The ancient 'Kynges Towne' of Brading is the main town of the civil parish[3] of the same name. The ecclesiastical parish of Brading used to cover about a tenth of the Isle of Wight. The civil parish now includes the town itself and Adgestone, Morton, Nunwell and other outlying areas between Ryde, St Helens, Bembridge, Sandown and Arreton. Alverstone was transferred to the Newchurch parish some thirty years ago.

The Bugle Inn

Brading High Street.
Brading is located in Isle of Wight
Location within the Isle of Wight
Area14.2621 km2 (5.5066 sq mi) [1]
Population2,034 (2011 Census including Adgestone)[2]
• Density143/km2 (370/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSZ607870
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townSANDOWN
Postcode districtPO36
Dialling code01983
FireIsle of Wight
AmbulanceIsle of Wight
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament


Early history

From early times, Brading ranked as an important Island port. The ancient name of Brerdynge, from which 'Brading' is derived, probably meant the people living by the ridge of the Downs, and dates from at least 683.

The Roman Villa south of the town,[4] and Roman relics discovered locally, indicate that this was an important seaport 2,000 years ago. Signs of prehistoric activity have also been found on Brading Down.

History records that St Wilfrid came to the island during the 680s, landed at Brading, preached there to the islanders, and began the conversion of the Island. Bede states that King Caedwalla of Wessex killed the pagan population "with merciless slaughter" and replaced them with his own Christian followers, dedicating a quarter of the Isle of Wight to Wilfrid and the Church. Wilfrid would thus have been literally preaching to the converted because everyone else was dead. This legend was illustrated by a tableau at the Waxworks.

Royal charter and governance

Brading was first granted a charter in 1280, unusually for the time directly from King Edward I, rather than the Lord of the Isle (who was its private owner). This led to it being known as the 'King's Town'.

The charter granted to Brading by Edward VI in 1548 refers to the previous charter granted by Edward I. This charter allowed the town to hold two annual fairs. Nowadays the fair is called Brading Day and is held over the first weekend in July.

Because of its status as a town, Brading has a mayor and an elected town council.

In medieval times the town was governed by the Steward, Bailiffs and 13 Jurats, and returned two MPs to the Westminster Parliament. Now the town is a part of the Isle of Wight parliamentary constituency.

The old port

Until the 16th century the port was active. Ships lay alongside at the quay behind the Bugle Inn in the High Street. Ships came into Brading Haven for shelter and for provisions, particularly water, which was of a high quality. The north-eastern part of the haven was closed off by an embankment completed in 1594, much of which is still present. Ships would then tie up at the far end of Quay Lane on the other side of the embankment.

Throughout the Middle Ages various attempts were made to drain off the rest of the harbour; for it had gradually become silted up and, except for the main channel of the river, was too shallow to be of any commercial use. Sir Hugh Myddleton, who had constructed the New River from Enfield to central London for James I, undertook this work; but the sea broke in and flooded the land once again. After others had also tried and failed, this reclamation was finally accomplished in 1881 by the building of a substantial embankment right across the harbour, with the building of the railway to Bembridge.

So Brading now shares with Winchelsea and Romney the distinction of being a seaport without any sea. Losing access to the sea caused Brading to decline in importance and prevented the sort of growth enjoyed by Cowes and Newport.

The Town Hall

Brading Old Town Hall
Brading Old Town Hall

A historic Old Town Hall stands near to the church. The New Town Hall dates from 1903. There is no record of the earliest Town Hall, but an entry in The Court Leet Book 1729 refers to the assessment of one shilling rate, and also a subscription towards building a new Town Hall, Market House and Prison. In 1730 an extra 3d was added to the rate for the Town Hall.

This new building remained until 1876 when it was restored to its present state, and then contained the Free Town Library. Before the building of the first school in 1823, the children were taught in the Town Hall, and it was also used for Mother's Meetings. The Town Trust now owns the building.

Brading was formerly the testing place for weights & measures for all of East Wight and these standards are still kept in the upper building together with the Town Charter.

The Bull Ring

Brading - The Bull Ring
The Statue adjacent to the Bull Ring.

Set in the ground outside the new Town Hall (1903), there is an iron bullring which was once used to secure a bull whilst it was being baited by dogs.[5] According to the diaries of Sir John Oglander, the Governor of the Isle of Wight would donate 5 guineas for the purchase of the bull to be baited; the meat was afterwards donated to the poor of the town. The Mayor attended this ceremony in full regalia and a dog, known as the Mayor's Dog, would be decked with coloured ribbons and set on the bull after the proclamation had been made. A large wooden carving of a bull decorates the Bullring. This is by local artist Paul Sivell. Another of his works is an approximately 10-foot wooden statue of the goddess Diana positioned in the woods above Brading at Kelly's Copse entitled "For Camilla". This commemorates a recent murder of a Danish exchange student by a sex attacker from Gosport. Many local people have added plastic flowers and stuffed toys as tribute.

The Town Gun

The town possesses a gun. It is a brass piece, made in 1549 by the Owine Brothers, John and Robert, so that the town might be defended from French invasion. The gun was never used in action, but was taken to the top of Brading Down in 1832 so that it could be fired to celebrate the passing of the Reform Bill. Unfortunately it exploded and split, putting a stop to celebrations for the day. In the 1950s, it was stolen from the "Gunne House" behind St. Mary's Church and was found in a sale room in Kent. It was returned, however, not to the town, but to the Oglanders at Nunwell House, where it remains beneath Fanny Oglander's bedroom window. The Town Trust has asked for it back, but Fanny Oglander has said that security arrangements should be improved and the matter remains unresolved.


Brading is part of the electoral ward called Brading, St. Helens and Bembridge. At the 2011 census the population of this ward was 6,935.[6]

Wildlife and landscape

Brading, IW, UK, from Culver Down
View of Brading from Culver Down, looking west, with Brading Down to the left of the picture behind the village

The southern half of the town is designated as an "Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty". There are two Sites of Important Nature Conservation close to Morton and another on the downs.

Brading Down is a viewpoint and downland beauty spot, with views over Culver Down and Sandown Bay. From the north side of the hill it is possible to look over the town towards the mainland. From further up visitors can see the Solent and the Spinnaker Tower at Portsmouth. This elevated site is also of archaeological importance, with prehistoric, Roman and mediaeval remains, as well as practice trenches from the First World War.

The RSPB Brading Marshes nature reserve is the first Royal Society for the Protection of Birds reserve on the Isle of Wight. Situated on the reclaimed land of the old harbour, behind the present-day Bembridge Harbour, it was bought in 2001 and is a mix of lagoons and ditches, reed beds and meadows, with a fringe of ancient woodland. The reserve is free and open to visitors all year round. Notable species include marsh harriers, red squirrels and cetti's warbler.


Brading is served by Brading railway station on the Island Line Railway with direct connection to the Wightlink ferry at Ryde Pier Head and stops at Ryde, Smallbrook, Sandown, Lake and Shanklin. The southern fringes of Brading are also on the Island's circular cycle route used for the annual "Bicycle Island Randonée".

The main A3055 road from Ryde to Sandown passes through the town.

The town is well-connected to the surrounding countryside by footpaths and bridleways. The Bembridge Trail passes through the town along Doctors Lane, Cross Street, High Street and Quay Lane (Wall Lane) then along the top of the embankment to St Urian's Copse. There are 71 other footpaths, by-ways and bridle paths in the civil parish area and organised parties of walkers may often be seen meeting at the station or the Bullring.

Southern Vectis run buses on route 3 from the town, serving Newport, Ryde, Sandown, Shanklin and Ventnor, and some other places. Night buses are run at weekends.[7]

Features of the town

St Mary's Church, Brading, Isle of Wight, UK
St Mary's Church
Brading Waxworks - closed
The former Brading Waxworks in August 2010.
Brading - the sundial c1910 - Project Gutenberg eText 17296
The Sundial, Brading, circa 1910
Little Jane's Cottage, Brading c1910 - Project Gutenberg eText 17296
Little Jane's Cottage, Brading, circa 1910 – alluded to by the Rev Legh Richmond

The main street of Brading contains most of the facilities expected of a large village, or in Brading's case, small town. There are four pubs; The Bugle Inn where the sea almost met the High Street when Brading Haven was a major port, the Wheatsheaf Inn which faces the Bull Ring, The Kynges Well (formerly the Dark Horse) which is on the High Street and one at nearby Yarbridge named the Yarbridge Inn (known for many years as the Anglers Inn) which is famous for its selection of real ales. St. Mary's Church, Brading is at the north end of the town and the Methodist chapel is near the centre. There is a small supermarket, a post office, a newsagent, several other specialist shops,a hairdresser's and a fish and chip shop. In addition to these facilities, there is Brading Primary School.

Brading has many attractions to tempt the visitor, quite apart from the natural beauty of the area. These include the Lilliput Doll and Toy Museum; The Roman Villa at Morton with its protective cover (new in 2004) and interpretation centre.

Another notable town attraction was the Brading Waxworks, a museum and waxworks exhibition housed in a Tudor pub (named the "Crown") built by Germaine Richardes who victualled the English fleet. The waxworks first opened in 1965, under the ownership of Graham Osborn-smith. It was renamed 'Brading: The Experience' by new owners in 2005, and further alterations in the same year saw the construction of a new section entitled 'World of Wheels', which displayed an array of vintage and unusual vehicles.[8] However, the attraction announced its closure in late 2009 as a result of falling visitor numbers and the increasing costs of running and maintaining the site.[9] It was closed for good on 3 January 2010, and most of the vast collection of taxidermy pieces, historical artefacts and vehicles was auctioned off in April 2010.[10] Two of the waxworks tableaux: Valentine Grey, the little sweep and "The Skivvy" are on display in the building which is now a visitor centre with shops and food outlets.

The railway station building, as well as remaining an operational railway station has been restored as a café, railway memorabilia shop and small rail museum. The non-operational signal box has been restored to the state it may have been in during the steam era. It is staffed by volunteers.[11]

Sport and leisure

Brading has a Non-League football club Brading Town F.C., which plays at The Peter Henry Ground.

Famous connections

One of the town's claims to fame is that the boards used in churches all over the world to display hymn numbers were invented here by the Rev Legh Richmond, who was curate-in-charge of Brading and Yaverland 1757 to 1805, and a famous writer of inspirational evangelist pamphlets at that time.

'Little' Jane Squibb A devout young Christian girl who attended the Reverend's weekly Sunday school at St Mary's Church, Brading. Her story is told in Rev Legh Richmond's Annals Of The Poor, under 'The Young Cottager'. She succumbed to the disease, Tuberculosis known in those days as Consumption, on January 30th 1799. Her death affected Rev Legh greatly. Her grave can be found in St Mary's Churchyard, Brading & her cottage in The Mall, Brading.

Brading, fictionalised as "Barling", is the central location of Maxwell Gray's 1899 novel The House of Hidden Treasure.

The Victorian diarist Francis Kilvert visited Brading on the day of John Oglander's funeral and recorded details of his visit to Brading in his diary.

Notable people

See also


  1. ^ Office of National Statistics: QS102EW - Population density retrieved 30 May 2017
  2. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  3. ^ English Parishes & Welsh Communities N&C 2004 Archived 9 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Brading Roman Villa picture, Isle of Wight pictures website
  5. ^ Picture of Brading Bull Ring, Isle of Wight pictures website
  6. ^ "Brading, St. Helens and Bembridge ward population 2011". Retrieved 18 October 2015.
  7. ^ "Southern Vectis route list". Southern Vectis. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  8. ^ "Brading The Experience of a Lifetime – Visiting Brading - Brading Town Council in Isle of Wight". Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Closure spells end of era for Island tourism". 8 January 2010. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  10. ^ Coles, John (14 April 2010). "Isle of Wight News: Island Pulse: Brading Experience Auction Nets £280,000". Island Pulse. Archived from the original on 24 March 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  11. ^ Review of Brading Station café and attraction, Matt and Cat's Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide 2012

External links


Adgestone is a small hamlet on the Isle of Wight. It is located close to Brading (where the 2011 Census was included) in the east of the island.

There is 10-acre (40,000 m2) vineyard in Adgestone which also is the site of a bed and breakfast. This is one of the oldest vineyards in the British Islands, having been started in 1968.

There is a campsite in Adgestone. The nearest public transport is bus route 3 on the main road through Brading.


Bembridge is a village and civil parish 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, leading to the implausible claim by some residents that Bembridge is the largest village in England. 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.

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).

Brading Marshes RSPB reserve

Brading Marshes nature reserve is the only Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) reserve on the Isle of Wight, England. Situated on the east coast of the Island, behind Bembridge Harbour, it was acquired in 2001 and is a mix of lagoons and ditches, reed beds and meadows, with a fringe of ancient woodland. This marsh is the site of a wetland restoration project by the RSPB.The land was reclaimed from the sea for agricultural use at the end of the 19th century. Today, grazing, haymaking and cutting rough vegetation encourage flowers and wetland birds.

In spring and summer, lapwing, heron, tufted duck and shelduck can be seen. Marsh harrier and peregrines can also be seen. During autumn and winter migrating wading birds pass through, joining ducks, geese and wading birds feeding in the pools. The reserve is also home to many insects, plants and other animals.

The reserve is open all year round and free to visit.

Brading Marshes to St. Helen's Ledges SSSI

Brading Marshes to St. Helen's Ledges is a 488.5 hectare Site of special scientific interest which stretches from Brading along the Yar valley between Bembridge and St Helens, Isle of Wight through to the sea at Priory Bay on the north east coast of the Isle of Wight. It encompasses the Brading Marshes RSPB reserve, Bembridge harbour and the inter tidal sand, mud flats and rocky ledges exposed off the coast at low water, including the land around St Helens Fort which is not attached to the mainland. It is the second largest SSSI on the Isle of Wight. The site was notified in 1951 for both its biological and geological features.

Brading Roman Villa

Brading Roman Villa was a Roman courtyard villa which has been excavated and put on public display in Brading on the Isle of Wight.

Brading Town F.C.

Brading Town Football Club is an English football club based in Brading, Isle of Wight. They are currently members of the Isle of Wight League Division One and play at the Peter Henry Ground.

Brading railway station

Brading railway station is a Grade II listed railway station serving Brading on the Isle of Wight. It is located on the Island Line from Ryde to Shanklin. Owing to its secluded location and single operational platform, it is one of the quietest stations on the Island.

Charles Brading

Charles Richard Brading (February 19, 1935 – September 30, 2016) was an American pharmacist and politician.

Born in Wapakoneta, Ohio, Brading graduated from Ohio Northern University with a degree in pharmacy. He owned Rhine and Brading Pharmacy in Wapakoneta. He served on the Wapakoneta City Council and was president of the city council. Then, he served as mayor of Wapakoneta from 1988 to 1991. Brading served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000 and was a Republican. His district consisted of an area circled around Findlay, Ohio. He was succeeded by Mike Gilb.

David Brading

David Anthony Brading Litt.D, FRHistS, FBA (born 26 August 1936), is a British historian and Professor Emeritus

of Mexican History at the University of Cambridge, where he is an Emeritus Fellow of Clare Hall and a Honorary Fellow of Pembroke College. His work has been recognized with several awards,including the Bolton Prize in 1972

the Order of the Aztec Eagle in 2002 from the Mexican government . and the Medal of Congress from the Peruvian government in 2011. Brading has received honorary degrees from several universities, including Universidad del Pacifico, Universidad de Lima and the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de HidalgoHe is regarded as one of the foremost historians of Latin America in the United Kingdom. and was the most widely cited British Latin Americanist.

Eastern Yar

The River Yar on the Isle of Wight, England, rises in a chalk coomb in St. Catherine's Down near Niton, close to the southern tip of the island. It flows across the Lower Cretaceous rocks of the eastern side of the island, through the gap in the central Upper Cretaceous chalk ridge of the Island at Yarbridge, then across the now drained Brading Haven to Bembridge Harbour in the north east.

For most of its course, the river passes through rural areas. At Alverstone, a small weir uses water from the river to power a water mill.

The Yar is one of two rivers on the Isle of Wight with the same name. It is referred to as the Eastern Yar if it is necessary to distinguish between them.

Isle of Wight Railway

The Isle of Wight Railway was a railway company on the Isle of Wight, United Kingdom; it operated 14 miles of railway line between Ryde and Ventnor. It opened the first section of line from Ryde to Sandown in 1864, later extending to Ventnor in 1866. The Ryde station was at St Johns Road, some distance from the pier where the majority of travellers arrived. A tramway operated on the pier itself, and a street-running tramway later operated from the Pier to St Johns Road. It was not until 1880 that two mainland railways companies jointly extended the railway line to the Pier Head, and IoWR trains ran through, improving the journey arrangements.

An independent company built a branch line from Brading to Bembridge, and the IoWR operated passenger trains on the line from 1882, and later absorbed the owning company.

The IoWR was itself absorbed into the Southern Railway in the "grouping" of 1923.

The Bembridge branch closed in 1953, and in 1966 the Ryde Pier Head to Ventnor line was truncated to terminate at Shanklin. This was electrified, and former London Underground tube train stock was brought into use on the line; this arrangement continues to the present day.

List of places on the Isle of Wight

This is a list of towns and villages in the county of Isle of Wight, England.

Morton, Isle of Wight

Morton is the area of Brading to the south where Morton Marshes and the River Yar separate Brading from the extension of housing estates from the larger town of Sandown. It is distinguished by the hawthorn hedges which bloom with white flowers and are said to signify an unseasonal cold spell, termed a "Blackthorn Winter" in local weather lore.


Newday is an annual Christian youth festival organised by the Newfrontiers family of churches. Established since August 2004, the event is aimed at young people between the ages of 12 to 19, either Christian or non-Christian.

Ralph Brading

Ralph Brading (born 31 January 1934) was an Australian politician and member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly from 1981 until 1984. He was a member of the Labor Party (ALP).

Brading was born in Albury, New South Wales and graduated from the University of Sydney as an architect. He joined the ALP in 1971 and was elected to the New South Wales Parliament for the newly restored seat of Camden at the 1981 state election. This was a landslide win for the Wran Labor Government. He was defeated at the subsequent election in 1984 by a future premier, John Fahey. He did not hold ministerial or party office.

Sanna Bråding

Sanna Bråding (born 5 March 1980, in Saltsjö-Boo, Nacka, Stockholm County) is a Swedish actress. Her first appearance was in the soap opera Tre kronor during the 1990s. In 2004, she starred in the film A Hole in My Heart. In 2006, she became a presenter for Idol 2006, the Swedish version of Pop Idol.

On 27 June 2008, Bråding was sentenced to three months in jail with parole supervision following the jail sentence. She was found guilty on three drug charges by Södertörn District Court. Three other people were also sentenced, among them, her boyfriend who received one year and eight months in jail. On appeal, the sentence was reduced to one month.

Simon Moore (footballer)

Simon William Moore (born 19 May 1990) is an English professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Sheffield United. He has also represented Isle of Wight.

St Mary's Church, Brading

St Mary's Church, Brading is a parish church in the Church of England located in Brading, Isle of Wight.


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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