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Freshwater (All Saints)

FRESHWATER (All Saints), a parish, in the liberty of West Medina, Isle of Wight division of the county of Southampton, 1¾ mile (S. S. W.) from Yarmouth; containing 1299 inhabitants. This parish comprises 4430 acres, of which 660 are waste land or common; it has the English Channel on the south and west, and on the north is the Isle of Wight channel, whence the river Yar is navigable to the village. To the west of Freshwater Gate, a small creek in the centre of a bay, is the extensive opening to the sea called Freshwater Cave, the depth of which is about 120 feet, the principal entrance being 20 feet high and 35 wide. The prospect from the lighthouse, on the highest point of the cliffs, is exceedingly fine, and includes a full view of the Needles. Alum bay, in the parish, is much resorted to by geologists, on account of the interesting peculiarity of the strata, unknown elsewhere; and from the cliffs is taken the sand from which the cut-glass of Bristol and other places in the west and north is manufactured. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £ 19. 8. 4., and in the gift of St. John's College, Cambridge: the tithes have been commuted for £800, and the glebe comprises 6 acres, with a house. The church is a well-built structure. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. In 1714, David Urry gave land now producing £25 per annum, to endow a school. Dr. Robert Hooke, an eminent mathematician and natural philosopher, was born in the village, in 1635.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858.