Giving Ryde's past to the future

Heritage Lottery Fund Logo

Opening Times

Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday
11am - 4pm

Ryde District Heritage Centre is entirely run by volunteers.

Stair Lift Facility

Mayor-Milburn-on-the-stairlift

The new stairlift officially opened on 23rd of May 2014 by Ryde’s Mayor at the time, Cllr Roi Milburn.
Ring the bell for help!

Easy Fund Raising Logo

The Royal Victoria Arcade

The Royal Victoria Arcade

The Royal Victoria Arcade - Victorian Timeline, the first 70 years of the Royal Victoria Arcade from the laying of the foundation stone to 1903

An etching of the original arcade frontage

1835 -May - Foundation Stone Ceremony
1836 - July - Opening Ceremony
1856 - July - Henry Knight buys the arcade for £3000
1856 - October - frontage altered
1857 - October - William Lacy the first Arcade photographer moves into a workshop in the basement
1862 -  March - Cornelius Jabez Hughes takes over Number 6 after Lacy's death, in November 1861
1864 -  Henry Knight's Fairy Fountain in the rotunda

An etching of the 1840s arcade interior

1880 - Henry patents tin opener and sells it to Crosse and Blackwell
1890 - Henry Knight goes bankrupt and hands over the arcade to his daughters
1895 - Death of Henry Knight
1903 - Arcade up for sale
2013-06-03T00:23:37+00:00
The Royal Victoria Arcade The Royal Victoria Arcade - Victorian Timeline, the first 70 years of the Royal Victoria Arcade from the laying of the foundation stone to 1903 1835 -May - Foundation Stone Ceremony 1836 - July - Opening Ceremony 1856 - July - Henry Knight buys the arcade for £3000 1856 - October - frontage altered 1857 - October - William Lacy the first Arcade photographer moves into a workshop in the basement 1862 -  March - Cornelius Jabez Hughes takes over Number 6 after Lacy's death, in November 1861 1864 -  Henry Knight's Fairy Fountain in the rotunda 1880 - Henry patents tin opener and sells it to Crosse and Blackwell 1890 - Henry Knight goes bankrupt and hands over the arcade to his daughters 1895 - Death of Henry Knight 1903 - Arcade up for sale

Original Logo

Original Logo

The original artwork for the logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on two shelters on Ryde Pier, and adapted by Depth.

Historic Ryde Society Logo

The original logo copyright Lynne Phillips

Cyril the Sea Serpent on Ryde Pier

 
2013-06-03T00:26:48+00:00
Original Logo The original artwork for the logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on two shelters on Ryde Pier, and adapted by Depth.  

Royal Ryde

Royal Ryde

Royal Ryde, the link to Queen Victoria.

The Duchess of Kent, mother of Queen Victoria, first brought her to stay at Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight in 1831. When it was decided to build the arcade in Ryde, Princess Victoria was asked whether she would agree to it being named for her. This is why, at the rear of the arcade, there is a window with a monogram PV - Princess Victoria.

The Princess Victoria Window Royal Victoria Arcade

The crest on the front of the arcade is that of Princess Victoria. A similar crest can be seen in Bath, much smaller and less colourful than the one in Ryde. The lion and the unicorn are also facing different directions.

Etching from 1874 of Crown Prince and Princess

 
2013-06-03T00:31:46+00:00
Royal Ryde Royal Ryde, the link to Queen Victoria. The Duchess of Kent, mother of Queen Victoria, first brought her to stay at Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight in 1831. When it was decided to build the arcade in Ryde, Princess Victoria was asked whether she would agree to it being named for her. This is why, at the rear of the arcade, there is a window with a monogram PV - Princess Victoria. The crest on the front of the arcade is that of Princess Victoria. A similar crest can be seen in Bath, much smaller and less colourful than the one in Ryde. The lion and the unicorn are also facing different directions.  

Royal visitors

Royal Visitors in Ryde


It is said that the Duchess of Kent first brought her daughter to the Isle of Wight so that she did not attend the coronation of her Uncle, William IV. On this, and subsequent occasions, they stayed at Norris Castle, in East Cowes.

It is also known that Victoria used rooms in The Royal Kent Hotel, now the Royal Squadron, on at least one occasion.

Etching of the Royal Kent Hotel, Union Street, Ryde
2013-06-03T00:40:11+00:00
Royal Visitors in Ryde It is said that the Duchess of Kent first brought her daughter to the Isle of Wight so that she did not attend the coronation of her Uncle, William IV. On this, and subsequent occasions, they stayed at Norris Castle, in East Cowes. It is also known that Victoria used rooms in The Royal Kent Hotel, now the Royal Squadron, on at least one occasion.

RYDE TREASURES

RYDE TREASURES


All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful.

A gown worn by a recent Mayor of the Borough of Ryde.

Ryde Borough Mayor's Robe

Ryde Town Sergeant's Hat.

Ryde Town Sargent Top Hat

 
2013-06-03T00:47:20+00:00
RYDE TREASURES All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful. A gown worn by a recent Mayor of the Borough of Ryde. Ryde Town Sergeant's Hat.  

Ryde Entertainment

Ryde Entertainment

Fine Art Exhibition at Ryde 1881

The inhabitants of 19th century Ryde enjoyed entertainment............... Bands played on the pier every evening, There were plays in the Theatre, concerts in the Town Hall, lectures and exhibitions in the Victoria Rooms and circuses on the Strand from the 1850s onwards. Local gentry also held balls and soirees in their homes - descriptions of which appeared in the local press the following week. Celebrities came from Paris and London to appear in Ryde - Mrs Jordan, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, General Tom Thumb, The Christy Minstrels all appeared in Ryde following successful runs in London and over seas........Ryde was the place to be after London, Paris, New York! Hairdressers and other businessmen also followed the same route.
2013-06-03T00:57:12+00:00
Ryde Entertainment The inhabitants of 19th century Ryde enjoyed entertainment............... Bands played on the pier every evening, There were plays in the Theatre, concerts in the Town Hall, lectures and exhibitions in the Victoria Rooms and circuses on the Strand from the 1850s onwards. Local gentry also held balls and soirees in their homes - descriptions of which appeared in the local press the following week. Celebrities came from Paris and London to appear in Ryde - Mrs Jordan, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, General Tom Thumb, The Christy Minstrels all appeared in Ryde following successful runs in London and over seas........Ryde was the place to be after London, Paris, New York! Hairdressers and other businessmen also followed the same route.

Railings

Railings

Cyril the sea Serpent on Ryde Pier

The railings on the pier were installed in 1895. It is believed the shelters were built at the same time, by Isaac Barton, a Mayor of Ryde, to a design by local architect Thomas Hellyer. Cyril the sea serpent is the guide for the Children's Page of the website.
2013-06-03T01:02:06+00:00
Railings The railings on the pier were installed in 1895. It is believed the shelters were built at the same time, by Isaac Barton, a Mayor of Ryde, to a design by local architect Thomas Hellyer. Cyril the sea serpent is the guide for the Children's Page of the website.

Local Newspapers

Local Newspapers

Ventilator Royals visit July 19 1873

Ryde and the Isle of Wight have a long history of local newspaper printing. The Isle of Wight Observer was begun in 1846, although not established until 1852.  It was printed at The Colonnade, Ryde by George and subsequently, Hannah Butler. From the first issue, Fashionable Lists were printed weekly to show residents and visitors who was in town. The Isle of Wight Times, Ventilator, Mercury, Isle of Wight Advertiser, and County Press followed at later dates. These newspapers, or images of them, can be consulted at the Isle of Wight County Record Office, Newport.

There are also newspapers with Isle of Wight articles which can be viewed on the British Library website British Newspapers Online
2013-06-03T01:04:32+00:00
Local Newspapers Ryde and the Isle of Wight have a long history of local newspaper printing. The Isle of Wight Observer was begun in 1846, although not established until 1852.  It was printed at The Colonnade, Ryde by George and subsequently, Hannah Butler. From the first issue, Fashionable Lists were printed weekly to show residents and visitors who was in town. The Isle of Wight Times, Ventilator, Mercury, Isle of Wight Advertiser, and County Press followed at later dates. These newspapers, or images of them, can be consulted at the Isle of Wight County Record Office, Newport. There are also newspapers with Isle of Wight articles which can be viewed on the British Library website British Newspapers Online

Historic Photographs

Historic Photographs

Young Boy by Matthews

Child photographed by Matthews
Child photographed by Matthews

Child on a horse Photographed by Knight

More  historic photographs appear in the  Galleries.

Child photographed by Knight
2013-06-02T23:28:06+00:00
Historic Photographs More  historic photographs appear in the  Galleries.

The Brigstocke China

The Brigstocke China

All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful.

Brigstoke Terrace China Group front view

The Brigstocke China comprises pieces collected by the family over many years, reflecting catholic tastes.

Brigstoke Terrace China Group side view

Brigstoke Terrace China Group reverse view

Brigstoke Terrace China Hare

Brigstoke Terrace China Horse
2013-06-02T23:46:00+00:00
The Brigstocke China All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful. The Brigstocke China comprises pieces collected by the family over many years, reflecting catholic tastes.
Contact Us
Tel: (00)44 01983 717435 Web: www.historicrydesociety.com eMail: admin@historicrydesociety.com
Please specify the group

The Solent tunnel

The Solent Tunnel

Discussions regarding a rail tunnel connecting the Isle of Wight to the mainland, first began in 1874. They continued until 1930, when the idea was finally scrapped, as being economically unviable. Below are a selection of press reports dealing with this matter.

Hampshire Advertiser February 21, 1874

THE SOLENT TUNNEL – In boring at Stene Point, the depth of 150 feet has been reached, more than 90 of which is clay. They have now come upon sand, but are continuing the operations.

Portsmouth Evening News May 21,  1886

THE SOLENT TUNNEL – On Tuesday evening Mr J S Wells of Ryde, had an interview with the Shanklin Local Board, in order to place before them his scheme for the construction of a railway tunnel between Ryde Pier head and Stokes Bay. He placed before the Board a number of documents, including an autograph letter from General Lord Wolseley, who stated that the scheme can be commended on military grounds. Mr Wells proposes that the tunnel should provide for a double line of railway, and that about about midway a fort should be constructed on the Sturbridge Bank. This could be so built that it could be used for the landing of passengers and mail bags from outward or inward-bound vessels which could shelter on the lee of the fort in any weather. With an open sub-aqueous communication, the fort would be practically the strongest in the world, as men, ammunition and food could be supplied without let or hindrance, and the direct railway communication would tend to make the Isle of Wight safer from foreign seizure in case of war. Mr Wells proposes that the Government should defray half the cost of the tunnel, and then the Railway Companies would probably be induced to take up the other half. The members of the Board expressed themselves favourably impressed with the scheme, and the Chairman was authorised to sign a memorial to the Government in its behalf.

Isle of Wight Observer January 5 1901

THE ISLAND TUNNEL SCHEME
There has been on the mainland, as well as in the Isle of Wight, a good deal of specualtion as to who are the promoters of the proposed tunnel under the Solent. There are five promoters, and we are now able to give their names, which are as follows: The Right Hon the Earl of Egmont, Sir John Blundell Maple, MP, and Messrs Frank G Aman, Richard W Evelyn Middleton, and R Cunninghame Murray. These gentlemen will be the first directors of the new company, which will be known as the South Western and Isle of Wight Junction Railway Company. The new company will be floated with a capital of £600,000 in 60,000 shares of £10 each, and the estimated cost of the undertaking is put down at £530,000. In the Bill, which it is expected will come before Parliament in April. Power is sought to enable the London and South Western Railway Company to subscribe and to apply funds for the purpose, and facilities are also sought for the forwarding and interchange of traffic to and from the railway over the lines worked by the Isle of Wight Central Railway Company in the Island, as well as to enter into working agreements with this company and the London and South Western Company. The entire length of the new line will be seven miles, four furlongs, and 75 yards. The tunnel will be two miles, two furlongs, and 60 yards long, and about one mile and three furlongs will be under water.

Isle of Wight Observer January 19 1901

THE SOLENT TUNNEL – The Electrical Review says:”The length of the intended tunnel under the Solent will be about two miles 500 yards, and as the estimated expense of constructing this tunnel is exceptionally large it is proposed to ask for power to charge in respect of this tunnel as for a distance of twelve miles. The proposed railway throughout its entire length is intended to be worked by electrical power, and, with the consent of the London and South Western Railway Company and the Freshwater, Yarmouth and Newport Railway, the traffic from the proposed railway may continue to be worked by electrical power over those systems into Brockenhurst Station and into Freshwater and Newport Stations. Running powers are also sought over the Isle of Wight Central Railway and over the Newport, Godshill and St Lawrence Railway. The capital of the company is to be £600,000.

Isle of Wight Observer January 2 1904

THE SOLENT TUNNEL SCHEME – The promoters of the South Western and Isle of Wight Junction Railway are applying to Parliament next Session for an extension of time until the 26th of July, 1906, within which to acquire all the lands necessary for the construction of the railway tunnel from Lymington, under the Solent to Freshwater. An extension of time is also sought within which to construct this railway until July, 1911, which is three years beyond the time granted by Parliament when the scheme was sanctioned in 1901.

Isle of Wight Observer October 5 1918

Like the sea serpent and the enormous gooseberry, the Solent Tunnel comes to the fore again after a more than usually prolonged silence. There is no doubt that the tunnel would be an immense advantage to the Island generally, especially in the winter time, but in our opinion it should be made (when it is undertaken) from the neighbourhood of Portsmouth or Gosport to the shore at Ryde, where a really available link-up could be effected with the various railways of the Island. Until such an undertaking is accomplished the problem of through communication must always remain in a more or less disjointed condition, and the Island will suffer in consequence. In these days when millions of pounds are so lightly spoken of, and so freely – and sometimes carelessly – spent it should not be a matter of impracticality to forge this “missing link” with the mainland.

Western Times – March 14 1930

The proposed Solent tunnel was finally dismissed by IOW County Council as financially impracticable.

Return to 20th Century Railway page

Return to Railways page 

Local Giving - Charity begins at home logo

Donate
Upcoming Events
Dec
26
Thu
7:00 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Dec 26 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Dec 26 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
Jan
30
Thu
7:00 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Jan 30 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Jan 30 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
Feb
27
Thu
7:00 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Feb 27 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Feb 27 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
Mar
26
Thu
7:00 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Mar 26 @ 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Mar 26 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
Centre Opening
HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester opened the first extension of Ryde District Heritage Centre on Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Andrew and Brian chat to HRH The Duke of Gloucester and the Lord Lieutenant

The logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on the two shelters on Ryde Pier, and digitised by Depth.

Historic Ryde Society Logo

Archive