Sandown, Isle of Wight

Historical Description

Sandown, a town and two parishes in the Isle of Wight. The town stands on a bay of its own name, with a station on the Isle of Wight railway, 86 miles from London, and 5½ S of Ryde, is properly called Sandham, occupies a site formerly a rough uncultivated common called Royal Heath, had no existence so late as 1810, was afterwards for some time a very small fishing hamlet with untenanted neighbouring barracks, rose rapidly to the status of a bright and cheerful watering-place, and now has a head post office, excellent hotels, good lodging-houses, a fine bathing beach, hot and cold baths, a town-hall erected in 1869, and an Oddfellows' hall. A pier 360 feet long was opened in 1878, and has since been considerably extended. A sea wall has been built, and a good promenade constructed. Thesalt water at this part of the island is strong and pure, and the sands, which gradually slope to the sea, afford excellent bathing. The barracks, now used as a military hospital and as a military depot, were erected during the time of the great war with France, and had subsequent northward extensions, which were taken down after the close of the war. A block-house was erected on the NE about 1538; suffered irretrievable injury from inroads of the sea, which destroyed hundreds of surrounding acres of land, and was succeeded in the time of Charles I., on a new site, by a quadrangular fort with a bastion at each angle, and surrounded by a wet fosse. Sandown Bay is an encurvature of 5½ miles along the chord from Culver cliff south-south-westward to Dunnose, and is flanked in the neighbourhood of the town by a low tract of greensand and Wealden clay called Sandown Level. The houses stand chiefly on gently rising ground far above the level of the sea. The ecclesiastical parish of Christ Church was formed in 1847; population, 3116. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Winchester; net value, £400 with residence, in the gift of the Church Patronage Society. The church was built in 1845, and is a plain structure in the Early English style, with small tower and broach spire, and has been twice enlarged. St John the Evangelist, Lower Sandown, was constituted in 1881; population, 1451. The living is a vicarage; gross value, £280, in the gift of the Church Patronage Society. The church, erected in 1880-81, is a lofty building of stone in the Early English style. For local government purposes, the village of Lake and part of the parish of Christ Church are united with Sandown, and have an urban district council. A church, called the " Church of the Good Shepherd," was consecrated at Lake in 1894. Its appearance is peculiar, the body consisting of two naves with pillars down the centre, and the chancel being considerably loftier than the other parts of the building. There are Wesleyan, Congregational, Primitive Methodist, Baptist, and Bible Christian chapels.

Transcribed from The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England & Wales, 1894-5

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Visitations Heraldic

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CountyIsle of Wight
RegionSouth East
CountryEngland
Postal districtPO36
Post TownSandown