Place:Cowes, Isle of Wight, England

Alt namesWest Cowessource: BHA, Authority file (2003-)
TypeUrban district, Civil parish
Coordinates50.75°N 1.3°W
Located inIsle of Wight, England     (1890 - )
Also located inHampshire, England     ( - 1890)
See alsoNorthwood, Isle of Wight, Englandcivil parish in which it was located until 1894
Medina District, Isle of Wight, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area 1974-1995
Isle of Wight (council), Isle of Wight, Englanddistrict municipality and unitary authority covering the area since 1995
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Cowes is a seaport town on the Isle of Wight, England. Cowes is located on the west bank of the estuary of the River Medina, facing the smaller town of East Cowes on the east bank. The two towns are linked by the Cowes Floating Bridge, a chain ferry.

The population was 9,663 in the 2001 UK census, a figure that doubles during the regatta in early August. The population at the 2011 UK Census was 10,405.

Cowes has been seen as a home for international yacht racing since the founding of the Royal Yacht Squadron in 1815. The town gives its name to the world's oldest regular regatta, Cowes Week, which occurs annually in the first week of August. Later on in the summer, powerboat races are held.

The town's name has been subject to dispute in the past, sometimes being called Cowes, and then West Cowes. For example, a milestone from the 17th century exists, calling the town Cowes, but the Urban District Council bore the name West Cowes when it was created in 1894. In 1895 West Cowes Urban District Council applied for permission to change the name of the town to Cowes officially, and this was granted on 21 August 1895.

Industry in both Cowes and East Cowes has always centred on the building and design of marine craft and materials associated with boat-making, including the early flying boats, and sail-making. It is the place where the first hovercraft was tested.

Changes in area under administration

DateDescriptionOther ParishArea
31 Dec 1894was created an urban district from part ofNorthwood
01 Apr 1923was enlarged by gaining part ofNorthwoodArea: 675 acres
01 Apr 1933was enlarged by the abolition ofEast CowesArea: 604 acres
01 Apr 1933was enlarged by the abolition ofNorthwoodArea: 1794 acres
01 Apr 1933was enlarged by the abolition ofWhippinghamArea: 1883 acres
01 Apr 1974abolished as an urban district on the creation of Medina District

(from A Vision of Britain through Time)

Research Tips

  • Victoria County History of Hampshire, volume 5, chapter on Northwood (the ancient parish for Cowes).
  • The Isle of Wight Family History Society has a website with a lot of information.
  • GENUKI has a list of archive holders in Hampshire including the Hampshire Record Office, various museums in Portsmouth and Southhampton, the Isle of Wight Record Office and Archives.
  • The Hampshire Online Parish Clerk project has a large collection of transcriptions from Parish Registers across Hampshire.
  • A listing of all the Registration Districts in England and Wales since their introduction in 1837 together with tables listing the parishes that were part of each district and the time period covered, along with detailed notes on changes of parish name, mergers, etc. Do respect the copyright on this material.
  • The three-storey City Museum in Winchester covers the Iron Age and Roman periods, the Middle Ages, and the Victorian period.
  • Volumes in The Victoria County History Series are available for Hampshire through British History Online. There are three volumes and the county is covered by parishes within the old divisions of "hundreds".
A collection of maps on the A Vision of Britain through Time website illustrating the English county of Hampshire over the period 1832-1932 (the last two are expandible):
  • A group of maps of the post-1974 municipal districts or boroughs of Hampshire on Wikipedia Commons

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Cowes. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.