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Bradshaw’s Guide


Blackgang Chine, Isle of Wight, England. Taken between ca. 1890 and ca. 1900. Original: Library of Congress

Blackgang Chine is a gap in the cliff, which hangs over the beach in Chale Bay. It is bare and somewhat dark-looking, with an iron spring trickling through it. The highest point is 600 or 700 feet, making it a tiresome job to ascend or descend the steps cut in the side on a summer’s day. But it is worth while to go down to the beach to watch the great waves as they roll in, especially if it is at all windy. Here the poor “Clarendon” came ashore.

Behind it is St. Catherine’s Down, about 800 feet high, or 100 higher than Black Gang. There are the remains of a beacon on the top, which was used for the lighthouse till that was shifted to its present place; also a chapel or hermitage. Behind this stands a pillar, erected to commemorate the visit of a Russian Prince to this country. Though the highest point in the island, the view is by no means so good as many from the downs in the middle of it.

In Chale Churchyard are the graves of several wrecked persons, especially of the crew of the “Clarendon,” East Indiaman. Hence to Freshwater is a succession of little bays and chines, none of much interest; a pathway follows the edge of the cliff. The high road passes through Thorvell (in a gap of the downs), Brixton or Bryston, and Brotlestone, all pretty places, under the downs to the right hand, which command an excellent prospect.

From Chale back to Ryde across the Island is through a pleasant but much less striking country than in the first part of the route. The road passes over Arreton Down.

Godshill church, in which the Worsleys are buried, has a good pinnacled tower. Appuldercombe, their delightful seat, is to the right. It can be visited on Tuesdays and Fridays, from 11 to 4, by ticket only; to be had of T. Sewel, Esq., Newport. It contains a good collection of paintings, sculptures, and drawings. Before you get to Newchurch, a turning to the left, you pass the cottage of the Dairyman’s Daughter, Arreton church, in which she is buried, and the Hare and Hounds, a neat tidy little country inn, close to which is a point from which the view corresponds to one described by Legh Richmond in his interesting work.

Distances of Places from Chale
To: Miles.
Chale Bay Where the Clarendon was lost. ¾
Churchyard Graves of the crew of the Clarendon ¼
Pitland Land Slip Took place in 1799 1
St. Catharine’s Pillar In honour of the visit of a Russian Prince to the Island. ¾

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