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There are 2 chines on the island one at Shanklin and one at Ventnor. The first covers 3 acres and is home to waterfalls and a variety of plantlife and woodland.
Blackgang chine at Ventnor is more of a theme park, which is slowing erodng off the cliffs it has 3 areas ->Frontierland, Fantasyland and Nurseryland
Updated Apr 4, 2011
The cliff tops surrounding Freshwater Bay are known as Tennyson's Downs, due to the poet's love of this area. The bay itself is quiet and picturesque and if you can, it is worth taking a day to walk the cliff tops and along the downs.
This area is accessible by bus along the coast road and the scenery is beautiful. There is wildlife aplenty with adders, rare butterflies and all manner of sea birds, all along the chalk cliffs.
Further to the east along the coast (within half an hour's walk from Freshwater Bay) you can follow the road to stretches of deserted sandy beach which when you tire of swimming or sunbathing, you can just hop on back on the bus.
Written Sep 7, 2007
The beautiful landscaped gardens and part of the house are open to the public for the peak summer months only. They offer a guided tour through some of the rooms in the Manor including The Old Court Room and through a secret passageway to The Old Monks Rooms. Arreton Manor was farmed by the Abbots of Quarr for over 400 years from 1156.
With the ongoing development of the gardens including a Tudor style knot garden, children’s play area and a tea/coffee shop, Arreton Manor is a relaxing day out to enjoy.
You can take a peace of Arreton Manor home with you? They sell plants from the manor garden including clipped box and yew.
The manor is no longer a museum but is a lived in family home with a strong sense of history with its original oak panelled rooms, 17th century furniture, stone floors and Secret passage way Giving a first hand look at Jacobean living.
Arreton Manor is a family home full of vitality and interest with an insight into the past.
The Manor Garden Room
There is a wonderful large licensed tea room for people visiting the Manor and gardens. They offer homemade cream teas with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Also on the menu is homemade cakes and light bites, set in beautiful surroundings overlooking the chalk based Arreton Downs, the Conservatory also has a patio area with a historic wishing well.
Arreton Manor • Arreton • Isle of Wight • PO30 3AA • • email@example.com
Updated Feb 27, 2007
Arreton Manor is the family home for Andy and Julia Gray-Ling with their children Amie and Will. It is such a special house with enormous history and it is because of this that they open up their home to share with the public at certain times of the year for everyone to enjoy.
Set in five acres of land, nestled in the chalk-based Arreton Downs three miles from Newport, the manor was first mentioned in Alfred the Great’s will in 885 when he left it to his youngest son Etherward. Historical records in 1050 say it was owned by Edward the Confessor and the manor was mentioned 36 years later in the Domesday Book.
In 1156 it was given to monks belonging to the Convent of Quarr who were thrown out in the 1530s by Henry VIII during his dissolution of the monasteries. Incidentally the monks still have a presence on the island.
The manor was largely rebuilt between 1595 and 1612 on top of some of the existing foundations. Although parts of the property are Jacobean, it still possesses many Tudor designs and features. During his exile from London, Charles I stayed secretly at the manor. Because the doomed king was on the run and hosts could be prosecuted for putting him up, a secret room was built in the west bedroom – the entrance still exists. Arreton Manor changed hands over the next few centuries. Among the visitors was Queen Victoria who regularly stayed at nearby Osborne House in Cowes. She planted a conifer on the south lawn that still stands.
Written Feb 27, 2007
Phone: 01983 522604
My first memories of Arreton are having a boy in my class
at Ryde Boys School called Boswell who's parents owned a
large farm in Arreton. I even got a summer job aged 13 picking
sweetcorn, it was a good 50 minute bike ride from Ryde in the early
My sisters familly has a caravan on a farm
situated on the Arreton Downs, we stayed there for a few days
in the month of August in 2006. Arretton is a site exposed
to the elements and some "Megalith mounds".
The ground is a Calcareous grassland - lowland.
l there is a large lone barrow to the south of the Newport-Brading road,
a short distance from the Hare & Hounds PH. Labelled 'Gallows Hill' on the map,
site of the last hanging on the Isle of Wight.
Arreton Down (grid reference SZ540872) is a 29.77 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest on the Isle of Wight, originally notified in 1979 for its geological interest and then renotified in 1987, but for its biological interest only.
Written Feb 27, 2007
Another famous wreck is that of the Ernst. She was a German three masted vessel whose sails were torn apart by a ferocious storm in November of 1898. She was blown onto the Shingles, where some of the crew were crushed to death when they tried to launch a boat. The local lifeboat, which in those days was rowed, could not get near enough to the wreck because of the massive waves, and she only managed to save two crew members after the ship had totally broken up some hours later. The roof of the Ernst's galley became a makeshift raft for four other members of the crew who were rescued from the waves at Christchurch.
The last boat of any size to be wrecked on the Needles was the SS 'Varvassi', 4,000 tons, on the 5 January 1947. The Varvassi was en route to Southampton from the Mediterranean with a cargo of wines and, needless to say, quite a bit came ashore!
One thing is sure, the tides mean that little diving is done in the area. Many secrets still wait to be uncovered in, what has for centuries, been a maritime trunk route.
Written Feb 3, 2007
In and around Alum Bay there are some twenty named wrecks. Probably the best known is the 'Campen'. She was a ship financed by the Dutch East India Company which, with four other sister ships, set sail for the West Indies in 1627. She was caught in a southerly gale, and ran for shelter in the western Solent. The anchors were lost when she tried to anchor off Freshwater Bay and a desperate attempt to save the ship failed. She sank with great loss of life on the south side of the Needles rocks.
To the south of the Needles is Scratchells Bay which can be seen from the cliff top and is only accessible by sea. Its crumbling chalk cliffs were reputedly a favourite training area for some of the more celebrated sections of our armed services but would be no fun for an exhausted shipwrecked sailor at night in a southwest storm.
Perhaps the greatest rescue off Scratchells Bay was that of the thirty-strong crew of the 'Irex' a full-rigged ship of 2,248 tons. All the way down into the Western Approaches and in to the Bay of Biscay she encountered storms and in the end she turned and ran for shelter with injured crew members and a shifted cargo. After twenty days of storms she failed to navigate the entrance to the Solent and crashed ashore at Scratchells on the night of 26 January 1890. When daylight came the wreck was discovered and it was found that the Captain, Mate and four crew had disappeared overnight.
Written Feb 3, 2007
Between 1955 and 1971 a top secret Space rocket and missile development centre was built on the site of the old Needles Battery. There were over 2,000 sq ft of control rooms with up to 240 people working there at any one time. They developed the space rockets called 'Black Night' and 'Black Arrow’. The Black Knight rocket was very successful with 22 test missions launched. Originally, the rocket was purely a test rocket, but in the early 1960s it was used to carry research modules into the upper atmosphere and in 1971 the only all British satellite was launched into orbit.
Written Feb 3, 2007
The birth of wireless
Apart from its natural beauties and geological curiosities, Alum Bay has another claim to fame for its part played in the early days of radio transmissions. In early December 1897, to investigate and experiment with transmission to ships at sea, Gugielmo Marconi set up his revolutionary wireless equipment in the Royal Needles Hotel, above Alum Bay, and sent the very first wireless transmission.
A huge 168 feet high mast was set up outside the hotel and over the next couple of years Marconi conducted ever more complex experiments with wireless transmissions. In 1898 messages were received from Marconi at Queen Victoria's Osborne House and on the royal yacht. Little now remains of Marconi's experimental stations, as the hotel and masts have long since gone. However, a monument to him stands on the cliff top within the park and information lecterns provide a detailed history of radio, Marconi and the role played by Alum Bay.
Written Feb 3, 2007
The Needles and Needles Lighthouse
The original lighthouse was erected in 1785 on the summit of the Downs at the western extremity, 462 ft above sea level. However, it was generally considered that the building was too elevated above sea level to be really useful, especially in poor visibility, and it became disused when its replacement had been built.
The name 'Needles' is believed to have been derived from a slender tapering rock pinnacle which was formerly situated a little to the north (i.e. on the Alum Bay side) of the present central rock. This needle-shaped rock, about 120ft high and known as 'Lot's Wife' collapsed into the sea in 1764 with a crash which was said to have been heard many miles away! The stump of this pinnacle can still be seen at low water where it forms a dangerous reef.
The present lighthouse, 109ft high, clings to the base of the most westerly rock of the Needles group. It started working on 1st January 1859, taking over from the original lighthouse on the cliff top. The light, 80 feet above high water mark can be seen 14 miles away at sea level, either white, red or green accordingly to the position of the observing ship; it is easily identified by the double-occulating nature of the light, eclipse for two seconds, light for two seconds, eclipse for two seconds and then darkness for fourteen seconds. Many visitors, however, will be most familiar with the lighthouse foghorn which sounds every fifteen seconds during periods of poor visibility.
Originally this lighthouse had a keeper and three assistants. The men were on duty for two months and then on leave for one month. There were always three men on duty at the lighthouse at any one time. Sadly, the lighthouse was automated in 1994 and we said goodbye to the keeper and his assistants. In spite of the presence of the lighthouse, the Needles have always constituted a danger to shipping - over the years many ships have foundered on or near these rocks.
Written Feb 3, 2007
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