St. Catherine's Down
St. Catherine's Down is a chalk down on the Isle of Wight, located near St Catherine's Point, the southernmost point on the island; the Down rises between the towns of Niton and Chale. Upon the hill is St. Catherine's Oratory, a stone lighthouse built in the 14th century by Walter De Godeton, it is the second oldest, only surviving medieval, lighthouse in the British Islands: only the Roman lighthouse at Dover is older. De Godeton was found guilty for having plundered wine that belonged to the Church from the shipwreck of the St. Marie of Bayonne in Chale Bay, he was ordered to make amends, under threat of excommunication, by building and maintaining the lighthouse. It was completed after his death, manned by a priest. There was a chapel attached, since demolished. There is a Bronze Age barrow near the Oratory, excavated in the 1920s. A replacement lighthouse was begun in 1785, but was never completed, because the Down is prone to dense fog. Locally the surviving foundations are known as the "salt cellar".
A new lighthouse was built after the wreck of the Clarendon in 1837 to the west of Niton at the foot of the Undercliff. The northern end of St. Catherine's Down carries the Hoy Monument; this was created by Michael Hoy in 1814 to commemorate the visit of the Russian Tsar to Great Britain, hence its informal alternative name the "Russian Monument". There is an 1857 plaque at the base; the Hoy Monument was repaired in 1992 at a cost of £85,000, donated. List of hills of the Isle of Wight
Egypt Point is the northernmost point of the island county of the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England, was one of Queen Victoria's favourite places during her time on the island. According to the Post Office at the 2011 Census the point population was included in the civil parish of Northwood, Isle of Wight. Egypt Point lies in between the village of Gurnard. Between 1897 and 1989 a lighthouse was maintained there by Trinity House. Lit by paraffin, in 1925 it was converted to run automatically on acetylene. Though the light no longer functions, the structure remains a landmark for yachtsmen. Egypt Point derives its name from a nearby gypsy encampment from the 16th century, it is now a popular vantage point for the annual Round the Island Race which starts and ends at Cowes. St. Catherine's Point Brief, illustrated details of the lighthouse
St. Catherine's Oratory
St. Catherine's Oratory is a medieval lighthouse on St. Catherine's Down, above the southern coast of the Isle of Wight, it was built by Lord of Chale Walter de Godeton as an act of penance for plundering wine from the wreck of St. Marie of Bayonne in Chale Bay on 20 April 1313; the tower is known locally as the "Pepperpot" because of its likeness. It is Britain's only surviving medieval lighthouse, the second oldest, it is a stone structure four stories high, octagonal on the outside and four-sided on the inside attached to the west side of a building. However, he was later tried by the Church courts, since the wine had been destined for the monastery of Livers in Picardy; the Church threatened to excommunicate him. There was an oratory on the top of the hill, dedicated to St. Catherine of Alexandria; this was augmented by the construction of the lighthouse, with a chantry to accommodate the priest who tended the light, gave Mass for those at peril on the sea. Although de Godeton died in 1327, the lighthouse was completed in 1328.
It remained in active use until the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1538-1541. The ghost of de Godeton has been sighted on many occasions, standing at the foot of the lighthouse, by numerous impeccable witnesses; the birds are reported to stop singing during his appearances. In the 18th century Sir Richard Worsley of Appuldurcombe House bolstered the structure by adding four large buttresses to prevent its collapse. Nearby there are the footings of a replacement lighthouse begun in 1785, but never completed, because the hill is prone to dense fog, its remnants are known locally as the "salt cellar". A nearby Bronze Age barrow was excavated in 1925; the current St. Catherine's Lighthouse, constructed after the 1837 wreck of the Clarendon, was built much closer to sea level on St. Catherine's Point. List of lighthouses in England Isle of Wight Nostalgia - St. Catherine's Oratory St Catherine's Oratory English Heritage
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
Chale is a village and civil parish on the Isle of Wight of England, in the United Kingdom. It is located three kilometres from Niton in the south of the Island in the area known as the Back of the Wight; the village of Chale lies at the foot of St. Catherine's Down. Chale is recorded in the Domesday book as "Cela", which derives from the Old English word "ceole", meaning "throat"; this is thought to chine at Blackgang. The name was recorded as "Chele" or "Chielle", but it has been "Chale" since the 12th century. There were 3 manors in Chale at the time of the Domesday Book: Chale and Walpen; the Parish Church of St Andrew was founded by Hugh Gendon in Chale in 1114. However, the present church dates from the 14th century, it has 6 bells in its tower. One might have been made about 1360, it has some fine stained glass windows. The Chale Abbey farm has a window; the name Abbey refers to the style of the building, not its religious use. Chale Abbey Farm and Walpen Manor are two of the oldest buildings on the Isle of Wight.
The south coast of the Isle of Wight has seen many shipwrecks because it has some famous rocky outcroppings. Lord William de Godeton removed some casks of wine from a French shipwreck in 1312. However, this wine was the property of the Church, which forced Godeton to build a tower and an octagonal oratory at the top of the cliffs above Chale on St. Catherine's Down. A fire was maintained in the oratory to prevent further shipwrecks. A monk remained resident in the oratory; the Clarendon sank in Chale Bay in 1836. The public was outraged, demanded that a new lighthouse be built. Government officials who were in England and not familiar with local geography decreed that the new lighthouse should be on top of St. Catherine's Down. However, it is common for fogs to roll in and obscure the top of St. Catherine's Down, there were more wrecks after the new lighthouse was built. A second lighthouse, still in use, was built at the foot of the cliffs. Chale is close to Blackgang Chine amusement park, opened in 1843 and was Britain's first theme park.
Chale had a school by 1784. The current school building dates from 1883, although it has been augmented by a newer hall, kitchens and a computer complex, it sits near Wight Mouse Inn at the southern end of the parish. The school was the smallest on the Island, one of the smallest in the United Kingdom with only 20 pupils on roll; this led to the threat of the school's closure, it did close just before the summer vacation of 2010. The Wight Mouse Inn and Clarendon Hotel is named after a shipwreck in 1835; some of the timbers from the wreck are part of the building. It was a popular destination of the upper classes in an earlier era. Public transport is provided by Southern Vectis bus route 6, which runs between Ventnor; the summer-only Island Coaster service stops in Chale. Chale is part of the electoral ward called Chale and Whitwell. At the 2011 Census the population of this ward was 2,721. St. Andrew's Church, Chale Blackgang Chine Chale Green History of Chale website
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
The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen, for classifying and studying ancient societies. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by producing bronze by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Bronze itself is harder and more durable than other metals available at the time, allowing Bronze Age civilizations to gain a technological advantage. Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact that there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition. Although the Iron Age followed the Bronze Age, in some areas, the Iron Age intruded directly on the Neolithic.
Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing. According to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed the earliest viable writing systems; the overall period is characterized by widespread use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction and development of bronze technology were not universally synchronous. Human-made tin bronze technology requires set production techniques. Tin must be mined and smelted separately added to molten copper to make bronze alloy; the Bronze Age was a time of developing trade networks. A 2013 report suggests that the earliest tin-alloy bronze dates to the mid-5th millennium BC in a Vinča culture site in Pločnik, although this culture is not conventionally considered part of the Bronze Age; the dating of the foil has been disputed. Western Asia and the Near East was the first region to enter the Bronze Age, which began with the rise of the Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer in the mid 4th millennium BC.
Cultures in the ancient Near East practiced intensive year-round agriculture, developed a writing system, invented the potter's wheel, created a centralized government, written law codes and nation states and empires, embarked on advanced architectural projects, introduced social stratification and civil administration and practiced organized warfare and religion. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and astrology. Dates are approximate, consult particular article for details The Ancient Near East Bronze Age can be divided as following: The Hittite Empire was established in Hattusa in northern Anatolia from the 18th century BC. In the 14th century BC, the Hittite Kingdom was at its height, encompassing central Anatolia, southwestern Syria as far as Ugarit, upper Mesopotamia. After 1180 BC, amid general turmoil in the Levant conjectured to have been associated with the sudden arrival of the Sea Peoples, the kingdom disintegrated into several independent "Neo-Hittite" city-states, some of which survived until as late as the 8th century BC.
Arzawa in Western Anatolia during the second half of the second millennium BC extended along southern Anatolia in a belt that reaches from near the Turkish Lakes Region to the Aegean coast. Arzawa was the western neighbor – sometimes a rival and sometimes a vassal – of the Middle and New Hittite Kingdoms; the Assuwa league was a confederation of states in western Anatolia, defeated by the Hittites under an earlier Tudhaliya I, around 1400 BC. Arzawa has been associated with the much more obscure Assuwa located to its north, it bordered it, may be an alternative term for it. In Ancient Egypt the Bronze Age begins in the Protodynastic period, c. 3150 BC. The archaic early Bronze Age of Egypt, known as the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt follows the unification of Lower and Upper Egypt, c. 3100 BC. It is taken to include the First and Second Dynasties, lasting from the Protodynastic Period of Egypt until about 2686 BC, or the beginning of the Old Kingdom. With the First Dynasty, the capital moved from Abydos to Memphis with a unified Egypt ruled by an Egyptian god-king.
Abydos remained the major holy land in the south. The hallmarks of ancient Egyptian civilization, such as art and many aspects of religion, took shape during the Early Dynastic period. Memphis in the Early Bronze Age was the largest city of the time; the Old Kingdom of the regional Bronze Age is the name given to the period in the 3rd millennium BC when Egypt attained its first continuous peak of civilization in complexity and achievement – the first of three "Kingdom" periods, which mark the high points of civilization in the lower Nile Valley. The First Intermediate Period of Egypt described as a "dark period" in ancient Egyptian history, spanned about 100 years after the end of the Old Kingdom from about 2181 to 2055 BC. Little monumental evidence survives from this period from the early part of it; the First Intermediate Period was a dynamic time when the rule of Egypt was divided between two competing power bases: Heracleopolis in Lower Egypt and Thebes in Upper Egypt. These two kingdoms would come into conflict, with the Theban kings conquering the north, resulting in the reunification of Egypt under a single ruler during the second part of the 11th Dynasty.
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