Place:Ventnor, Isle of Wight, England

Alt namesVentnor St. Catherinesource: ecclesiastical parish
Ventnor Trinitysource: ecclesiastical parish
Lowthervillesource: upper part of Ventnor
TypeCivil parish, Urban district
Coordinates50.6°N 1.183°W
Located inIsle of Wight, England     (1890 - )
Also located inHampshire, England     ( - 1890)
See alsoEast Medina Liberty, Hampshire, Englandancient county division in which it was located
South Wight 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

Ventnor is a seaside resort and civil parish established in the Victorian era on the south coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies underneath St Boniface Down (which, at 241 metres (791 feet), is the highest point on the Isle of Wight), and is built on steep slopes and cliffs leading down to the sea. The higher part is referred to as Upper Ventnor (although officially it is Lowtherville); the lower part, where most of the amenities are located, being known as Ventnor. The civil parish had a population nearing 6,000 in the 2011 census.

In 1933 Ventnor absorbed the neighbouring parish of St. Lawrence, and parts of the parishes of Bonchurch, Whitwell and Wroxall and Godshill. A Vision of Britain through Time does not state whether Ventnor became an Urban District after this expansion or whether it became an Urban District in 1894.

The sheltered location on the cliff of the Island's south coast means the area experiences a microclimate with more sunny days than much of the British Isles, and fewer frosts. This has allowed many species of subtropical plant to be successfully planted and maintained. Ventnor Botanic Garden is particularly notable.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Ventnor from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"VENTNOR, a town and a parish on the S coast of the Isle of Wight. The town stands on the Undercliff, at the terminus of the Isle of Wight railway, near Boniface down, 1¼ mile WSW of Dunnose, and 9 SSE of Newport; was only a small fishing-hamlet so late as 1830; began then to draw attention as a fine sanitary retreat; grew to the bulk of a small town about 1842; underwent material improvements under an act of parliament obtained in 1844; acquired an esplanade in 1848, and water-works in 1857; enjoys a very salubrious climate and highly picturesque environs; presents, in itself, an ill arranged and medley appearance; possesses attractions for tourists and invalids so great as entirely to counter-balance the effects of its disadvantages; and has a head post-office, a [railway] station with telegraph, a banking office, five hotels, many good lodging-houses, excellent bathing appliances, two churches of 1837 and 1863, five dissenting-chapels, fine national schools, a literary and scientific institute, and a weekly market on Saturday. Population in 1861: 3,208. Houses: 514.
"The parish is conterminous with the town; was separated from Newchurch, by act of parliament, in 1864; and is ecclesiastically divided into St. Catherine and Trinity. The living of [St. Catherine] is a vicarage, and that of [Trinity] is a [perpetual] curacy, in the diocese of Winchester. Value of [St. Catherine]: not reported; of [Trinity]: £100. Patron of [St. Catherine]: D. Hambrough, Esq.; of [Trinity]: Mrs. Tuttieth and Mrs. Thompson."

Research Tips

Except for a very brief mention under Bonchurch, there is no reference to Ventnor in the Victoria County History of Hampshire.
  • Victoria County History of Hampshire has an outline map of the parishes of East Medina.
  • 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 Ventnor. 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.