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Niton, Isle of Wight

Historical Description

Niton, a village and a parish in the Isle of Wight. The village stands 1 mile NE by N of St Catherine's Point, behind the declivity of a sea-cliff, at the W end of the Undercliff Range, 3½ miles W of Ventnor station on the Isle of Wight Central railway. It has a post, money order, and telegraph office under Ventnor. Acreage of parish, 1335; population, 931. There is a parish council consisting of six members. Niton was anciently called Niton Regis, from having belonged to Edward the Confessor; was afterwards called Crab Niton, from the abundance of crabs and other crustaceans on the neighbouring coast; is a quiet and quaint place, very little affected by the influx of visitors to the surrounding attracting scenery, yet stands intimately connected with hotels to which the visitors resort, is the centre of many pleasant walks, and has two small inns. Several good residences, a hotel, and a number of lodging-houses are in the Undercliff section. Niton Down rises to the N of the village, and St Catherine's Down, 769 feet high, rises to The W. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Winchester, and from 1734 till 1867 was united with the vicarage of Godshill; net value, £350 with residence. Patron, Queen's College, Oxford. The church was given by William Fitz-Osborne soon after the Norman Conquest to the Abbey of Lyra, went at the dissolution to the Crown, was given by Charles I. on the petition of Henrietta Maria to Queen's College, Oxford; stands amid fine trees on a rising-ground to the W of the village; shows some features of Early Decorated English; has been restored; consists of a nave, chancel, two aisles, a stone-ribbed S porch, and a W tower and low spire; and contains two piscinae and a monument, with medallion by Flaxman, to Mr Arnold of Mirables. The churchyard contains an old cross. There are Wesleyan and Baptist chapels, a mechanics' institute, and a coastguard station. In 1888 the light in St Catherine's Lighthouse, near Niton, was lighted by the most powerful electric light in the world. Charles II. when caught in a storm at sea in 1675 landed at Puckaster Cove.

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 parishNiton St. John the Baptist 
LibertyEast Medina 

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

Directories & Gazetteers

We have transcribed the entry for Niton from the following:


Online maps of Niton 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 districtPO38
Post TownVentnor