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

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.

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.
Contact Us
Tel: (00)44 01983 717435 Web: www.historicrydesociety.com eMail: admin@historicrydesociety.com
Please specify the group

Opening Ceremony of the Royal Victoria Arcade

Opening Ceremony of the Royal Victoria Arcade

Opening of the Royal Victoria Arcade

(extract from the “Freemasons’ Quarterly Review,” 1836)

RYDE, ISLE OF WIGHT, JULY 1st. – The opening of the Royal Victoria Arcade, the first stone of which gem of art was laid with Masonic Honours in May, 1835, by the Rt. Hon the Earl of Durham, then DGM of the Order of Freemasons, was celebrated this day in a style and manner that gave the greatest possible delight. Our limits prevent us giving an ample detail of the Arcade, which, as a work of art, reflects the highest possible credit upon the talented architect, Wm Westmacott, Esq., and as an elegant structure, may be justly considered one of the chief ornaments of this beautiful town.

The order of the procession was Masonically arranged, and was sanctioned by the presence of the Deputy Provincial Grand Master, Mr Blachford.

The procession assembled at the Pier Hotel, whence they proceeded, headed by a band of martial music, to the Arcade; they then passed through the Avenue, and round the Rotunda, passing through a double column of ladies assembled in the Arcade. On emerging from the Arcade the procession went in the same order to St Thomas’s Church, where the Rev Moore, (lately initiated into Masonry) performed the service, and concluded with an appropriate address to the Brethren. On leaving the Church, the procession returned to the Arcade, and passed up the stairs leading to the lead flat in front, when the copestone, (bearing the crown on the arms) was laid with Masonic ceremonies by the RWDPGM Blachford, of Newport, before a great concourse of people, in Union Street, of all classes, the windows and places being thronged with beauty and fashion. After the copestone had been laid, the RWDPGM briefly addressed the assembly.

Mr Blachford regretted Lord Yarborough was not present, through indisposition, though he could assure them he felt the deepest interest in the object, and as his substitute, would fulfil the deficiency to the best of his power. He was proud to see the progressive improvements of the town of Ryde, and happy to witness so great an addition as the splendid building opened; and he hoped, as it was highly ornamental so it would be equally beneficial. The Provincial Grand Secretary for the Island, Mr James Harland, then concluded with a brief address as follows:-

‘Allow me to congratulate you on the completion of another building, one which, I trust, will give additional splendour to the beautiful and flourishing town of Ryde.

Something more than a year has elapsed since we assembled to lay the foundation stone. We have beheld its rise and progress, and now witness its completion. I trust the means used in this case will be crowned with abundant success, and in imitation of the language of the inspired penman, I would say, “Peace be to its walls, and prosperity to the undertaking.”’

After which, the Brethren, and remainder of the procession, returned to the Pier Hotel.

A select number of about eighty in number, partook of a sumptuous dinner, prepared by Mr Hale, at the Pier Hotel, being an invitation to W H Banks Esq., (the founder of the Arcade), by his friends. Among the company are noticed Sir J Milbank, Bart, DPGM of Hants, Sir R Simeon, Bart., and other members of his family; Captains Marshall, Legan, Lock, Ribeleau and Butterfield, of the Royal Navy; T Clive Esq., the Rev W Moore, C Deacon Esq., J Lindgreen Esq., and numerous other gentlemen.

(Lord Yarborough was MP for Newport, and lived in Appuldurcombe House in Wroxall. He was created Baron Worsley in 1837 and founded the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes. The Sea Mark on Bembridge Down was erected in memory of Lord Yarborough after his sudden death on board his ship ‘Kestrel’ in 1846.)

The customary loyal toasts were given; after which the following: ‘The Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master of the Isle of Wight, all the Lodges of the Isle of Wight who kindly assisted in the ceremony, and the Deputy Grand Master of the Province of Hants’.

The DPGM Blachford returned thanks, regretting the indisposition of Lord Yarborough, who would have so well fulfilled the duties of the day, concluded his address with an anxious wish to initiate the whole country as Masons. Mr Deacon, as Master of the Southampton Lodge, hoped Mr Banks would meet the just return of his zeal for the town of Ryde.

B Sherer Esq., in a neat speech, proposed, ‘The health of T Clive Esq., the Chairman. (Great applause).

The chairman returned thanks in a brief and humorous speech.
W H Banks Esq.,said, after the many toasts which had been drunk with so much enthusiasm, he had one to propose, which had great claim to particular attention. The ladies in the Isle of Wight were fair and good-tempered; he had been accused of submitting to a command in the proposal of Friday, as an untimely day, but the gentlemen would recollect that the Romans, who had conquered the world, dedicated that day to Venus, and therefore to beauty. He now proposed, ‘The Ladies of the Isle of Wight’.

Sir R Simeon rose and said it required particular courage to make an amendment to such a toast; he would, notwithstanding, propose that it should be, ‘Mrs Banks, and the Ladies of the Isle of Wight.’ (Drunk with great applause).

Tune: ‘Here’s a Health to All Good Lasses’.

The DPGM Blachford then proposed, ‘The Architect,’ ‘The Clerk of the Works’, and lastly, ‘Mr Saunders, the Builder’, who returned thanks.’
Thomas Saunders was the publican of the Vine Inn in Pier Street. It is reported that he was never paid for the building of the arcade, and it was the last building he ever built, as he returned to the pub trade.

Return to Royal Victoria Arcade page

Local Giving - Charity begins at home logo

Donate
Upcoming Events
Nov
22
Thu
7:30 PM HRS Talk – Margaret Rose, HRS me... @ Yelf's Hotel
HRS Talk – Margaret Rose, HRS me... @ Yelf's Hotel
Nov 22 @ 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
Nov
29
Thu
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Nov 29 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
Dec
27
Thu
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Dec 27 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
Jan
31
Thu
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Jan 31 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
Feb
28
Thu
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Feb 28 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
Mar
28
Thu
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Mar 28 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
Apr
25
Thu
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
Apr 25 @ 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
Raising funds for the Historic Centre! Doors open at 7.00 pm.
May
30
Thu
7:30 PM The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
The Quiz! @ Yelf's Hotel
May 30 @ 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