Giving Ryde's past to the future

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Opening Times

Opening Hours

Monday - Saturday
11am - 4pm

Ryde District Heritage Centre is entirely run by volunteers.

Stair Lift Facility

Mayor-Milburn-on-the-stairlift

The new stairlift officially opened on 23rd of May 2014 by Ryde’s Mayor at the time, Cllr Roi Milburn.
Ring the bell for help!

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Railings

Railings

Cyril the sea Serpent on Ryde Pier

The railings on the pier were installed in 1895. It is believed the shelters were built at the same time, by Isaac Barton, a Mayor of Ryde, to a design by local architect Thomas Hellyer. Cyril the sea serpent is the guide for the Children's Page of the website.
2013-06-03T01:02:06+01:00
Railings The railings on the pier were installed in 1895. It is believed the shelters were built at the same time, by Isaac Barton, a Mayor of Ryde, to a design by local architect Thomas Hellyer. Cyril the sea serpent is the guide for the Children's Page of the website.

Local Newspapers

Local Newspapers

Ventilator Royals visit July 19 1873

Ryde and the Isle of Wight have a long history of local newspaper printing. The Isle of Wight Observer was begun in 1846, although not established until 1852.  It was printed at The Colonnade, Ryde by George and subsequently, Hannah Butler. From the first issue, Fashionable Lists were printed weekly to show residents and visitors who was in town. The Isle of Wight Times, Ventilator, Mercury, Isle of Wight Advertiser, and County Press followed at later dates. These newspapers, or images of them, can be consulted at the Isle of Wight County Record Office, Newport.

There are also newspapers with Isle of Wight articles which can be viewed on the British Library website British Newspapers Online
2013-06-03T01:04:32+01:00
Local Newspapers Ryde and the Isle of Wight have a long history of local newspaper printing. The Isle of Wight Observer was begun in 1846, although not established until 1852.  It was printed at The Colonnade, Ryde by George and subsequently, Hannah Butler. From the first issue, Fashionable Lists were printed weekly to show residents and visitors who was in town. The Isle of Wight Times, Ventilator, Mercury, Isle of Wight Advertiser, and County Press followed at later dates. These newspapers, or images of them, can be consulted at the Isle of Wight County Record Office, Newport. There are also newspapers with Isle of Wight articles which can be viewed on the British Library website British Newspapers Online

Historic Photographs

Historic Photographs

Young Boy by Matthews

Child photographed by Matthews
Child photographed by Matthews

Child on a horse Photographed by Knight

More  historic photographs appear in the  Galleries.

Child photographed by Knight
2013-06-02T23:28:06+01:00
Historic Photographs More  historic photographs appear in the  Galleries.

The Brigstocke China

The Brigstocke China

All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful.

Brigstoke Terrace China Group front view

The Brigstocke China comprises pieces collected by the family over many years, reflecting catholic tastes.

Brigstoke Terrace China Group side view

Brigstoke Terrace China Group reverse view

Brigstoke Terrace China Hare

Brigstoke Terrace China Horse
2013-06-02T23:46:00+01:00
The Brigstocke China All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful. The Brigstocke China comprises pieces collected by the family over many years, reflecting catholic tastes.

The Royal Victoria Arcade

The Royal Victoria Arcade

The Royal Victoria Arcade - Victorian Timeline, the first 70 years of the Royal Victoria Arcade from the laying of the foundation stone to 1903

An etching of the original arcade frontage

1835 -May - Foundation Stone Ceremony
1836 - July - Opening Ceremony
1856 - July - Henry Knight buys the arcade for £3000
1856 - October - frontage altered
1857 - October - William Lacy the first Arcade photographer moves into a workshop in the basement
1862 -  March - Cornelius Jabez Hughes takes over Number 6 after Lacy's death, in November 1861
1864 -  Henry Knight's Fairy Fountain in the rotunda

An etching of the 1840s arcade interior

1880 - Henry patents tin opener and sells it to Crosse and Blackwell
1890 - Henry Knight goes bankrupt and hands over the arcade to his daughters
1895 - Death of Henry Knight
1903 - Arcade up for sale
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The Royal Victoria Arcade The Royal Victoria Arcade - Victorian Timeline, the first 70 years of the Royal Victoria Arcade from the laying of the foundation stone to 1903 1835 -May - Foundation Stone Ceremony 1836 - July - Opening Ceremony 1856 - July - Henry Knight buys the arcade for £3000 1856 - October - frontage altered 1857 - October - William Lacy the first Arcade photographer moves into a workshop in the basement 1862 -  March - Cornelius Jabez Hughes takes over Number 6 after Lacy's death, in November 1861 1864 -  Henry Knight's Fairy Fountain in the rotunda 1880 - Henry patents tin opener and sells it to Crosse and Blackwell 1890 - Henry Knight goes bankrupt and hands over the arcade to his daughters 1895 - Death of Henry Knight 1903 - Arcade up for sale

Original Logo

Original Logo

The original artwork for the logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on two shelters on Ryde Pier, and adapted by Depth.

Historic Ryde Society Logo

The original logo copyright Lynne Phillips

Cyril the Sea Serpent on Ryde Pier

 
2013-06-03T00:26:48+01:00
Original Logo The original artwork for the logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on two shelters on Ryde Pier, and adapted by Depth.  

Royal Ryde

Royal Ryde

Royal Ryde, the link to Queen Victoria.

The Duchess of Kent, mother of Queen Victoria, first brought her to stay at Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight in 1831. When it was decided to build the arcade in Ryde, Princess Victoria was asked whether she would agree to it being named for her. This is why, at the rear of the arcade, there is a window with a monogram PV - Princess Victoria.

The Princess Victoria Window Royal Victoria Arcade

The crest on the front of the arcade is that of Princess Victoria. A similar crest can be seen in Bath, much smaller and less colourful than the one in Ryde. The lion and the unicorn are also facing different directions.

Etching from 1874 of Crown Prince and Princess

 
2013-06-03T00:31:46+01:00
Royal Ryde Royal Ryde, the link to Queen Victoria. The Duchess of Kent, mother of Queen Victoria, first brought her to stay at Norris Castle on the Isle of Wight in 1831. When it was decided to build the arcade in Ryde, Princess Victoria was asked whether she would agree to it being named for her. This is why, at the rear of the arcade, there is a window with a monogram PV - Princess Victoria. The crest on the front of the arcade is that of Princess Victoria. A similar crest can be seen in Bath, much smaller and less colourful than the one in Ryde. The lion and the unicorn are also facing different directions.  

Royal visitors

Royal Visitors in Ryde


It is said that the Duchess of Kent first brought her daughter to the Isle of Wight so that she did not attend the coronation of her Uncle, William IV. On this, and subsequent occasions, they stayed at Norris Castle, in East Cowes.

It is also known that Victoria used rooms in The Royal Kent Hotel, now the Royal Squadron, on at least one occasion.

Etching of the Royal Kent Hotel, Union Street, Ryde
2013-06-03T00:40:11+01:00
Royal Visitors in Ryde It is said that the Duchess of Kent first brought her daughter to the Isle of Wight so that she did not attend the coronation of her Uncle, William IV. On this, and subsequent occasions, they stayed at Norris Castle, in East Cowes. It is also known that Victoria used rooms in The Royal Kent Hotel, now the Royal Squadron, on at least one occasion.

RYDE TREASURES

RYDE TREASURES


All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful.

A gown worn by a recent Mayor of the Borough of Ryde.

Ryde Borough Mayor's Robe

Ryde Town Sergeant's Hat.

Ryde Town Sargent Top Hat

 
2013-06-03T00:47:20+01:00
RYDE TREASURES All images reproduced with permission of IW Heritage Service, to whom we are very grateful. A gown worn by a recent Mayor of the Borough of Ryde. Ryde Town Sergeant's Hat.  

Ryde Entertainment

Ryde Entertainment

Fine Art Exhibition at Ryde 1881

The inhabitants of 19th century Ryde enjoyed entertainment............... Bands played on the pier every evening, There were plays in the Theatre, concerts in the Town Hall, lectures and exhibitions in the Victoria Rooms and circuses on the Strand from the 1850s onwards. Local gentry also held balls and soirees in their homes - descriptions of which appeared in the local press the following week. Celebrities came from Paris and London to appear in Ryde - Mrs Jordan, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, General Tom Thumb, The Christy Minstrels all appeared in Ryde following successful runs in London and over seas........Ryde was the place to be after London, Paris, New York! Hairdressers and other businessmen also followed the same route.
2013-06-03T00:57:12+01:00
Ryde Entertainment The inhabitants of 19th century Ryde enjoyed entertainment............... Bands played on the pier every evening, There were plays in the Theatre, concerts in the Town Hall, lectures and exhibitions in the Victoria Rooms and circuses on the Strand from the 1850s onwards. Local gentry also held balls and soirees in their homes - descriptions of which appeared in the local press the following week. Celebrities came from Paris and London to appear in Ryde - Mrs Jordan, Ellen Terry, Oscar Wilde, General Tom Thumb, The Christy Minstrels all appeared in Ryde following successful runs in London and over seas........Ryde was the place to be after London, Paris, New York! Hairdressers and other businessmen also followed the same route.
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Tel: (00)44 01983 717435 Web: www.historicrydesociety.com eMail: admin@historicrydesociety.com
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Stench in Swanmore

Stench in Swanmore and The Dogs of Ryde

To the Editor of the Isle of Wight Observer….

 August 1866

THE DOGS OF RYDE
Sir, I have been for some weeks a visitor in your charming town of Ryde, and, like Charles Lamb, very fond of strolling through the streets, looking at the novelties which the shops continually offer to the passengers’ gaze. At this particular season, when the yacht races and regattas bring together a vast increase in the usual population of the place, all the tradesmen’s stores are set out with a peculiar attractiveness. I can assure you, Sir, much as I may desire to view these tempting miscellanies, I have frequently found it a very difficult – sometimes an impossible  – matter, from the number of the canine race that intercept your steps at almost every turn. Dogs, of all breeds, from the toy terrier to the Newfoundland, are snapping, and snarling, and fighting – sometimes with a fearful uproar – in all quarters of the town. There is no getting in, and frequently no getting out, of a shop without stumbling over, or being obliged to leap on one side to avoid, them. In a town like Ryde, where moveable property seems most exemplarily to need no special guarding, there can be no possible excuse for keeping so many useless curs. Before two or three fatal cases of hydrophobia occur, it is  to be hoped the evil, now so crying, will be arrested by the police or some other competent authority. In London, where a new Act is coming into operation in a day or two, there is a special clause about dogs. It has been wisely determined to check their indiscriminate roaming about the streets by slaying all dogs found at large without an owner. They are to be kept a day or two impounded, and then, if not claimed, are to be destroyed. I shall be very glad to hear of a similar precaution at Ryde, street pedestrianism here, at present, being much robbed of its enjoyments through the engrossing presence of these four-footed animals. Heidelberg has a bad reputation for the number and ferocity of its dogs; but there the mischief is doubly aggravated by the bullyism and fire-eating propensity of their masters. If you don’t happen to love their animals as they think you ought to love themselves, they forthwith call you out, and covet the pleasure of giving you an intercostal from a rapier, in the use of which weapon they are by no means inconsiderate experts. Happily, however, I have no fear of anything of that sort here in Ryde. In the first place, the dogs I denounce apparently have no owners; and, secondly, if the latter were patent and known, and a complaint were made, I am sure, from all that I have experienced from the inhabitants during a six weeks’ sojourn, I should receive nothing but civility and considerate treatment in reply to any remonstrance I might think fit to make to them. I fear I have trespassed too long on your space, and, probably, the subject may be an unwelcome one to you; but I hope not, and remain, Your’s, very truly,
CAVE CANEM
George Street, Ryde, August 16, 1866

To the Editor of the Isle of Wight Observer

Sir – At this critical time, when disease is so insidiously “putting in an appearance” in every favouring quarter, I hope to be pardoned for drawing the attention of your Commissioners, or the authority who may have jurisdiction there, to a nuisance most palpably existing in the neighbourhood of Swanmore. On Wednesday evening I took a stroll through Play Street, and round the new church into High-street. The effluvium from pigsties, in several parts of my walk, was of the most offensive character, and qualified materially the enjoyment I should otherwise have had in my excursion. I wished to linger and look at the lovely views obtainable in that locality, but the horrid stench forbade it, and I was obliged to hurry on, lamenting that the same attention to cleanliness so manifestly observable in your attractive town was not to be found in its suburbs. Perhaps a line or two from your editorial pen, or the insertion of this note, may induce attention to a matter which, I think you will agree with me, ought not, at this particular juncture, to be neglected.             I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
VIATOR
George-street, Ryde, August 10, 1866

Return to 1860s letters page

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Centre Opening
HRH Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester opened the first extension of Ryde District Heritage Centre on Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Andrew and Brian chat to HRH The Duke of Gloucester and the Lord Lieutenant

The logo was drawn by Lynne Phillips from a design on the two shelters on Ryde Pier, and digitised by Depth.

Historic Ryde Society Logo

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