target of frequent French invasions, with some notable incursions, the fort built at East Cowes was destroyed and should not be confused with the "East Cowes Castle" built subsequently by John Nash. During the reign of Queen Victoria, who made her summer home at Osborne by acquiring and rebuilding Osborne House, East Cowes was the subject of planned estate of grand houses and parks; the scheme, not finding the finances it needed, was folded, but a few residences built in the early stages still survive to this day such as the former Albert Grove residences of Kent House and Powys House on York Avenue. In East Cowes Norris Castle was designed in the Norman style by James Wyatt in the late eighteenth century; the building today remains a private home. In 1798, the architect John Nash, began building his home, East Cowes Castle, where he entertained the Prince Consort and other prominent guests.
East Cowes Castle was notable for its Gothic towers and turrets, elaborate castellation. Nash died in 1835 and is buried in the tower of St James' Church which he designed. East Cowes Castle was damaged by bombing in World War II It was demolished during the 1960s, although the ice house remains and is visible in Sylvan Avenue. Cowes and East Cowes became a single urban district in 1933. During World War II, both Cowes and East Cowes became the targets of frequent bombing due to its industry and proximity to Southampton and the Royal Navy's home at Portsmouth; the shipyard of J. Samuel White was badly damaged by air attack in early May 1942 but, when rebuilt, innovative ship construction methods had been introduced; the first warship completed by the renewed yard was HMS Cavalier. During the air raid, the local defences had been fortuitously augmented by the Polish destroyer Blyskawica, which put up such a determined defence that, in 2002, the crew's courage was honoured by a local commemoration lasting several days to mark the 60th anniversary of the event.
In 2004, over to the west, an area of Cowes was named Francki Place in honour of the ship's commander. To celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Queen's coronation in 1977, the main hangar doors of what was the British Hovercraft Corporation were painted with the world's largest image of the Union Flag, which can still be seen today. In January 2015, the car carrier MV Hoegh Osaka bound for Bremerhaven, ran aground on Bramble Bank after developing a heavy list five miles north of the entrance to the River Medina, it has since been re-floated and returned to service. East Cowes is linked to the mainland by Red Funnel’s vehicle ferry service; the Cowes Floating Bridge links East Cowes with Cowes throughout the day. It is a chain ferry, is one of the few remaining not to be replaced by a physical bridge. Southern Vectis operate bus route 4 linking the town with Ryde and bus routes route 5 and 25 linking the town with Newport including intermediate villages; the Isle of Wight Coastal Path runs through East Cowes.
Local industry in both Cowes and East Cowes has always centred on the building and design of marine craft and materials associated with boatmaking, including the early flying boats, sailmaking. East Cowes was once home to the aircraft manufacturer Saunders Roe, who built the large, flying boat The Saunders-Roe Princess, as well as the Black Knight rocket and the Black Arrow satellite carrier rocket, they developed and tested the first hovercraft, the SR. N1; the former Saunders-Roe factory at Venture Quays now produces wind turbines, which can be seen laid on the quay for shipping out. Due to local objections no wind turbines have been allowed to be erected on the Isle of Wight. East Cowes has a Non-League football club East Cowes Victoria Athletic A. F. C. which plays at Beatrice Avenue. They are home to the islands most supported small sided team FC Bayern Bru who play in the islands Leisure Leagues 6-a-side league at Beatrice Avenue, they won the league title in their inaugural season in the winter of 2013.
Queen Victoria and Prince Albert Seb Clover – in 2003, Clover set the world record as the youngest cross-Atlantic solo yachtsman, lived in East Cowes Sir Christopher Cockerell, inventor of the hovercraft, lived at White Cottage. Sir George Shedden Roscow George Shedden - Colonial Bishop of Nassau John Nash – architect John Vereker, 6th Viscount Gort - World War II Field Marshal and commander of the British Expeditionary Force Lord Mountbatten of Burma, l
Bembridge is a village and civil parish located on the easternmost point of the Isle of Wight. It had a population of 3,848 according to the 2001 census of the United Kingdom, leading to the implausible claim by some residents that Bembridge is the largest village in England. Bembridge is home to many of the Island's wealthiest residents; the population had reduced to 3,688 at the 2011 Census. Bembridge sits at the extreme eastern point of the Isle of Wight. Prior to land reclamation the area of Bembridge and Yaverland was an island unto itself, separated from the remainder of the Isle of Wight by Brading Haven. On the Joan Blaeu map of 1665, Bembridge is shown as Binbridge Iſle, nearly separated from the rest of Wight by River Yar. Prior to the Victorian era Bembridge was a collection of wooden huts and farmhouses, which only consolidated into a true village with the building of the church in 1827; the historical heart of the village is located close to the church in the north of the village, consisting of a number of shops and restaurants, along with the Village Hall and site of the former Parish Council hall.
Bembridge Library serves the community and there is a local museum in the same location. The Lane End district is located in the east of the village, it is composed of modern bungalows and a small shopping area which includes a Co-Op store. The lane comes to an end at the beach, where Bembridge Lifeboat station and the Bembridge Coast Hotel are situated. Many of the bungalows were on the land of a cottage where Cecily Cardew lived, after whom an Oscar Wilde character was named. Moving inland from Lane End one finds Bembridge C of E Primary School, along with the local community centre, which are connected by a large recreational playing field; the Royal Isle of Wight Golf Club was located across the harbour from Bembridge. The club was formed in 1882, it closed in the 1960s. Bembridge is a local service centre, hosting Bembridge C of E Primary School, a post office, several shops located in two main areas, Methodist and Catholic churches, it is the location of a local fire station, a Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboat station.
Bembridge Airport is a local airport with a concrete runway, is located close to the Windmill to the south-west of the village proper heading towards Yaverland. The war memorial was designed by Percy Stone; the RNLI station is significant, as it extends into the sea to the east of the village. Here lies the notorious "Bembridge Ledge", a large, rocky outcrop which poses a major threat to passing boats. Although it is private sailing yachts which are most at risk, a wide variety of boats run aground here in the stormy weather conditions which affect the Solent during winter months. A former Bembridge lifeboat, the RNLB Jesse Lumb, is part of the National Historic Fleet, exhibited at Imperial War Museum Duxford; the current offshore boathouse was completed in Autumn 2010 by BAM Nuttall and Ecochoice and houses a new Tamar class boat, the'Alfred Albert Williams'. A complete new concrete walkway was built, the new station is made of durable timber; the Inshore lifeboat station was rebuilt in 2014, the interior of the offshore boathouse is accessible to visitors during set days when the station isn't on alert.
The original Victorian boathouse survives, is used as the station's shop. Close to the lifeboat station lies a coastguard lookout. Positioned at a high elevation, this offers views of the Solent meeting the English Channel to the east of the Isle of Wight. From this vantage point one is able to view a variety of watercraft year round, although there is more marine traffic in the summer. Bembridge Windmill, the only remaining windmill on the Isle of Wight, is located to the west of the village. Dating from around 1700, it is a National Trust property open from April to October. Bembridge is represented on the Isle of Wight Council by the two members of the ward of Bembridge, St. Helens and Brading. Bembridge is governed by a Parish council of 12 members. For parish council elections the village is divided into two wards, the North and South, each electing six members to the body; the parish council has succeeded in obtaining Lottery funding for improvements to the village including a play-park in Steyne Park.
It is one of the few Parish Councils that has a village centre office open 5 days a week. Bembridge is twinned with Plédran, France but in name only as the federation has lapsed through non-use. Public transport to Newport and Sandown is provided by Southern Vectis bus route 8. Bembridge railway station, located in the north-west of the village close to the harbour served the village, with services to Brading, until 1953; the station became derelict and was demolished around 1970. Holy Trinity Church, Bembridge List of current places of worship on the Isle of Wight Bembridge Boarding Campus Bembridge School, is now owned by Ryde School with Upper Chine, whose lessees run Kingswood Centre. Kingswood Centre operates Kingswood during Camp Beaumont during school holidays; however it is closed for a few weeks in the winter. Ryde School with Upper Chine have their Boarders boarding at Bembridge Boarding Campus. New House Bembridge School is a Grade II Listed Building. Bembridge School Chapel is a Grade IIGV Listed Building with Edward Woore stained glass to beautify it.
Bembridge travel guide from Wikivoyage Bembridge Parish Council
The Porch Fields is an area of medieval farmland outside Trim, Ireland with a medieval roadway that forms a National Monument. The Porch Fields are a green area in Trim, located on the north bank of the River Boyne, between the old town wall and Sheep Gate to the west and Newtown Abbey to the east; the Porchfield lies between the Anglo‐Norman town of Trim founded c. 1180 and the rural borough of Newtown Trim founded c. 1220. The two towns were connected through the open field via a medieval sunken lane road about 1 km in length; the new burgesses were awarded 3 acres of land each. They used ridge and furrow agriculture to grow crops, each narrow strip was one perch wide — this may is how the Porch Fields acquired their name. However, it could derive from the French porte meaning "door", referring to the Sheep Gate; the name " Portual Field" appears on a nineteenth-century map. It is claimed that Oliver Cromwell's troops made camp on the Porch Fields before the 1649 Siege of Drogheda
Wootton Creek is a tidal estuary that flows into the Solent on the north coast of the Isle of Wight. The estuary has been known in the past as "Fishbourne Creek", "Wootton River" and "Wootton Haven". At the mouth of the estuary is the Wightlink car ferry terminal for connections to Portsmouth. On the west bank of the creek is the village of Wootton, whilst on the east bank is the village of Fishbourne; the estuary is bridged by the main Ryde to Newport road. The estuary is not navigable south of the bridge, tide controls means that water is retained south of the bridge most of the time, in the old mill pond. To the south of the bridge, on the east side of the mill pond, is a Forestry Commission woodland called "Firestone Copse", about 30 acres in size. Since 1993 Wootton Creek and the adjacent Ryde Sands have been designated as SSSIs due to their wide range of intertidal sand flats. "Natural England citation sheet". Information on estuaries from the Isle of Wight Council View Nautical Charts of Wootton Creek and Approaches
Cowes is an English seaport town and civil parish on the Isle of Wight. Cowes is located on the west bank of the estuary of the River Medina, facing the smaller town of East Cowes on the east bank; the two towns are linked by a chain ferry. The population was 9,663 in the 2001 census; the population at the 2011 census was 10,405. Charles Godfrey Leland's 19th century verses describe the towns poetically as "The two great Cowes that in loud thunder roar/This on the eastern, that the western shore". Cowes has been seen as a home for international yacht racing since the founding of the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1815, it gives its name to the world's oldest regular regatta, Cowes Week, which occurs annually in the first week of August. Powerboat races are held. Much of the town's architecture is still influenced by the style of ornate building that Prince Albert popularised; the name Westcowe was attested in 1413 as the name of one of two sandbanks, on each side of the River Medina estuary, so-called after a supposed likeness to cows.
The name was subsequently transferred to fortifications built during the reign of Henry VIII on the east and west banks of the river to dispel a French invasion, referred to as cowforts or cowes. They subsequently gave their names to the towns of Cowes and East Cowes, replacing the earlier name of Shamblord; the town's name has been subject to dispute in the past, sometimes being called Cowes, West Cowes. For example, a milestone from the 17th century exists, calling the town Cowes, but up until the late 19th Century the Urban District Council bore the name West Cowes. In 1895 West Cowes Urban District Council applied for permission to change the name of the town to Cowes and this was granted on 21 August 1895. Whilst the name Cowes has become well established on infrastructure related to the town, the name West Cowes remained on Admiralty charts, used by sailors, until 2015, when it was corrected following a letter from a Cowes resident. Red Funnel, the Southampton-based ferry company that provides routes from Southampton to both Cowes and East Cowes, has continued to use the name West Cowes for the town in information and publicity and as the name for the town's terminal.
In earlier centuries the two settlements were much smaller and known as East and West Shamblord or Shamelhorde, the East being the more significant settlement. The Isle of Wight was a target of attempted French invasions, there were notable incursions. Henrician Castles were built in both settlements in the sixteenth century; the west fort in Cowes still survives to this day, albeit without the original Tudor towers, as Cowes Castle. The fort built in East Cowes is believed to have been similar but was abandoned c. 1546 and since destroyed. The seaport at Cowes, Isle of Wight was the first stop on English soil before crossing the Atlantic Ocean with many ships loaded with Germans and Swiss passengers leaving from Rotterdam going to the New World destination of the port City of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; these Germans and Swiss passengers where going to become British subjects in Colonial America, the English Captain's made a written record of the stop in Cowes, England. It is believed that the building of an 80-ton, 60-man vessel called Rat o' Wight on the banks of the river Medina in 1589 for the use of Queen Elizabeth I sowed the seed for Cowes to grow into a world-renowned centre of boat-building.
However, seafaring for recreation and sport remained the exception rather than the rule until much later. It was not until the reign of keen sailor George IV that the stage was set for the heyday of Cowes as'The Yachting Capital of the World.' In 1826 the Royal Yacht Squadron organised a three-day regatta for the first time and the next year the king signified his approval of the event by presenting a cup to mark the occasion. This became known as Cowes Regatta and it soon grew into a four-day event that always ended with a fireworks display; the opium clippers Nina and Wild Dayrell were built in Cowes. In Cowes the 18th-century house of Westbourne was home to a collector of customs whose son, born there in 1795, lived to become Dr Thomas Arnold, headmaster of Rugby School. Northwood House was the home of the Ward family, it was donated under trust to the town in the grounds becoming Northwood Park. William George Ward was a close friend of the poet Tennyson and in whose memory the poet wrote six lines.
Cowes and East Cowes became a single urban district in 1933. During an air raid of World War II on 4/5 May 1942, the local defences had been fortuitously augmented by the Polish destroyer Błyskawica, which put up such a determined defence that, in 2002, the crew's courage was honoured by a local commemoration lasting several days to mark the 60th anniversary of the event. In 2004 an area of Cowes was named Francki Place in honour of the ship's commander; the Friends of the ORP Błyskawica Society is active in Cowes. There is a Błyskawica Memorial. Industry in both Cowes and East Cowes has always centred on the building and design of marine craft and materials associated with boat-making, including the early flying boats, sail-making, it is the place. Major present-day employers include BAE Systems Integrated System Technologies, which occupies the site of the old Somerton Aerodrome at Newport Road, Cowes; the population of the town increases during Cowes Week, the busiest time of the year for local businesses.
The town was reported to be doing well despite the economic downturn. Cowes has a Non-League football club Cowes Sports F. C. wh
The River Medina is the main river of the Isle of Wight, rising at St Catherine's Down near Blackgang and Chale, flowing northwards through the capital Newport, towards the Solent at Cowes. The river is a navigable tidal estuary from Newport northwards, its current state has occurred because the Medina used to be a tributary of what was once the "River Solent" and had a much larger catchment area. As the Solent valley flooded and the island eroded, the river received less water flow and more sediment, causing it to become more tidal; the river is bridged at Newport. Cowes is connected to East Cowes by a chain ferry known as the Cowes Floating Bridge; the name Medina comes from the Old English Meðune meaning "the middle one", the current pronunciation was first recorded as'Medine' in 1196. The river is used by yachtsmen as a safe harbour. Along the banks of the Medina there are many old warehouses and wharves where in the past flying boats and steam ships were developed and built; the Classic Boat Museum displays much of the river's history alongside the history of yachting.
The Island Harbour Marina, at the site of an old tidal mill, is on the river, about two miles from Newport. As well as the chain ferry, the River Medina has several small ferries which cater for sailors. Medina, Western Australia is a suburb in Perth named after it. Rivers of the United Kingdom