Chale (St. Andrew)

CHALE (St. Andrew), a parish, in the liberty of West Medina, Isle of Wight division of the county of Southampton, 8½ miles (S. S. W.) from Newport; containing 610 inhabitants. This parish is situated on the coast, and at the head of a bay to which it gives name. The surface is strikingly varied, rising into hills of great elevation, of which St. Catherine's Hill, the loftiest in the island, is 850 feet above the level of the sea; a chapel was erected on its summit, in 1323, and dedicated to that saint, and the lower part of the building still serves as a landmark to mariners. The land and sea views from this eminence are remarkably fine; and on its south-western declivity is a rugged chasm, called Black Gang Chine, which, viewed from the shore, has a very striking effect. The district abounds with stone of excellent quality for building, which is extensively quarried; and a vein of white sand, admirably adapted for the making of glass, has been discovered. The village is neatly built, and pleasantly situated; and on Chale Common, several handsome mansions and some pleasing villas have been erected. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £14. 3. 11½.; net income, £334; patrons, the Trustees of the late Rev. C. Richards. The church is at the base of St. Catherine's Hill. A parochial school is endowed with a rentcharge of £16. 14. 6., purchased with the sum of £150, bequeathed by Robert Weeks, Esq., and others. About half-way between the village and Niton, at Sand Rocks, is an aluminous chalybeate spring, discovered in 1809.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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