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Local History

Nettlestone – A Brief History

There are two entries in the Domesday Book (1086), Hoteleston and Hotelstone; generally considered to be Nettlestone Farm and Nettlestone Village. These were held by the King. It is thought that they mean ‘in or near the nut-tree pasture or nut-tree wood’. By the fourteenth century, the original meaning was no longer understood and the village took the modern form of the name.

The land was held by the de Lisle family and others until the mid 16th century when it passed to the Oglanders, with the present manor house dating from 1580. The house was inhabited by tenant farmers of the two farms on the land, Park Farm and Nettlestone Farm. The houses in the area were originally those associated with farming i.e. workers cottages, wheelwrights, cartwrights, blacksmiths etc.

Nettlestone House was built at the end of the 18th century whilst most of the other houses around the green are 19th century. Throughout the 20th century Eddington Road was subject to a ribbon development that included West Priory Cottages. These were built by Ryde Town Council, on land acquired from the Priory Farm Estate, in 1928 and were the only council houses in the area. Many were sold following the ‘Right to Buy’ legislation in the 1980s.The farm estate also provided the land for Gully Road and Priory Drive properties in this area were built between the wars and again in the 50s and 60s. The Heights were built in two parts in the 1960s and 70s.

The 1877 O/S Map shows the Roadside Inn plus approximately 25/30 homes in the village and several outlying properties including Nettlestone Farm, Nettlestone House and Fairy Hill. The footpath alongside Longlands Copse (part of the Barnsley Trail) is also marked.

Pondwell – called Nettlestone Ponds in 1663; Pownells Farm in 1799.

Springvale – literally a valley with a spring and is modern.

Eddington – listed as Ednyeton in 1104.

Horestone Point – Hoo Stone Rocks in 1775.

Seaview – A Brief History

Seaview did not exist before 1800, except for a few fishermen’s huts and possibly the Salterns buildings. It is unclear whether the saltpans were already in operation before a Mr. Kirk Patrick from Newport set up business and installed a manager to run it around the turn of the 18th to 19th centuries. At the time the Rev. Henry Oglander of St Helens had built a house called Fairy Hill in which to retire. Anthony Caws, son of the steward of Prior Farm, lived on land immediately below Fairy Hill with his large family of eight and several grandchildren. A deal was done by which Anthony Caws exchanged that land for the outright possession of a large field known as Outer Cliff down to the seashore and development of Seaview begun. The land was divided into nine equal parts for the eight children and one sitting tenant (who was quickly bought out) leaving room for a Rope Walk at the rear to make the ropes for the men of the family who were mostly ship’s pilots. Building began at once on what is the High Street, the original plots being on the west side. The Esplanade and West Street followed later by Circular Road and the other side of the High Street. By 1850 the centre of Seaview was complete and it has retained its early Victorian character remarkably well. The Conservation was in place by the 1960s.

Seaview expanded outwards quickly throughout the second half of the 19th century and was a thriving seaside resort by 1860. The pier, a renowned and very elegant ‘suspension’ type, was built in 1881 and stood for 70 years welcoming visitors and day trippers right up to World War II. Shortly after being listed it blew down during a violent storm on December 29th 1951. In 1893, Sea View Sailing Club started and later became a Yacht Club in 1895, moving to its present club house in 1900.

When the Seafield House Estate was broken up in 1911, Bluett and Fairy Roads were put through joining up to the Salterns. This led to the development of The Duver and the opening up of Oakhill and Puckpool Hills as thoroughfares to Ryde.

Further development continued quietly until the explosion of building in the 1960s and 70s. Outside of the village, The Heights and in the village The Bowl (Spithead Close and Sandcove Rise). In the 1980s, the development of the old garage site in the middle of the village (Sandpipers), the old bus station at the bottom of Seafield Road (The Anchorage) and finally Seaview Bay on the site of the old Pier Hotel which was named the Halland Hotel when the pier was demolished and itself later demolished for the redevelopment.

A point of interest is that Sea View became Seaview, because during times when telegrams were in frequent use it was cheaper to use one word instead of the correct two.

The Nettlestone and Seaview Parish Today

The most recent development in the parish is centred on Westridge, part of which is Bullen Village. The area comprises of new houses and light industry. It is close to Ryde and situated on the boundary of the parish.

The building of The Heights in theory linked the two villages of Nettlestone and Seaview but in practice the steep hills of Seaview Lane and Steyne Road are still a physical and mental barrier. Some residents within walking distance shop at Nettlestone as at the other end of the development the only direct route involves steep climbs.

The separation emphasises the different character of the areas. Nettlestone and outlying areas are predominately residential with permanent population, largely older ‘retired’ age group. Seaview is very much a holiday village centred on sailing and family seaside holidays. Seaview Yacht Club organises sailing for members and visiting sailors, especially Armed Services, and business organisations who charter the Mermaid boats throughout the summer period.

The population of Seaview Village is mostly in the ‘retired’ age group and an important feature is that the proportion of second homes is one of the highest on the Island. Many of the second homes belong to the sailing community and are let throughout the summer months. This means that during the winter the streets become deserted but with a great increase during July and August especially during Regatta week

There are 19km of footpaths affording varied walking. The Barnsley Trail is a circular 6km walk initiated by the Parish Council in 1994.

This corner of the island has micro climate which encourages shrubs to bloom nearly all year round. Wildlife includes red squirrel colonies, badgers, foxes and a wide variety of sea birds and waders, including herons, egrets and grebes to name a few. These birds can be viewed at the Hersey Nature Reserve on the Duver.