Yarmouth, Isle of Wight

Yarmouth is a town, port and civil parish[3] in the west of the Isle of Wight, off the south coast of England. The town is named for its location at the mouth of the small Western Yar river. The town grew near the river crossing, originally a ferry, which was replaced with a road bridge in 1863.[4]

Yarmouth isle of wight

Yarmouth town centre
Yarmouth is located in Isle of Wight
Location within the Isle of Wight
Population865 (2011 Census)[1]
OS grid referenceSZ356896
Civil parish
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtPO41
Dialling code01983
FireIsle of Wight
AmbulanceIsle of Wight
EU ParliamentSouth East England
UK Parliament
The town hall of Yarmouth
Town hall
Yarmouth Harbour, Isle of Wight - geograph.org.uk - 1720429
Yarmouth Harbour
Yarmouth Pier, Isle of Wight,UK
Yarmouth Pier


Yarmouth has been a settlement for over a thousand years, and is one of the earliest on the island. The first account of the settlement is in Ethelred the Unready's record of the Danegeld tax of 991, when it was called Eremue, meaning "muddy estuary". The Normans laid out the streets on a grid system, a plan which can still be seen today. It grew rapidly, being given its first charter as a town in 1135.[4] The town became a parliamentary borough in the Middle Ages, and the Yarmouth constituency was represented by two members of Parliament until 1832.[4]

Until the castle was built, raids by the French hurt the town; in 1544 the it was reputed to have been burned down. Legend has it that the church bells were carried off to Cherbourg or Boulogne.[4]

Yarmouth Castle was built in 1547, and is now in the care of English Heritage.[5] It is effectively a gun platform, built by Henry VIII to fortify the Solent and protect against any attempted invasion of England.

For many years Yarmouth was the seat of the Governor of the Island. It also has a quaint Town Hall which was rebuilt in 1763.

In St. James's Church there is a monument to the 17th century admiral Sir Robert Holmes who was at Yarmouth. He obtained it in a raid on a French ship, when he seized an unfinished statue of Louis XIV of France and forced the sculptor to finish it with his own head rather than the king's.[6]

In 1784 most of Yarmouth's ancient charters were lost: A ship's captain, drunk after a court dinner, stole what he thought was a case of wine, as he returned to his ship. When he discovered it was a case of books, he threw it overboard.

Yarmouth Pier was opened in 1876. It received Grade 2 listed status in 1975. Originally 685 ft (207.5m) long, it's now 609 ft (186m) but is still the longest timber pier in England open to the public, and also a docking point for the MV Balmoral and PS Waverley.

Several Sites of Special Scientific Interest lie close to Yarmouth, including Yar Estuary SSSI & Bouldnor And Hamstead Cliffs SSSI.


As a port and market town Yarmouth has had local commercial significance. It still has some boat yards and chandlery, and although relatively small it still supports a number of shops, hotels, pubs and restaurants, supported partly by passing trade from the ferry terminal and visiting boat owners.


The Wightlink car ferry sails from Yarmouth to Lymington in Hampshire.

Southern Vectis operate bus services from Yarmouth bus station, a small building near the ferry terminal, the main route being route 7 serving Totland, Alum Bay, Freshwater, Newport and Shalfleet as well as Yarmouth.[7] To reach Yarmouth, route 7 uses Pixley Hill, which has caused some controversy amongst local residents who do not believe the road is large enough for buses.[8] The controversy was initially started by former route 11 being extended to serve Yarmouth and using the lane in September 2008.[9]

In the spring and summer, Southern Vectis also operate an open top bus called "The Needles Tour" that runs through Freshwater Bay to Alum Bay and onto the Needles Battery down a bus and pedestrian-only road along the cliff edge; returning to Yarmouth via Totland and Colwell.[10] For the more athletic, Yarmouth is on the Isle of Wight Coastal Path.

The parish was once served by Yarmouth railway station, with services to Newport. Passenger services ended in 1953, and the track has long since been removed; the trackbed between Yarmouth and Freshwater has been converted into a bridleway. In August 2014 the converted and expanded railway station opened as a restaurant.

Size and population

Yarmouth is one of the smallest towns in the United Kingdom. The 2011 census reported the parish of Yarmouth having 865 usual residents.[1] In 2001 the population was just 791[11] (compared with about 600 at the beginning of the 19th century).


Yarmouth hosted the popular biannual Old Gaffers festival which included several days of entertainment and shows,[12] but in September 2018 it was announced that the event would no longer be held.[13]

Yarmouth marina is the landing point for the Royal Navy's Solent Amphibious Challenge, held in June each year. .[14]


  1. ^ a b UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Yarmouth Parish (1170212058)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  2. ^ http://www.yarmouthtowncouncil.co.uk/yarmouth-tc/Default.aspx
  3. ^ English Parishes & Welsh Communities N&C 2004 Archived 9 January 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c d A Timeline History of Yarmouth Archived 21 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine compiled by Ian Dallison on behalf of The Yarmouth Society
  5. ^ English Heritage
  6. ^ BBC DNA page about Robert Holmes
  7. ^ "Southern Vectis route list". Southern Vectis. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  8. ^ "Road row rumbles on". Isle of Wight County Press. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
  9. ^ "We could be in line for a wonderful hoo-ha". Isle of Wight County Press. 23 January 2009. Retrieved 11 August 2009.
  10. ^ "Southern Vectis Needles Tour". Southern Vectis. Archived from the original on 28 April 2008. Retrieved 22 December 2009.
  11. ^ "2001 Census". Retrieved 10 September 2011.
  12. ^ "Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival". Yarmouth-harbour.co.uk. 22 July 2002. Retrieved 17 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Old Gaffers Festival cancelled due to rising costs". BBC News. 18 September 2018. Retrieved 19 September 2018.
  14. ^ [1]

External links

Edward Rushworth (politician)

Edward Rushworth (17 October 1755 – 15 October 1817) was a British clergyman on the Isle of Wight, and a token politician.

Rushworth was the oldest son of Royal Navy Captain John Rushworth of Portsea in Hampshire. Educated at Winchester College and at Trinity College, Oxford, he became a deacon at Yarmouth on the Isle of Wight.In 1780 he married Catherine Holmes, daughter Reverend Leonard Holmes (later the 1st Baron Holmes). His father-in-law was the patron of both the parliamentary boroughs on the island.He was a Member of Parliament (MP) for the two boroughs on the Isle of Wight for several periods between 1780 and 1797. He was MP for Yarmouth from 1781 to 1781, for Newport from 1784 to 1790, for Yarmouth in 1790, and for Yarmouth again from 1796 to 1797.He appears to have held the seats only as a place-holder, and did not take part in any parliamentary proceedings.

George Lowther Thompson

George Lowther Thompson (1786 – 25 December 1841) was Member of Parliament for Haslemere (1826–1830) and Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) 1830-1831.

His family was associated with Sheriff Hutton Park.

George Morland

George Morland (26 June 1763 in London – 29 October 1804 in Brighton) was an English painter. His early work was influenced by Francis Wheatley but after the 1790s he came into his own style. His best compositions focus on rustic scenes: farms and hunting; smugglers and gypsies; and rich, textured landscapes informed by Dutch Golden Age painting.

Harry Burrard-Neale

Admiral Sir Harry Burrard-Neale, 2nd Baronet (born Burrard; 16 September 1765 – 7 February 1840) was a British officer of the Royal Navy, and Member of Parliament for Lymington.

He was the son of William Burrard, the governor of Yarmouth Castle on the Isle of Wight, and nephew of Sir Harry Burrard, 1st Baronet, of Walhampton, whom he succeeded in 1791. In 1795, he adopted the additional name of Neale on his marriage to Grace, daughter of Robert Neale of Shaw House, Wiltshire. He died without issue in 1840 and was succeeded by his brother George.

Henry Holmes (died 1738)

Henry Holmes (ca. 1660 – 23 June 1738) was an English politician.

He was the son of Thomas Holmes of Kilmallock, co. Limerick and became a major in the Army.

He was appointed Captain of Hurst Castle on the Isle of Wight from 1683 to 1714. He was a Member of Parliament for Yarmouth (Isle of Wight), England from April 1695 until 1717. He quarreled in the House of Commons with John Cutts, 1st Baron Cutts in 1697, accusing Cutts of discharging militia officers in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight who had voted against Holmes' rival, Cutts' brother-in-law John Acton. He was also Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Wight from 1710 to 1714.

He married Mary, the illegitimate daughter of Sir Robert Holmes, MP of Thorley, and with her had 8 sons and 8 daughters.

Henry Wilder

Henry Watson Wilder (born 3 November 1798 in Marylebone, London; died 2 July 1836 in Yarmouth, Isle Of Wight) was an English first-class cricketer associated with Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) who was active in the 1810s. He is recorded in one match in 1817, totalling 12 runs with a highest score of 6.

James Worsley

James Worsley (1725–1787) was a British politician who sat in the House of Commons between 1775 and 1784.

Worsley was the eldest son of David Worsley of Stenbury and his wife Mary Hooke, daughter of William Hooke and was born on 10 April 1725.Worsley was returned as Member of Parliament for Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) at a by-election on 6 February 1775 presumably on the Holmes interest. He was replacing his second cousin Edward Meux Worsley. In the 1784 general election he was returned as MP for Newtown (Isle of Wight). He may have been brought in by his distant cousin Sir Richard Worsley as a stop-gap since he resigned his seat a few months later in August 1784. It appears that he never spoke in Parliament.Worsley died on 10 April 1787

John Bulkeley (MP)

John Bulkeley (11 November 1614 – September 1662) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1640 and 1662.

Bulkeley was the son of William Bulkeley of Burgate, Hampshire and his wife Margaret Culliford, daughter of John Culliford of Encombe, Dorset. He matriculated at Hart Hall, Oxford on 13 April 1632, aged 18. He was a student of the Middle Temple in 1633. He travelled abroad in France from 1634 to 1637.In April 1640, Bulkeley was elected Member of Parliament for Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) in the Short Parliament. He was elected to the Long Parliament in November 1645 as MP for Newtown until he was excluded under Pride's Purge.Bulkeley was elected MP for Hampshire in 1654 for the First Protectorate Parliament and was re-elected for Hampshire in 1656 for the Second Protectorate Parliament. In 1659 he was elected MP for in the Third Protectorate Parliament and in 1660 was chosen again for Hampshire in the Convention Parliament. He was lastly elected MP for Lymington in the Cavalier Parliament and sat until his death in 1662.Bulkeley died at the age of 47.

Bulkeley married firstly by licence dated 4 January 1638, Anne Doddington, daughter of Sir William Doddington of Breamore, Hampshire and had two daughters. He married secondly after settlement dated June 1646, Elizabeth Trenchard widow of Francis Trenchard of Cutteridge, Wiltshire and daughter of William Sotwell of Greenham, Berkshire. She died in March 1651 and he married thirdly after settlement dated 1652, Penelope Trenchard, daughter of Sir Thomas Trenchard of Wolverton, Dorset, and had three sons.

John Leigh (Yarmouth MP)

Sir John Leigh (1598–1666) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons at various times between 1640 and 1660.

Leigh was the eldest son of Barnaby Leigh of Northcourt and his first wife Elizabeth Bampfield, daughter Hugh Bampfield of North Cadbury, Somerset. He matriculated at Christ Church, Oxford on 25 October 1616, aged 18. He was knighted at Bewley or Southwick on 1 September 1628.In 1640, Leigh was elected Member of Parliament for Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) in the Long Parliament. He was a colonel of the militia for the Isle of Wight, which was unaffected by the Civil War, from 1642 to 1647 and a Deputy Lieutenant in 1643. He was a commissioner for sequestrations for Hampshire and a commissioner for levying money in 1643. He was a commissioner for assessment for the Isle of Wight from 1647 to 1648. He did not sit in parliament after Pride's Purge in 1648. He was commissioner for assessment for Hampshire in 1648, 1652, 1657 and 1660 and a JP for Hampshire.In April 1660, Leigh was re-elected MP for Yarmouth for the Convention Parliament. He was commissioner for assessment for the Isle of Wight from 1664 until his death which probably occurred in 1666.Leigh married Anne Bulkeley, daughter of William Bulkeley of Nether Burgate, Fordingbridge, Hanmpshire and had two sons and three daughters.

Maurice Morgan

Maurice Morgan (1692–1733) of Freshwater, Isle of Wight was a British Army officer and politician who sat in the House of Commons from 1725 to 1733.

Morgan was baptized on 27 September 1692, the second son of Anthony Morgan, of Freshwater, and his wife Catherine Urry, daughter of Thomas Urry of Freshwater. He joined the army and was ensign in Lord Paston’s Regiment of Foot in 1704 and in the 3rd Foot Guards in 1709. He became a lieutenant in the 1st Dragoon Guards in 1712, captain in the 4th Dragoons in 1719 and captain and lieutenant-colonel in the 3rd Foot Guards in 1722.Morgan was returned unopposed as Member of Parliament for Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) at a by election on 10 April 1725 on the government interest. He was returned unopposed again at the 1727 general election. He voted consistently with the Administration when present. He succeeded his father in 1729.and became Lieutenant-governor of the Isle of Wight in January 1731.Morgan died unmarried on 24 April. 1733.

Sir Henry Willoughby, 3rd Baronet

Sir Henry Pollard Willoughby, 3rd Baronet (17 November 1796 – 23 March 1865) was a British Conservative Member of Parliament. He represented the constituencies of Newcastle-under-Lyme (12 December 1832 – 5 January 1835), Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) (3 May 1831 – 1832) and Evesham (29 July 1847 – 7 July 1852).

Sir William Oglander, 1st Baronet

Sir William Oglander, 1st Baronet (ca. 1611 – 1670) was an English politician who sat in the House of Commons of England from 1660 to 1670. He supported the Royalist side in the English Civil War.

Oglander was the son of Sir John Oglander and his wife Francis More daughter of Sir George More of Loseley Park, Surrey. His father was deputy governor of Portsmouth and then of the Isle of Wight.In April 1640, Oglander was chosen Member of Parliament for Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) in the Short Parliament, a seat previously held by his father prior to the personal rule of Charles I. However, he offended the corporation and never sat. The Oglander family were loyal to King Charles and suffered during the English Civil War.After the Restoration In 1660 Oglander was elected MP for Newport (Isle of Wight) and held the seat until his death in 1670. He was made deputy-governor of the Isle of Wight in 1664 and was created baronet of Nunwell in the County of Southampton in the Baronetage of England on 12 December 1665

Oglander married Dorothy Clerke, daughter of Sir Francis Clerke. His son John inherited the baronetcy.

St James' Church, Yarmouth

St. James' Church, Yarmouth is a Grade II* listed parish church in the Church of England located in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight.

Thomas Dummer

Thomas Dummer (1739–1781) was an English Member of Parliament for Newport (Isle of Wight) (1765–1768), Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) (1769–1774), Downton in Wiltshire (1774), Wendover in Buckinghamshire (1775–1780) and Lymington in Hampshire (1780–1781).

Yarmouth (Isle of Wight) (UK Parliament constituency)

Yarmouth was a borough constituency of the House of Commons of England then of the House of Commons of Great Britain from 1707 to 1800 and of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1832. It was represented by two members of parliament (MPs), elected by the bloc vote system.

The constituency was abolished by the Reform Act 1832, and from the 1832 general election its territory was included in the new county constituency of Isle of Wight.

Yarmouth Castle

Yarmouth Castle is an artillery fort built by Henry VIII in 1547 to protect Yarmouth Harbour on the Isle of Wight from the threat of French attack. Just under 100 feet (30 m) across, the square castle was initially equipped with 15 artillery guns and a garrison of 20 men. It featured an Italianate "arrow-head" bastion on its landward side; this was very different in style from the earlier circular bastions used in the Device Forts built by Henry and was the first of its kind to be constructed in England.

During the 16th and 17th centuries the castle continued to be maintained and modified; the seaward half of the castle was turned into a solid gun platform and additional accommodation was built for the fort's gunners. A bulwark was built on the east side of the castle and an additional gun battery was placed on the town's quay, just to the west. For most of the English Civil War of the 1640s it was held by Parliament; following the Restoration, it was refortified by Charles II in the 1670s.

The fortification remained in use through the 18th and 19th centuries, albeit with a smaller garrison and fewer guns, until in 1885 these were finally withdrawn. After a short period as a coast guard signalling post, the castle was brought back into military use during the First and Second World Wars. In the 21st century, the heritage organisation English Heritage operates the castle as a tourist attraction.

Yarmouth Lifeboat Station

Yarmouth Lifeboat station (not to be confused with Great Yarmouth and Gorleston) is an RNLI station located in the town of Yarmouth in the English county the Isle of Wight in the United Kingdom. The station has been based in Yarmouth's harbour since 1924. Previously the station had been in Totland Bay, west of Yarmouth, until it was decided that the station need a motor lifeboat. The current Severn-class lifeboat is moored afloat and shore facilities are on the quayside in Yarmouth. The station covers the western Solent with its all weather lifeboat Eric and Susan Hiscock (Wanderer) (ON-1249) which has been on service at Yarmouth since 2001.

Yarmouth Pier

Yarmouth Pier is a Victorian pleasure pier, located in Yarmouth, Isle of Wight. It is the longest wooden pier in England, and frequently requires restoration due to the relatively short lifespan of the wooden piles. Following its latest restoration scheme, it reopened to the public in 2008.

After 140 years of operation, it continues to thrive as a tourist attraction.

Yarmouth railway station

Yarmouth railway station, was an intermediate station of the Freshwater, Yarmouth and Newport Railway, incorporated in 1860, opened over a ten-month period between 1889 and 1889 and closed 65 years later. Situated on the outskirts of the town ) it was one of the more economically viable stations on a generally unprofitable line. Until the 1920s there was a lengthy passing loop and second (staggered) platform. The former station building was for a period used as a Youth Club, and is now (as of 2014) a restaurant. It is still very recognisable as a FYNR station.

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


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