List of hills of the Isle of Wight

This is a list of hills on the Isle of Wight. Many of these hills are important historical, archaeological and nature conservation sites, as well as popular hiking and tourist destinations on the Isle of Wight in southern England.

Colour key

Class Prominence
Marilyns 150 – 599 m
HuMPs 100 – 149 m
TuMPs 30 – 99 m
Unclassified 0 – 29 m

The table is colour-coded based on the classification or "listing" of the hill. The types that occur on the Isle of Wight are Marilyns, HuMPs and TuMPs, listings based on topographical prominence. "Prominence" correlates strongly with the subjective significance of a summit. Peaks with low prominences are either subsidiary tops of a higher summit or relatively insignificant independent summits. Peaks with high prominences tend to be the highest points around and likely to have extraordinary views. A Marilyn is a hill with a prominence of at least 150 metres or about 500 feet.[1] A "HuMP" (the acronym comes from "Hundred Metre Prominence) is a hill with a prominence of at least 100 but less than 150 metres.[2] In this table Marilyns are in beige and HuMPs in lilac. A "TuMP" as defined here is a hill with a prominence of at least 30 but less than 100 metres. The term "sub-Marilyn" or "sub-HuMP" is used, e.g. in the online Database of British and Irish Hills to indicate hills that fall just below the threshold. To qualify for inclusion, hills must either be 100 metres or higher with a prominence of at least 30 metres, below 100 metres they must be in some way notable. For further information see the Lists of mountains and hills in the British Isles and the individual articles on Marilyns, HuMPs, and TuMPs. In this context, "TuMP" is used to connote a hill with a prominence of at least 30 but less than 100 metres. By way of contrast, see also the article listing Tumps (a traditional term meaning a hillock, mound, barrow or tumulus).

List of hills

Hill Height (m) Prom. (m) Grid ref. Class Parent Range/Region Remarks Image
St Boniface Down[3] 241 241 SZ568785 Marilyn, HuMP, TuMP, Isle of Wight county top (historical and current) Southwest of the island. Isle of Wight county top.

Above steep cliffs dropping down to coastal village of Bonchurch

St. Boniface Down, trig point and military remnants - - 679265
St Catherine's Hill[3] 239 127 SZ493772 HuMP, TuMP St Boniface Down Southern tip of the island. Isle of Wight's second highest hill.

Tumulus 35 metres south of trig point.

Trig Point on St Catherine's Hill - - 75851
Appuldurcombe Down[3] 226 91 SZ536796 TuMP, sub-HuMP St Boniface Down Southwest of the island. Very flat summit area. Froghill Farm - - 508680
Brighstone Down[3] 214 150 SZ432847 Marilyn, HuMP, TuMP St Boniface Down West of the island. Trig point at summit. Barn near Mottistone - - 1412924
Harboro[3] 203 78 SZ406847 TuMP Brighstone Down West of the island. Tumulus at summit. Mottistone Down - - 72216
Chillerton Down[3] 167 61 SZ475834 TuMP Brighstone Down West of the island. Summit 2m from trig point which is in a depression. On Chillerton Down - - 499953
Brook Down[3] 164 69 SZ390852 TuMP Brighstone Down West of the island. Barrows and tumulus near summit. On Brook Down - - 606428
Whitwell Hill[3] 158 45 SZ520766 (est.) TuMP St Boniface Down South of the island. Open downland above the coast.
Chillerton Down South Top[3] 148 35 SZ475826 HuMP, TuMP, sub-Marilyn Brighstone Down West of the island. No summit feature; 20 metres ENE of Tennyson's Monument.
Tennyson Down[3] 147 145 SZ475826 HuMP, TuMP, sub-Marilyn Brighstone Down Southwest of the island. No summit feature; ground on fenceline. Tennyson Down 3
West High Down[3] 141 30 SZ306849 TuMP Brighstone Down Western tip of the island. Summit 1 metre E of marker stone. West High Down
Grammar's Common[3] 137 35 SZ415837 (est.) TuMP Brighstone Down Southwest of the island. Wooded summit.
Arreton Down[3] 135 108 SZ526840 HuMP, TuMP Brighstone Down East of centre of the island. Trig point at summit. View towards Arreton Down - - 1453935
Berry Hill[3] 134 35 SZ484827 TuMP Brighstone Down Southwest centre of the island. No summit feature; ground on fenceline.
Brading Down[3] 131 58 SZ585869 TuMP St Boniface Down East of the island. Obvious grassy summit. In the vicinity are the site of a Roman villa, field systems, a vineyard, the Devil's Punch Bowl and Nunwell House Brading Down viewpoint car park 2
Ashey Down[3] 130 32 SZ574875 TuMP St Boniface Down East of the island. Open summit on south side of obelisk (sea mark. Nearby tumuli. The Sea Mark on Ashey Down - - 1054147
Headon Hill[3] 120 34 SZ312858 TuMP Brighstone Down Western tip of the island. Open summit above steep hillside overlooking Totland Bay. Totland Bay - - 146436
Bembridge Down[3] 104 101 SZ625860 HuMP, TuMP St Boniface Down Eastern coast of the island. Bembridge Fort at summit. Nearby road and car park. Overlooking Sandown Bay. Bembridge Down - - 1047521
Golden Hill[3] 52 34 SZ339878 TuMP Brighstone Down Western end of the island. Golden Hill Fort at the summit, which is on circular bank around former fortress. Golden Hill Fort

See also

References and footnotes

  1. ^ Dawson, Alan (1992). The Relative Hills of Britain. Milnthorpe: Cicerone Press. ISBN 1-85284-068-4. Archived from the original on 2010-09-21.
  2. ^ Jackson, Mark (2009). More Relative Hills of Britain, Marilyn News Centre, UK.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Name, height, prominence, grid and class data from Database of British and Irish Hills at, retrieved 27 Dec 2016. Also parent data unless otherwise stated.
Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight (; also referred to informally as The Island or abbreviated to IoW) is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between 2 and 5 miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The island has resorts that have been holiday destinations since Victorian times, and is known for its mild climate, coastal scenery, and verdant landscape of fields, downland and chines. The island is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

The island has been home to the poets Swinburne and Tennyson and to Queen Victoria, who built her much-loved summer residence and final home Osborne House at East Cowes. It has a maritime and industrial tradition including boat-building, sail-making, the manufacture of flying boats, the hovercraft, and Britain's space rockets. The island hosts annual music festivals including the Isle of Wight Festival, which in 1970 was the largest rock music event ever held. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe.

The isle was owned by a Norman family until 1293 and was earlier a kingdom in its own right. In common with the Crown dependencies, the British Crown was then represented on the island by the Governor of the Isle of Wight until 1995. The island has played an important part in the defence of the ports of Southampton and Portsmouth, and been near the front-line of conflicts through the ages, including the Spanish Armada and the Battle of Britain. Rural for most of its history, its Victorian fashionability and the growing affordability of holidays led to significant urban development during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Historically part of Hampshire, the island became a separate administrative county in 1890. It continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. Apart from a shared police force, there is now no administrative link with Hampshire, although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed.The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea; three vehicle ferry and two catamaran services cross the Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth.

St. Catherine's Down

St. Catherine's Down is a chalk down on the Isle of Wight, located near St Catherine's Point, the southernmost point on the island. The Down rises to 240 metres at its highest point, between the towns of Niton and Chale.

Upon the hill is St. Catherine's Oratory (known locally as the pepperpot"), which is a stone lighthouse built in the 14th century by Walter De Godeton. It is the second oldest, and only surviving medieval, lighthouse in the British Islands: only the Roman lighthouse at Dover is older.

Reportedly, de Godeton was found guilty for having plundered wine that belonged to the Church from the shipwreck of the St. Marie of Bayonne in Chale Bay. He was ordered to make amends, under threat of excommunication, by building and maintaining the lighthouse. It was completed after his death, and manned by a priest; fires were lit in the tower to warn ships of the coast. There was originally a chapel attached, since demolished.

There is a Bronze Age barrow near the Oratory, which was excavated in the 1920s.

A replacement lighthouse was begun in 1785, but was never completed, because the Down is prone to dense fog. Locally the surviving foundations are known as the "salt cellar".

A new lighthouse was built after the wreck of the Clarendon in 1837 to the west of Niton at the foot of the Undercliff.

The northern end of St. Catherine's Down carries the Hoy Monument. This was created by Michael Hoy in 1814 to commemorate the visit of the Russian Tsar to Great Britain, hence its informal alternative name the "Russian Monument". There is an 1857 plaque at the base that commemorates soldiers killed in the Crimean War. The Hoy Monument was repaired in 1992 at a cost of £85,000, which was donated.

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