Bembridge is a village and civil parish[3] located on the easternmost point of the Isle of Wight. It had a population of 3,848 according to the 2001 census of the United Kingdom,[4] leading to the implausible claim by some residents that Bembridge is the largest village in England.[5] Bembridge is home to many of the Island's wealthiest residents. The population had reduced to 3,688 at the 2011 Census.

Bembridge sits at the extreme eastern point of the Isle of Wight. Prior to land reclamation the area of Bembridge and Yaverland was almost an island unto itself, separated from the remainder of the Isle of Wight by Brading Haven. On the Joan Blaeu map of 1665, Bembridge is shown as Binbridge Iſle, nearly separated from the rest of Wight by River Yar.[6]

Vectis Insula by Blaeu
1665 map of Vectis Insula

Prior to the Victorian era Bembridge was a collection of wooden huts and farmhouses, which only consolidated into a true village with the building of the church in 1827 (later rebuilt in 1846).

Bembridge Lifeboat Station 2011

Bembridge Lifeboat Station
Bembridge is located in Isle of Wight
Location within the Isle of Wight
Area9.1278 km2 (3.5243 sq mi) [1]
Population3,688 (2011 Census including Culver Down and Hillway)[2]
• Density404/km2 (1,050/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSZ643882
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtPO35
Dialling code01983
FireIsle of Wight
AmbulanceIsle of Wight
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament
Ryde and Bembridge, Isle of Wight, England, 17 September 2005
Aerial view of Ryde and Bembridge
Bembridge, IW, UK
Bembridge village centre, with the war memorial in the foreground


Bembridge Harbour, IW, UK
Bembridge Harbour

The historical heart of the village is located close to the church in the north of the village, consisting of a number of shops, pubs and restaurants, along with the Village Hall and site of the former Parish Council hall. Bembridge Library serves the community and there is a local museum in the same location.

Bembridge is a local service centre, hosting Bembridge C of E Primary School (see Education on the Isle of Wight for more information on the use of this term), a post office, several shops located in two main areas, and Methodist, Anglican and Catholic churches. It is also the location of a local fire station, (crewed by a team of retained firemen), and a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat station.[7]

Bembridge Airport is a local airport with a concrete runway, and is located close to the Windmill to the south-west of the village proper heading towards Yaverland.

The Lane End district is located in the east of the village. It is largely composed of modern bungalows and a small shopping area which includes a Co-Op store. The lane comes to an end at the beach, where Bembridge Lifeboat station and the Bembridge Coast Hotel are situated. The bungalows are built on the site of a cottage where Cecily Cardew lived, after whom an Oscar Wilde character was named. Further inland from Lane End is Bembridge C of E Primary School, along with the local community centre, which are connected by a large recreational playing field.

The Royal Isle of Wight Golf Club (now defunct) was located at St Helens Duver, across the harbour from Bembridge. The club was formed in 1882 and closed in the 1960s.[8]

The war memorial was designed by local architect, Percy Stone (1856–1934).[9]

Lifeboat station

Seawall in Bembridge.

The RNLI station is particularly significant, as it extends into the sea to the east of the village. Here lies the notorious "Bembridge Ledge", a large, rocky outcrop which poses a major threat to passing boats.[10] Although it is private sailing yachts which are most at risk, a wide variety of boats commonly run aground here, especially in the often stormy weather conditions which affect the Solent during winter months. A former Bembridge lifeboat, the RNLB Jesse Lumb (ON 822), is part of the National Historic Fleet, and exhibited at Imperial War Museum Duxford.[11]

The current offshore boathouse was completed in Autumn 2010 by BAM Nuttall and Ecochoice and houses a new Tamar class boat, the 'Alfred Albert Williams'.[12] A complete new concrete walkway was built, and the new station is made completely of naturally durable timber. The Inshore lifeboat station was rebuilt in 2014, and the interior of the offshore boathouse is accessible to visitors during set days when the station isn't on alert. The original Victorian boathouse also survives, and is currently used as the station's shop.

Coastguard lookout

Close to the lifeboat station lies a coastguard lookout. Positioned at a high elevation, this offers views of the Solent meeting the English Channel to the east of the Isle of Wight. From this vantage point one is able to view a variety of watercraft year round, although there is more marine traffic in the summer.

Bembridge Windmill

Windmill (1)
Bembridge Windmill

Bembridge Windmill, the only remaining windmill on the Isle of Wight, is located to the west of the village. Dating from around 1700, it is a National Trust property generally open from April to October.[13]


Bembridge is currently represented on the Isle of Wight Council by the two members of the ward of Bembridge, St. Helens and Brading.

Bembridge is governed by a Parish council of 12 members. For parish council elections the village is divided into two wards, the North and South, each electing six members to the body. The parish council has succeeded in obtaining Lottery funding for improvements to the village recently, including a play-park in Steyne Park. It is also one of the few Parish Councils that has a village centre office open 5 days a week.


  • Bembridge is twinned with Plédran, Brittany, France but in name only as the federation has lapsed through non-use.

Public transportation

Public transport to Newport, Ryde and Sandown is provided by Southern Vectis bus route 8.[14]

Bembridge railway station, which was located in the north-west of the village close to the harbour served the village, with services to Brading, until 1953. The station became derelict and was demolished around 1970.


Bembridge is served by the Holy Trinity Church, built in the 1840s as a replacement for an 1827 chuch that had become unstable. St Luke's Mission Church opened as a chapel of ease to Holy Trinity Church in 1887, while there is also Bembridge Methodist Church and the Roman Catholic St Michael's Church.

Bembridge Boarding Campus

Bembridge Boarding Campus, formerly Bembridge School, is now owned by Ryde School with Upper Chine, whose lessees run Kingswood Centre. Kingswood Centre operates Kingswood during term-time and Camp Beaumont during school holidays. However it is closed for a few weeks in the winter.

Ryde School with Upper Chine have their Boarders boarding at Bembridge Boarding Campus.

New House Bembridge School is a Grade II Listed Building.

Bembridge School Chapel is a Grade IIGV Listed Building with Edward Woore stained glass to beautify it.


  1. ^ Office of National Statistics: QS102EW - Population density retrieved 30 May 2017
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  3. ^ "English Parishes and Welsh communities N&C 2004". 2004. Archived from the original on 9 January 2007. Retrieved 3 May 2007.
  4. ^ "Local area population and ethnicity – Bembridge on the Isle of Wight". Archived from the original on 12 August 2007. Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  5. ^ "Places to stay on the Isle of Wight – Bembridge". Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  6. ^ Blaeu, Joan (1665). Map of Vectis.
  7. ^ "Wightindex – Bembridge Village Guide". Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  8. ^ “Royal Isle of Wight Golf Club”, "Golf's Missing Links".
  9. ^ "Bembridge War Memorial". Memorials & Monuments on the Isle of Wight. 24 July 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  10. ^ "Geograph British Isles – Bembridge Ledge". Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  11. ^ "National Register of Historic Vessels: Jesse Lumb". National Historic Ships. 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
  12. ^ "HRH Princess Anne opens new lifeboat station". 16 August 2011. Archived from the original on 21 March 2012. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
  13. ^ "National Trust – Bembridge Windmill". Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Retrieved 29 September 2008.
  14. ^ "Southern Vectis bus routes". Southern Vectis. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2009.

External links

Bembridge Airport

Bembridge Airport (IATA: BBP, ICAO: EGHJ) is an unlicensed aerodrome located about a mile south-west of the village of Bembridge, Isle of Wight, England. It is one of two small airstrips on the Isle of Wight, the other being Sandown Airport about four miles to the south-west.

Bembridge Aerodrome no longer has a CAA Ordinary Licence (Number P854) that allows flights for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction as authorised by the licensee (Bembridge Airport Limited).Bembridge Airport is now open to non residents PPR (prior permission required).Gliding no longer takes place from Bembridge .

Bembridge Down

Bembridge Down is a 56.3 hectare Site of special scientific interest which is north-east of Sandown. The site was notified in 1951 for both its biological and geological features.

Bembridge Fort

Bembridge Fort (map reference SZ624861) is a fort built on the highest point of Bembridge Down close to the village of Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. It is one of the many Palmerston Forts built around Portsmouth during the period of the Second French Empire, as a safeguard against a perceived threat of French invasion by Napoleon III.

The hexagonally shaped fort was the main stronghold for the South East coastline of the Isle of Wight and was designed as a final retreat if the island was to be invaded. Due to its location with a view over both Sandown Bay and the Eastern Solent it acted as the command and control centre for the Western batteries on the Isle of Wight (Redcliff Battery, Yaverland Battery, Sandown Fort and Sandown Barrack Battery). The fort had barrack accommodation for 4 officers and 106 men with an original armament of six RBL 7 inch Armstrong guns mounted on the parapet side.

Bembridge School

Bembridge School was an independent school in Bembridge on the Isle of Wight founded in 1919 by social reformer and Liberal MP John Howard Whitehouse. Set in over 100 acres (0.40 km2) on the easternmost tip of the Isle of Wight Bembridge was a public school intended to challenge the traditional concept of education. Many of the radical ideas first employed by Whitehouse, such as teaching of woodwork, American history and modern languages, were not to become mainstream for half a century.From 5 boys sited in what is now known as Old House the school rapidly grew, New House and the Ruskin Galleries and the chapel being built in the 1930s as well as the refectory and library and teaching blocks. By the end of Whitehouse's life there were 264 boys and the school continued to grow and to flourish.

During the Second World War the site was used as a military base by the Army and the school moved to The Waterhead Hotel in Coniston, close to Brantwood, the former home of John Ruskin and owned by the school. The school returned to Bembridge in 1945.

The school was noted for its collection of art, books and memorabilia relating to John Ruskin, the largest of its kind. This included many notable manuscripts and the school was founded on the teachings of Ruskin. This collection is now housed in the Ruskin Library at the University of Lancaster.

The school continued to grow and thrive into the 1990s, over the decades building and acquiring many new buildings including Kilgerran House, the music block, squash courts, the Stedman Sports Hall and additions to the preparatory school and the formation of a popular pre-prep. Bembridge School greatly considered the importance of sports in its students' lives and the grounds contained three cricket pitches including the centre pitch, the largest and perhaps the best fast-bowling wicket in the county, a nine-hole golf course, two football/rugby pitches, tennis courts and a hockey pitch. Pupils also had the opportunity to go swimming in the sea, shooting and climb the cliffs at Whitecliff Bay.

Shortly after celebrating the school's 75th anniversary the Education Trust, a hereditary committee with few links to the school, announced their intention to dispose of the school, whilst retaining possession of the valuable Ruskin collection.

Bembridge School And Cliffs SSSI

Bembridge School And Cliffs SSSI (grid reference ST647869) is a 12.58 hectare geological Site of Special Scientific Interest near Bembridge on the Isle of Wight, notified in 1999.

It is listed in the Geological Conservation Review.

This site consists of the coastral strip in the northern part of Whitecliff Bay. Steyne Wood Clays containing fossils from the Quaternary period are found at the site.

Bembridge Windmill

Knowle Mill, better known today as Bembridge Windmill, is a Grade I listed, preserved tower mill at Bembridge, Isle of Wight, England.

Bembridge railway station

Bembridge was the terminus of the 2¾ mile branch line that connected it to the main line at Brading. On holiday Saturdays the sector table revolved continuously because the station area was too small to contain points. Opened in 1882, when the area contained the Island's main port, it ran with ever-dwindling passengers until 1953. The station is long since demolished and a new development (Harbour Strand) in place.

Bouldnor Formation

The Bouldnor Formation is a geological formation in the Hampshire Basin of southern England. It is the youngest formation of the Solent Group and was deposited during the uppermost Eocene and lower Oligocene.

Foreland, Isle of Wight

Foreland or Forelands, and the adjacent Foreland Fields (50°40′57″N 1°04′36″W), is the easternmost point of the Isle of Wight, part of the village of Bembridge. It is located about 6.5 miles due south of the city of Portsmouth on the British mainland, separated by the eastern reaches of the Solent. It is characterised by a pub called the Crab and Lobster Inn and various beach huts plus a beach cafe and a coast guard lookout. In the sea are the reefs of Bembridge Ledge which is rich in edible crabs, lobsters and spider crabs and shoals of mackerel. In the Crab & Lobster Inn are photographs of the many shipwrecks, which included the submarine HMS Alliance, now a museum ship at Gosport and the First World War troopship the S.S. Mehndi carrying troops from South Africa, with great loss of life.Foreland Fields includes Bembridge ledge, an area formerly popular with shipwrecks and smuggling, but also for crab and lobster fishing; there is a Coastguard Station. The channel through the interior of the Bembridge Ledges is known as "Dickie Dawes Gut" after a notorious local smuggler (and father of the courtesan Sophie Dawes) due to his feat of escaping the excise men by superior local navigational knowledge. There was a pillbox built in the Second World War, now subsumed in the sea defences. The beach is sandy with stones which contain Cretaceous fossils. The cliffs also feature Horsetails ferns.


Hillway is a settlement on the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England.

The hamlet lies near to the south-east coast of the island, and is located near to the larger settlement of Bembridge (where the 2011 Census population is included). Hillway is the location of the Britten-Norman aircraft factory and Bembridge Airport, and is approximately 8.5 miles (13.7 km) south-east of Newport.

Isle of Wight Coastal Path

The Isle of Wight Coastal Path (or Coastal Footpath) is a circular long-distance footpath of 70 miles (113 km) around the Isle of Wight, UK. It follows public footpaths and minor lanes, with some sections along roads.

Kenya Open

The Magical Kenya Open is a golf tournament in Kenya founded in 1967. In 2019, the Kenya Open became a European Tour event and was played at Karen Country Club in mid-March the week of the 2019 Players Championship on the PGA Tour. It has been held at Muthaiga Golf Club near Nairobi every year except 1968, 2004–2008, 2013–2016 and 2019, when the tournament was held at Karen Country Club. The event was on the European-based Challenge Tour schedule from 1991 to 2018, with the exception of the 1994 event.

The title has been won by some of Europe's Ryder Cup golfers, including Seve Ballesteros, Ian Woosnam, Ken Brown, Edoardo Molinari and Christy O'Connor Jnr, as well as future Masters champion Trevor Immelman. The most successful player is England's Maurice Bembridge, who recorded three victories between 1968 and 1979.

Marcus Patric

Marcus Patrick (born 17 August 1979 in Gosport, Hampshire) is an English actor.

Maurice Bembridge

Maurice Bembridge (born 21 February 1945) is an English golfer.

Bembridge turned professional at an early age in 1960 and won the Llandudno Assistant Professionals' Tournament in 1966 and the PGA Assistants’ Championship in 1967 In 1968 he finished 5th in the Open Championship, four shots behind Gary Player and the leading British golfer. His first important win was in the 1969 Sumrie Better-Ball, which he and Ángel Gallardo won by a shot from Hedley Muscroft and Lionel Platts. Later in 1969 he won his first big solo tournament, the News of the World Match Play, where he beat 56-year-old Dai Rees 6&5 in the 18-hole final. This victory earned him an invitation to play in the 1969 Piccadilly World Match Play Championship, where he lost 6&5 to Bob Charles. In 1971 he had his first important stroke-play victory, taking the Dunlop Masters, two strokes ahead of Peter Oosterhuis. He later won six tournaments on the European Tour between 1973 and 1979 and he also won several tournaments in Africa and one in New Zealand. His best finish on the European Tour Order of Merit was second in 1973 when it was points-based (he finished eighth on the money list).

At the 1974 Masters Tournament, Bembridge tied the course record with a 64 in the final round, lifting him into a tie for 9th place.

After turning fifty he played on the European Seniors Tour, winning twice at that level, in 1996 and 1998.

Bembridge played in the Ryder Cup four times, winning five matches, losing eight and halving three. He also represented England in the World Cup twice.

Nettlestone and Seaview

Nettlestone and Seaview is a civil parish and electoral ward on the Isle of Wight. It contains the villages of Nettlestone and Seaview.

Public Transport is provided by Southern Vectis bus route 8, which operates between Ryde, and Newport via Bembridge and Sandown.

PO postcode area

The PO postcode area, also known as the Portsmouth postcode area, is a group of 34 postcode districts in southern England, which are subdivisions of 24 post towns. These postcode districts cover southeast Hampshire (including Portsmouth, Southsea, Havant, Waterlooville, Lee-on-the-Solent, Gosport, Fareham, Rowland's Castle, Emsworth and Hayling Island) southwestern West Sussex (including Chichester and Bognor Regis) and the Isle of Wight (including Newport, Cowes, East Cowes, Ryde, Yarmouth, Shanklin, Ventnor, Seaview, Bembridge, Totland Bay, Sandown and Freshwater).

RNLB Jesse Lumb (ON 822)

RNLB Jesse Lumb (ON 822) is a historic lifeboat. Built by J. Samuel White in 1939, Jesse Lumb served as the lifeboat at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight from 1939 to 1970, becoming the last of her type in service. Since 1980 she has been preserved at Imperial War Museum Duxford. In August 1999 she was inscribed on the National Register of Historic Vessels, becoming part of the National Historic Fleet.

Whitecliff Bay and Bembridge Ledges SSSI

Whitecliff Bay And Bembridge Ledges is a 131.6 hectare Site of special scientific interest which lies around the coastline of the easternmost part of the Isle of Wight from Bembridge harbour entrance, in the north, around Foreland and stretching to Whitecliff Bay to the south. The site was notified in 1955 for both its biological and geological features.


Yarbridge is a hamlet on the Isle of Wight. It is at the southern tip of the parish of Brading (where the 2011 census population was listed). It has a popular pub restaurant called the Yarbridge Inn (formerly the Anglers Inn). There is also a small hotel with a swimming pool, Oaklands House.

The bridge over the River Yar, defended by a Second World War pillbox, was constructed in the Middle Ages by Sir Theobald Russell who was killed fighting a French invasion, dying of his wounds at Knighton Gorges. Until the bridge's construction, Bembridge had been an island accessible only at low tide. The bridge also crosses the railway and is bordered by an RSPB reserve on Brading Marshes.

Brading Roman Villa and Morton Manor are close by.

Unitary authorities
Major settlements
Settlements on the Isle of Wight
Civil parishes
Other villages
and hamlets
See also


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