Shanklin in old picture postcards

Shanklin in old picture postcards

:   Robin McInnes and Andy Butler
:   Isle of Wight
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-3366-1
:   80
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Shanklin in old picture postcards'

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The town of Shanklin (population 7,840) lies on the southeast coast of the Isle of Wight at the southern end of Sandown Bay. Shanklin is believed to have derived its name from 'Scenc-hlinc' - a cup or hollow in rising ground. However, the area was occupied long before this time and th is is confirmed by the discovery of Paleolithic hand tools and later a hoard of Roman coins in the vicinity.

Shanklin did not really start to develop as a holiday town until the late nineteenth century for in the 1840's the population was only about 250. This figure rose gradually to about 450 in 1860 and then was followed by a huge leap to over 3,000 residents in 1880. By the turn of the century the population of the now thriving resort had risen to 4,500. In the early days most of the residents were employed in agriculture - many working as tenants of the Lord of the Manor (who in fact resided in Wootton). Whilst some early traveIlers like Tomkins and John Hassall and writers and artists like W.B. Cooke and later Brannon extolled the virtues of Shanklin in the period 1790-1830 it was not until the 1860's and later that the town really began to expand. The popularity of sea bathing, the presence of Queen Victoria at her summer pal ace of Osborne, the proclarnation of the benefits of the South Wight elimate for health by Sir J ames Clarke (and later Dr. Harvey Betts) and more important the discovery of a Chalybeate spring were all factors in the towns' development. The arrival of the railway linking

Shanklin to Ryde and thus the mainland was the final impetus required to ensure the commercial success of the town.

Local hoteliers capitalised on the image of Shanklin as a spa and health resort with ideal conditions for bathing. Mr. Sampsons' sea water baths in the Fisherman's Cottage on the shore were succeeded by the grandeur of the Royal Spa Hotel on the Esplanade and such facilities were successful in attracting the patronage of several of the European royal households.

Apart from the health giving properties attributed to the town the natural beauty of this area had much to recommend it to the visitors. The excellent sandy beach set around the foot of high sandstone cliffs within the beautiful curve of Sandown Bay was much admired. Behind the town the woodlands and downs provided pleasant walks with marvellous views.

One of the earliest developed scenic attractions was Shanklin Chine - a natural ravine in the sandstone strata deeply incised by a fast flowing stream which ran from the downs to the shore in post-glacial times: nowa riU of water drops some 45 feet to a rocky pool before making its way through the chine to the sea. The damp sides of the Chine encouraged a rich growth of mosses and other natural vegetation. One ofthe earliest residents, a Mr. Colenutt, built a cottage on the beach at the foot of the Chine in about

1817. He was clearly an enterprising man for in about 1821 he cut a path and steps up through the Chine to conneet the beach and the village and made a charge for those who wished to have a guided tour. A later addition to the Chine was the building of a romantic villa residence known as the Honeymoon Cottage.

The oldest part of Shanklin is the southern part of the town adjacent to the main road to Ventnor . Sir Francis Pittis started this 'new' development with his marine residence 'Eastcliff' whilst Mr. E. V. Utterson built his lovely Vernon Cottage nearby in 1817. The Chine Inn had already been in existence for many years in its position perched above the Chine but Tower cottage, the distinctive new residence of General Viney, was another addition in 1825. Like the Chine Inn the Crab Inn in the Old Village was ancient whilst HoUier's Hotel (or William's Lodging House as it was first known) was built in 1824. This was soon foHowed by Daish's Hotel in the High Street which was built by Mr. Jeremiah Rayner in 1833.

On the seafront Mr. W. Moorman built Nelson Cottage in competition with Mr. Colenutt at Fisherman's Cottage. This building was later occupied by James Sampson who operated bathing machines on the beach under licence. In 1854 Mr. Walton White of Wootton died and his son Francis White Popham became Lord of the Manor and quickly established himself as a prominent local figure and be-

nefactor. Initially he lived at Eastcliff before building a new manor house on the site of the manor farm.

With the increase in the numbers of visitors other facilities were required. A pier was completed in 1891 at a cost of approximately ±:24,OOO and a lift from the Esplanade to the clifftop Promenade was opened the foHowing year. Shanklins' heyday was the period from 1880-1910. The beaches were busy with the longshoremans' bathing machines and pleasurecraft - fishing was also an important activity. The Spa and other leading hotels were full all the year round with wealthy visitors, many from abroad, and villas were taken by Victorian and Edwardian families for the summer arriving with a mountain of luggage and a full complement of servants. With the relatively cheap rail travel factory workers, miners and mill workers from the Midlands, the North and Merseyside were able to afford seaside holidays for the first time.

Visitors soon had a wide range of facilities available. Apart from the sands, the Chine and the Pier with its pavilions the pierrots used to perform on the beach and concerts could be heard on Keats Green. Pleasure Gardens were opened above the chine in 1913 - the gardens of Rylstone and Tower Cottage being purchased by the CounciI.

One of the most popular exercises for residents and visitors alike was the walk from Shankin to Luccombe and on through the Landslip to Ventnor. lust south of Shanklin is

Lueeombe Chine, a most attraetive spot that was onee the home of several families of fishermen and longshoremen until erosion by the sea and land movement made their cottages uninhabitable. Nearby one enters the sylvan setting of the Landslip - an area of fallen ground extending over several hundred acres that fell away from the downland behindin 1799.

The authors hope that the following illustrations will vividly bring to life the written history described above.

List of illustrations:

1. The ou Village. 2. Holliers Hotel, ou Village. 3. The Crab Inn, Old Village. 4. A carriage in the Old Village. 5. Shanklin Manor. 6. The Parish Church. 7. The waterfall, Shanklin Chine. 8. The Honeymoon Cottage, Shanklin Chine. 9. At the Chine Gate. 10. A scene in Chine Avenue. l l . The Chine Inn. 12. Outside the Chine Inn. 13. Daish's Hotel, High Street. 14. Armistice Day Remembrance Service 1919. 15. King Alphanso's visu 1902. 16. Hauling building stone. 17. Carriage outside Daish's Hotel, High Street. 18. Sam King's blacksmithy. 19. An early bus in High Street1905. 20. Snowfallin High Street1881. 21. Construction of the Institute. 22. The Institute, Steephill Road. 23. Upper High Street circa 1900. 24. Early steam fire engine in High Street. 25. A view in High Street (The Square). 26. A scene in Regent Street. 27. Shanklin Station. 28. On

the river. 29. A butchers shop display in Regent Street. 30. A milkdray in North Road. 31. Keats Green. 32. Viewfrom Rylstone Gardens. 33. Rylstone Pleasure Grounds. 34. An aerial view of Shanklin 1930.35. A summer day on Keats Green. 36. Cutting Osborne Steps. 37. Construction of Small Hope Sewage Tank. 38. The Lift. 39. The Esplanade. 40. Driving the last pile. 41. Moorman's Bazaar. 42. The Esplanade. 43. The Esplanade looking east. 44. A scene on the Esplanade circa 1900. 45. Gray's bread van, High Street. 46. Outside Gray's shop, High Street. 47. Shanklin from the pier. 48. The seafront. 49. Shanklin Esplanade. 50. Fourlocalcharacters. 51. 'Lobsters for tea', 52. Sortingthe catch. 53. Crapeau and Poppy Colenutt. 54. Silas Kemp. 55. Chine Cottage. 56. Dunnose Headfrom Chine Cottage. 57. The wreek ofthe 'Eurydice', 58. The 'Eurydice' Memorial. 59. Submarine aground off Shanklin July 1906. 60. Wreek of 'The Pride of the Sea'. 61. Luccombe Chine. 62. Inside Pound Hammer's cottage. 63. The Buttonfamily. 64. The Button [amily cottage at Luccombe. 65. Luccombe fishermen. 66. The Luccombe community. 67. The landslip at Luccombe Chine. 68. 'Bringing the sad tidings', 69. The 'Underley' aground. 70. The 'Underley' wrecked. 71. Fire at Luccombe Chine House. 72. Rosecliff House, Luccombe.

73. A cottage at Luccombe; Luccombe to Ventnor pathway.

74. Stone seat in the landslip. 75. Ploughing at Luccombe.

1. The Old Village. This view of the Old Village looking northwards was taken in about 1905. The name 'Old ViIlage' was given to this part of Shanklin to distinguish it from the newer part of the town which was developed in the 1870's and onwards. Although the busy main road to Ventnor now passes through the Old ViIlage this was not always the case. Originally it ran down Pomona road and along the Manor Drive to emerge by the Parish Church to the south of the town. It was not until1826 that a road was constructed from the Old Village up towards Cowleaze. The Old Village was a natural site for early Shanklin to develop, situated at the head of the Chine with an abundant supply of fresh water from the Chine stream and with access nearby down to the beach. The thatched cottages in this view were probably originally built in the 18th century or earlier. On the left Vine Cottage offered teas having previously been owned by Mr. J. Buckell who ran the viIlage store and kept the local fire engine. On the right can be seen the Old Thatch and Pencil Cottage and just beyond to the right Chine Hollow leads over the Chine stream on the old road to Luccombe. The popular Crab Inn is facing the camera.

2. Hollier's Hotel, the Old Village. This view in the ûld Village is taken looking southwards in the Ventnor direction and is dominated by Hollier's Hotel. The original hotel was a long, low, two storey thatched building and was built by Mr. William Williams in 1824, whose trade was na doubt increased by the construction of the new raad to Bonchurch passing his premises two years later. The hotel was still thatched when the poet Longfellow stayed there in 1868 and sa admired the scenery ofthe area. Shortly afterwards the building was reconstructed to allow for the increasing numbers ofvisitors who now demanded a higher standard of accommodation. The building on the right was Buckell's tea and grocery shop.

3. The Crab Inn, Oid Village. This photo of the historie Crab Inn was taken in 1881 when the fountain was frozen in the prolonged cold spel! in that winter. Oceupying a prominant position in the Old Village the Crab is probably one of the oldest buildings in the town perhaps dating back to the early part of the eighteenth century. There may have been an earJier inn building on the site long before then. The Crab Inn was a eentre for the loeal eommunity in the early days as wel! as being a very popular alehouse for many years; the Parish business was at times eondueted in the bar! Today the Crab Inn is one of EngJand's most popular and most photographed publie houses.

4. A carriage in the Old Village. In this view of the Old Village taken in about 1890 the last passenger can be seen embarking onto the Ventnor carriage. Note the use of the ladder that enabied access to be gained to the upper seats. Until Leeson Road was constructed the joumey to Ventnor was quite perilous. Passengers had on occasions to disembark at the bottom of Cowleaze Hill and walk across the field to the top and there rejoining the carriage having given the horses a welcome rest. The descent into Bonchurch by 'White Shute' was particulady hair raising with much use being made of metal shoes which were slid under the wheels to slow the downward progress!

5. Shanklin Manor. Shanklin Manor is situated to the south of the üld Village near the Parish Church and overlooking the large pub!ic open space known as Big Meade. The present manor house was constructed in 1883 by Francis White Popham on the site of the ear!ier manor building. The names Popham and White derive from the fact that John Popharn's only daughter married the Reverend Walton White ofWootton where they resided, at the same time leasing the Shanklin Manor Farm to tenants. Dedications to Mrs. Walton White can be seen in George Brannon's early engravings of Shanklin Chine in his book Vectis Scenary. Francis White Popham (who was bom in 1829) deeided to move back to Shanklin in later !ife and for this reason he built the new rnanor. His wedding to Lady Hatherton in 1872 was an elaborate event with a grand floral areh being construeted over the raad in the Old Village and an iIIuminated serail was presented to hirn by grateful townsfolk. A substantial portion of the town of Shanklin was let by the Popham Estates on long leases thus enabling the Lord of the Manor to exercise sorne degree of control over the way the town developed. The manor house has not been oeeupied privately for many years and is now a popular hotel.

Shanklin I: of W.

Parish Church

6. The Parish Church. The Parish Church of St. Blasius is situated to the south of the Old Village close to the manor and is viewed in this postcard through the delightfullychgate. Originally a chapel for the Lords of the Manor (the Pop ham and the Hili families) the chapel was extended in the late 1850's. The elaborate lychgate was erected by residents of Shanklin in 1894 in grateful memory of Mr. Francis White Popham, Lord of the Manor, who gave many years of wise and judicious public service to the town.

7. The waterfall, Shanklin Chine. This postcard shows the waterfall at the head of Shanklin Chine which drops some forty-five feet from the lane known as Chine Hollow before wending its way down through the Chine to the beach. The Chine was fomled by this smal! stream after the lee Age when charged with melt waters from the ice it incised deeply through the soft sandstone strata to form a ravine leading down to the sea. A path and steps were first cut up the Chine by Mr. C. Colenutt in about 1821 who Iived at the Fishermans' Cottage on the beach. Mr. Colenutt agreed to maintain the path up through the Chine for Mrs. Walton White of Wootton, Lady of the Manor, and in return he was allowed to make a charge for admitting visitors. This proved extremely profitable for Mr. Colenutt and he soon started to operate the first bathing machine on the beach. For many years the head of the Chine was dominated by the beautiful turreted and thatched residence known as Tower Cottage which was constructed in 1825 for General Viney. However, it became unstable early this century and had to be demolished. Today the Chine remains one of the Islands' most popular and beautiful natural attractions and is a habitat for many species of wildlife and plant.

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