Newport, Isle of Wight

Newport is the county town of the Isle of Wight, an island off the south coast of England. The town is in the civil parish of Newport and Carisbrooke.[2][3] The civil parish had a population of 23,957 at the time of the 2001 census, which rose to 25,496 at the 2011 census.[4] The town lies slightly to the north of the centre of the Island. It has a quay at the head of the navigable section of the River Medina, which flows northward to Cowes and the Solent.

St Thomas' Square, Newport, Isle of Wight, UK

St Thomas' Church, set within St Thomas's Square
Newport is located in Isle of Wight
Location within the Isle of Wight
Area54.4439 km2 (21.0209 sq mi) [1]
Population25,496 (2011)
• Density468/km2 (1,210/sq mi)
OS grid referenceSZ502893
• London90.26 miles
Civil parish
  • Newport and Carisbrooke
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townNEWPORT
Postcode districtPO30
Dialling code01983
FireIsle of Wight
AmbulanceIsle of Wight
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament


Newport High Street c1910 - Project Gutenberg eText 17296
Newport High Street, circa 1910
Shopping Centre development in Newport
New Redevelopment of the old bus station.

Mousterian remains, featuring tools made by Neanderthals at least 40,000 years ago, were found at Great Pan Farm in the 1970s.[5]

There are signs of Roman settlement in the area, which was probably known as Medina, including two known Roman villas, one of which, Newport Roman Villa, has been excavated and is open to the public.[6]

Information about the area resumes after the Norman Conquest. The first charter was granted in the late 12th century. In 1377 an invading French force burnt down much of the town while attempting to take Carisbrooke Castle, then under the command of Sir Hugh Tyrill. A group of Frenchmen were captured and killed, then buried in a tumulus later nicknamed Noddies Hill, a "noddy" being medieval slang for a body. This was later corrupted to Nodehill, the present-day name for a part of central Newport – a name confusing to many as the area is flat.[7]

In 1648 Charles I and a group of Parliamentary Commissioners concluded the Treaty of Newport, an attempt at reaching a compromise in the Civil War, undermined by Charles's negotiations with the French and Scots to intervene on his behalf. The Treaty was repudiated by Oliver Cromwell upon returning from defeating the Scots at the Battle of Preston. This led to Charles's execution.

The town had been incorporated as a borough in 1608. The town's position as an area of trade accessible to the sea meant it rapidly took over from nearby Carisbrooke as the main central settlement, eventually absorbing the latter as a suburb. The borough ceased to exist in 1974 when it was incorporated into the larger Borough of Medina, which was itself superseded in 1995 by a single unitary authority covering the whole of the Isle of Wight.

The Drill hall in Newport opened as the headquarters of the Isle of Wight Rifle Volunteers in 1860.[8]

Newport since the 1960s has acquired new shopping facilities, a pedestrianised central square, and through road traffic redirected off many of the narrow streets. Newport Quay has been redeveloped with art galleries such as the Quay Arts Centre and new flats converted from old warehouses.

The Queen Victoria Memorial was designed by local architect Percy Stone (1856–1934).[9]


Newport map
A map showing Newport.
Newport-cowes wb
An aerial photograph, showing Newport (bottom left).

Geographically located in the centre of the Island at 50.701°N, 1.2883°W, Newport is the principal town in the Isle of Wight, to which there are transport connections from all the island's major towns. It is the island's main shopping centre and location for public services. The main A3020 and A3054 roads converge as Medina Way between the busy roundabouts at Coppins Bridge and St Mary's Hospital.

Newport railway station was the hub of the Island's rail network until the mid-20th century, but it closed in 1966 and the site is now occupied by the A3020 Medina Way dual carriageway.

The nearest city to the town is Portsmouth, about 13 miles (21 km) north-east on Portsea Island, adjoining the mainland. More locally, Ryde, the island's largest town, is to the north-east; Sandown and Shanklin are to the east, and Cowes to the north.

The River Medina runs through Newport. North of its confluence with the Lukely Brook at the town's quay it becomes a navigable tidal estuary.

Distance from surrounding settlements


The town's suburb of Parkhurst is home to two prisons: the notorious Parkhurst Prison and Albany; together they make up HMP Isle of Wight, the largest prison in the UK. Parkhurst and Albany were once among the few top-security prisons in the United Kingdom. Camp Hill was another prison in the area, but closed in 2013.


Newport, Isle of Wight, UK
View of Newport from Mount Joy, looking north with the Medina estuary in the distance.

Seaclose Park in Newport, on the east bank of the River Medina, has since 2002 been the location for the revived Isle of Wight Music Festival, held once a year.

Newport is home to the Postal Museum, possibly the largest private collection of vintage postal equipment and post boxes in the world.[10][11]

Newport bus station is the town's central bus terminus and acts as the hub of the Southern Vectis network, with routes from across the Island terminating there.


St George's Park is the home of Newport Football Club, the most successful of the Island's football teams, currently playing in the Wessex League. The stadium has a capacity of 3,000. The town is also represented by Newport Cricket Club, which plays at Victoria recreational ground. Newport CC have two teams which compete in Harwoods Renault Divisions 1 and 2. The Isle of Wight County Cricket Ground is located at Newclose, on the outskirts of the town.


The town of Newport and adjoining village of Carisbrooke together have seven primary schools, three secondary schools, a sixth-form campus, a further education college and two special schools. The primary schools located close to the town centre are Newport C of E Primary and Nine Acres Community Primary. Barton Primary is located on Pan estate, whilst Summerfields Primary is nearby on the Staplers estate, both to the east of the town. Hunnyhill Primary is situated on Forest Road to the north of the town, and there are two primary schools in Carisbrooke: Carisbrooke C of E Primary on Wellington Road and St Thomas of Canterbury Catholic Primary in the High Street in the village centre.

The three secondary schools are Carisbrooke College, Medina College and Christ the King College. Carisbrooke College is located on a large site on the outskirts of Carisbrooke village, whilst Christ the King is just down the road occupying two former middle school sites on opposite sides of Wellington Road. Medina College is situated to the east of the town just off of Fairlee Road, along with Medina Leisure Centre and Medina Theatre. The Island Innovation VI Form Campus is the joint sixth form for Carisbrooke and Medina Colleges and is located in the town centre, on the former Nodehill Middle School site.

The Isle of Wight College is located to the north of the town centre, close to St Mary's Roundabout and the large industrial estate. Medina House School is located between Pan and Staplers, and St Georges School is located to the south of the town in the suburban Watergate Road.


Parliamentary representation

Newport (Isle of Wight) Crown Court
Isle of Wight Crown Court in Newport.
County Hall, Newport, Isle of Wight, UK
County Hall in Newport.
High St, Newport, Isle of Wight, UK
Newport High Street

From the Middle Ages the Parliamentary Borough of Newport had two seats in the House of Commons. Between 1807 and 1811 they were held by two future Prime Ministers: Arthur Wellesley, later to become the Duke of Wellington (who was also elected to two other seats at the same time) and Henry John Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston. Palmerston was eligible as an MP because his late father did not convert his Irish peerage into a United Kingdom peerage, which would have confined him to the House of Lords. The local patron arranging the deal was Sir Leonard Holmes, who made it a condition that they never visited the borough.

The borough was also represented by two other future Prime Ministers in the 1820s. George Canning was MP for Newport when appointed Prime Minister in 1827. However, under the law as it then stood, a minister accepting office automatically vacated his seat and had to stand for re-election to the Commons, and Canning chose to stand at Seaford, a government pocket borough in Sussex, rather than fight Newport again. But in the by-election that followed at Newport, the town elected The Hon. William Lamb, later 2nd Viscount Melbourne, whose father had also represented the borough in the 1790s. However, Lamb remained MP for Newport for only two weeks before also being elected for Bletchingley, which he preferred to represent.

Newport's representation in Parliament was cut to one seat in 1867, and it was abolished altogether as a separate constituency in 1885. It now forms part of the Isle of Wight constituency.

Local council

Newport has been under a variety of administrations.

  • Until 1974 Newport had its own Newport Borough Council.[12]
  • From 1974–1995 Newport was part of Medina Borough Council.[12]
  • In 1995 this was abolished and the Isle of Wight Council took over responsibility. Newport remained unparished until 2008, when the Isle of Wight Council Unitary Authority was created.[12]
  • Newport Town Management Committee was established in April 2006 by the Isle of Wight Council as an interim body for the town until the Government gave approval for a parish or town council. The Management Committee had no formal powers and was technically no more than an advisory committee to the Isle of Wight Council. However it was treated as a transitional authority, which acted in many ways as a town or parish council.[13]
  • The first election for Newport Parish Council occurred on 1 May 2008.[13]

Notable people

In birth order:

See also


  1. ^ Office of National Statistics: QS102EW - Population density retrieved 30 May 2017
  2. ^ "Newport and Carisbrooke". Mapit. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Name of meeting" (PDF). Isle of Wight Council. Retrieved 29 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Town population 2011". Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  5. ^ M. L. Shackley: A Contextual Study of the Mousterian Industry at Great Pan Farm..., Proceedings of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society, 6:8, pp. 524 ff.
  6. ^ The villa on public display was found in 1926. Excavations at the site demonstrate that the villa was built around AD 280. The villa featured underfloor heating, elaborate hot and cold baths, sauna and massage rooms and a large kitchen.
  7. ^ BRANNON'S PICTURE OF THE ISLE OF WIGHT; Or The Expeditious Traveller's Index to Its Prominent Beauties & Objects of Interest. Compiled Especially with Reference to Those Numerous Visitors Who Can Spare but Two or Three Days to Make the Tour of the Island, Printed and Published by George Brannon, Wootton, Isle of Wight, 1843 (various sources give dates of 1844, 1848, 1849, etc, possibly of other editions)
  8. ^ "Newport". Retrieved 3 September 2017.
  9. ^ "Queen Victoria memorial". Memorials & Monuments on the Isle of Wight. 24 July 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
  10. ^ "Home".
  11. ^ Isle of Wight Postal Museum Archived 18 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine, WightCAM – photographically illustrated walks on the Isle of Wight.
  12. ^ a b c "IW County Record Office local government records". Archived from the original on 29 August 2008.
  13. ^ a b "Newport Parish Council Homepage". Archived from the original on 19 October 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2008.

External links

1870 Newport (Isle of Wight) by-election

The Newport (Isle of Wight) by-election of 1870 was fought on 23 November 1870. The byelection was fought due to the Death of the incumbent MP of the Liberal Party, Charles Wykeham Martin. It was won by the Liberal candidate Charles Cavendish Clifford.

Barton, Isle of Wight

Barton is an area in the east of Newport on the Isle of Wight. Transport is provided by Southern Vectis community service route 39 to the town centre and standard service routes 8 and 9 to Sandown and Ryde, which run close by.Barton was built around 1844 to the east of Newport town centre; the first houses to be built were in Barton Road itself and are on the right hand side leading from Coppins Bridge. Virtually all of the original Victorian terraced houses still remain today, as well as St. Paul's Church which lies in Staplers Road. The architectural style of the original Barton houses is very typical of Victorian houses in the Newport area, with red brick facades and grey slate roof tiles. Barton Primary School dates from around the same period.

Original Barton roads include Barton Road itself,

St. Pauls View Road,

Bellmeade Lane,

Halberry Lane,

Harvey Road,

Cross Lane,

Victoria Road,

School Lane,

Royal Exchange,

John Street and

Green Street.

In the mid-1930s, the first council properties were built in Barton Road, School Lane and Highfield Road.

In around 1955, the initial Pan Estate development began, which is built around Barton and continues toward Pan Lane. The estate was further developed in the late 1960s and mid-1970s to take in the growth of the local population.

An additional school was built for the local area in 1970 when Downside Middle School opened. This initially took children in from all over the west and north of the Island. The school closed as part of the 2011 Island schools reorganisation; the building now houses the Downside Community and Learning Centre.

During the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, a team called Barton was represented in the Isle of Wight Football League and were quite successful challenging for honours against the other notable sides of the time Parkhurst and Seaview. Notable Barton players included Willie Creighton, who was actually brought up in Barton Road itself.

Barton is known locally as 'Barton Village' and is technically not part of the more modern Pan Estate.

Fairlee, Isle of Wight

Fairlee is a suburb of Newport, on the Isle of Wight, on the east side of the River Medina. Fairlee Road runs through the area. During a week in June each year the main road northbound is completely closed to vehicles during the Isle of Wight Festival. Fairlee Service Station, Seaclose Stores and the Mountbatten Centre, with Medina High School are located in the area.

HM Prison Camp Hill

HMP Isle of Wight – Camp Hill Barracks is a former Category C men's prison, located on the outskirts of Newport, Isle of Wight. The former prison lies adjacent to Albany and Parkhurst, both part of HMP Isle of Wight.

Marius Goring

Marius Goring, (23 May 1912 – 30 September 1998) was an English stage and film actor. He is most often remembered for the four films he made with Powell & Pressburger, particularly as Conductor 71 in A Matter of Life and Death and as Julian Craster in The Red Shoes. He regularly performed French and German roles.

Newport (IOW) F.C.

Newport (Isle of Wight) Football Club is a semi-pro football club based in Newport on the Isle of Wight, England. They are currently members of the Wessex League Division One and play at St Georges Park.

Newport (Isle of Wight) (UK Parliament constituency)

Newport was a parliamentary borough located in Newport (Isle of Wight), which was abolished in for the 1885 general election. It was occasionally referred to by the alternative name of Medina.

(Prior to the Great Reform Act of 1832 there was also a separate Newport parliamentary borough in Cornwall.)

Newport Roman Villa

Newport Roman Villa was a Romano-British farmhouse constructed in 280 AD. It is located near to Newport, Isle of Wight.

Newport bus station (Isle of Wight)

Newport bus station, on the Isle of Wight is located at Orchard Street in Newport town centre. Recent redevelopment has seen the former 1960s-built South Street bus station demolished, to make way for a new row of shops, and the current facility built behind that site. Newport is used as the hub of Southern Vectis's network of bus routes, so the majority of routes use Newport bus station, currently 11 out of 14. On 1 July 2007 the bus station became a no smoking area in its entirety.

From April 2011, the bus station travel office has accommodated a 'Visitor Information' point, to serve as a replacement for the Tourist Information Centres, which were closed by the Isle of Wight Council to save money as a result of funding reductions from central government.

Newport railway station (Freshwater, Yarmouth and Newport Railway)

Newport FYN railway station was a railway station at Newport, Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. For ten years it was the alternative terminus of the Freshwater, Yarmouth and Newport Railway. The station opened on 1 July 1913 after a conflict between the FYN and the Isle of Wight Central Railway, and closed 10 years later on the creation of the Southern, when Freshwater trains reverted to using Newport's main station. During its inauspicious existence passengers had a short inconvenient walk between the two rival termini. Any trace of the station has long since gone.

Newport railway station (Isle of Wight Central Railway)

Newport railway station was established in 1862 with the opening of the Cowes and Newport Railway. It was enlarged in December 1875 when the lines to Ryde and Ventnor were opened. The station was also used by the Freshwater, Yarmouth and Newport Railway from its opening in 1888 until 1913, when that company opened its own station nearby. Upon the formation of the Southern Railway in 1923 reverted to using this station. The station was closed by British Railways in 1966. It was then used as a base for the Wight Locomotive Society until January 1971, when it was demolished.

Parkhurst, Isle of Wight

Parkhurst is a neighbourhood northwest of the town of Newport, Isle of Wight. It has few amenities, but a large residential population.

It is notable for housing H.M.P. Isle of Wight, on three sites, formerly three separate prisons: the well-known Parkhurst Prison itself, Camp Hill, and Albany. Parkhurst and Albany were once amongst the few top-security prisons in the United Kingdom but were downgraded in the 1990s.A number of well-known criminals were accommodated in the Parkhurst prisons, including John Duddy, Graham Young, the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe and the Kray twins.The prisons caused the construction during the mid 20th century of housing estates to accommodate prison workers and their families, and much of the area is characterised by these poor-quality estates, now largely in private ownership but still in need of repair.Parkhurst also adjoins Parkhurst Forest, a large Forestry Commission owned woodland which includes plantation woodland and a large area of ancient woodland, and is well used by local people for recreation.

Parkhurst is situated on the A3020 road and is served by frequent buses on Southern Vectis route 1.

Ray Collins, Baron Collins of Highbury

Ray Edward Harry Collins, Baron Collins of Highbury (born 21 December 1954) is a British life peer and trade unionist who was General Secretary of the Labour Party between 2008 and 2011.

Seaclose Park

Seaclose Park is a large parkland site situated to the North East of Newport on the Isle of Wight. It lies on the eastern banks of the River Medina. It has a variety of features which are available free to the community of the Island and to visitors. The features of the park include a skate park, three tennis courts, one cricket pitch and wicket, one bowling green, three netball courts and two five-a-side pitches. The park is along Fairlee Road, linking Newport to East Cowes and Ryde.

Seaclose Park is famously the site of the revived Isle of Wight Festival and as such, it has received great publicity and investment to maintain its condition for the Isle of Wight festival.

For 16 December 2009, the park was transformed to a Winter Wonderland after coming top in a competition held by Nokia, with nearly 2,400 votes to have it held on the island.

St Paul's Church, Newport, Isle of Wight

St Paul's Church, Newport is a parish church in the Church of England located in Barton, Isle of Wight and Newport, Isle of Wight.

St Thomas of Canterbury Church, Newport, Isle of Wight

Saint Thomas of Canterbury church is a church serving the Catholic population of Newport, Isle of Wight, UK. It was the first purpose-built Catholic church constructed after the Protestant reformation on the island. The Roman Catholic Relief Act of 1791 placed restrictions on the design of Catholic places of worship. For this reason there is no steeple, bell, or anything else that made a building look like a church building of the state religion, the Church of England. This means the building looks quite plain from the outside.

Stainless Games

Stainless Games is an independent British video game developer based in Newport, Isle of Wight that is best known for the creation of the Carmageddon franchise.


Staplers ( STAP-lərz) is a suburb of Newport, Isle of Wight, England, on the east side of the River Medina.

It was previously part of Arreton Manor and a grange of Quarr Abbey. Maps from the nineteenth century show the hamlets of Staplers, North Staplers and Little Staplers, as well as the geographic features Staplers Hill, Staplers Heath and Staplers Copse, as well as Staplers Turnpike and Staplers Farm.It houses the Crown Offices which discharge the principal functions of national government on the Isle of Wight such as the Department for Work and Pensions. There is a pub called "The Princess Royal".

Transport is provided by Southern Vectis bus routes 8 and 9.

Staplers also has a large housing estate consisting of mainly bungalows and 3 bedroom houses, situated on Cynthia Grove, Fairmount Drive, Mayfield Drive, Bellecroft Drive, Oak Road, Greenfields Road, Cooper Road, Cook Avenue and Atkinson Drive. 'Polars' nursing home is situated in Staplers Road.

William Rawlinson Earle

William Rawlinson Earle (7 April 1702 - 10 August 1774), of Eastcourt House, Crudwell, near Malmesbury, Wiltshire, was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons for 40 years between 1727 and 1768.

Earle was the eldest son of Giles Earle and his wife Elizabeth Rawlinson, daughter of Sir William Rawlinson of Hendon House, Middlesex and widow of John Lowther of Lowther, Westmorland. He married, with £20,000, Susannah White, daughter of William White of Somerford, Wiltshire on 4 January 1731.Earle was returned unopposed as Member of Parliament for Malmesbury together with his father at the 1727 British general election. He was a strong government supporter, and was appointed Clerk of deliveries to the Ordnance in 1732. He was returned unopposed again with his father at the 1734 general election and was promoted to Clerk of the Ordnance in 1740. At the 1741 British general election he was returned unopposed again with his father for Malmesbury and after the fall of Walpole in 1742 managed to hold onto his post at the ordnance for the rest of his life. At the 1747 British general election he and his father were defeated at Malmesbury but he also stood as a ministerial candidate for Cricklade where he was returned unopposed as MP and continued to support the Administration.Earle was returned unopposed as MP for Cricklade at the 1754 British general election but was defeated after an expensive contest at the 1761 British general election. He had succeeded his father in 1758. He was found a seat at Newport, Isle of Wight, at a by-election on 7 April 1762. He was active in Parliament but apparently inconsistent in his allegiances. He did not stand at the 1768 British general election and resigned from the Ordnance in 1772.Earle died on 10 August 1774 leaving a son and three daughters.

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


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