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Brading, Isle of Wight

Historical Description

Brading (anciently Brerding or Brerdynge), a town and a parish in the Isle of Wight. The town stands on the Isle of Wight railway, at the head of Brading Harbour, 3½ miles S by E of Ryde, and has a railway station and a post, money order, and telegraph office. It is a very ancient place, and consists chiefly of one long street. It remained a corporate town, governed by bailiffs and jurats, and holding its court leets until 1886, when, all unreformed bodies becoming extinct by Sir Charles Dilke's Act, a Town Trust of nine members was formed by the Charity Commissioners to administer the annual income. The corporation had a common seal with the words, "The Kynge's Towne of Brading." The town-hall was rebuilt in 1875-76, and is an elegant structure of stone and brick; it contains a free library, not supported by the rates. A massive iron ring, fastened to the ground in an open space called the Ball Ring, is a relic of a barbarous sport. The parish church is said to stand on the very spot where Wilfrid, archbishop of York, coming with Ceadwalla when he conquered the Jutes, baptized the inhabitants of the island. The present building is to a considerable extent Transition Norman, but has Early English, Decorated, and Perpendicular features. It was restored 1864-74. The earliest monument is an incised slab to the memory of John Cherowin, who died in 1441, and there are several altar tombs of the Oglanders. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Winchester; net value, £220 with residence. Patron, Trinity College, Cambridge. The vicarage of Bembridge is a separate benefice; gross value, s£98 with residence. The churchyard has the grave of Legh Richmond's " Little Jane" and the tombstone of Mrs. Berry, with the inscription beginning, " Forgive, blest shade, the tributary tear" set to music by Dr. Calcott. There are Bible Christian and Congregational chapels. The population of the present ecclesiastical parish is 1560, but the old civil parish, which comprises Bembridge, Sandown, and Lake, and stretches into the town of Shanklin, has a population of 8994, and an area of 9240 acres. Nunwell, NW of the town, amid richly wooded grounds, is the seat of the Oglander family, descendants of Richard Okelandre, who came from Normandy about the time of the Norman Conquest. Brading Down, S and W of Nunwell, commands a wide panoramic view of the Channel, the Solent, and the coast of Hants and Sussex. Several attempts had been made to reclaim the extensive area of Brading harbour, which, though like an extensive lake at high water, was like a muddy swamp when the tide was out, but a few years since the Brading Harbour Company were successful in reclaiming about 800 acres, which are now under partial cultivation. Legh Richmond was for some time curate of Brading, and wrote here his " Young Cottager" " Dairyman's Daughter" and " Negro Servant." In 1880 an interesting discovery was made by Mr. F. G. Hilton-Price, F.S.A., F.G.S., of the foundations of a Roman villa, which on excavation proved to be one of the most important and interesting remains in the kingdom; the whole of this has been covered in and carefully protected.

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


The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.

Ancient CountyHampshire 
Ecclesiastical parishBrading St. Mary 
LibertyEast Medina 

Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Brading from the following:


Online maps of Brading are available from a number of sites:

Visitations Heraldic

The Visitations of Hampshire, 1530, 1575, & 1622-34 is available to view on the Heraldry page.

CountyIsle of Wight
RegionSouth East
Postal districtPO36
Post TownSandown