Isle of Wight
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between two and five miles off the coast of Hampshire, separated by the Solent. The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea.
About Isle of Wight in brief
The Isle of Wight is a county and the largest and second-most populous island in England. It is in the English Channel, between two and five 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. It has well-conserved wildlife and some of the richest cliffs and quarries for dinosaur fossils in Europe. The quickest public transport link to the mainland is the hovercraft from Ryde to Southsea; three vehicle ferry and two catamaran services cross Solent to Southampton, Lymington and Portsmouth. The isle was owned by a Norman family until 1293 and was earlier a kingdom in its own right, Wihtwara. It was then called Vectis or Vecta in Latin, Iktis or Ouiktis in Greek. In Domesday Book it is Wit; the modern Welsh name is Ynys Wyth. These are all variant forms of the same name, possibly Celtic in origin. It may mean \”place of the division\”, because the island divides the two arms of theSolent. During Pleistocene glacial periods, sea levels were lower and the present day Solent was part of the valley of the modern Solent strait, before travelling south and southwest towards the major Channel River system. The earliest evidence of archaic human presence on the island is found at Priory Bay. More than 300 acheulean handaxes have been recovered from the beach and cliff slopes.
A Mousterian flint assemblage, consisting of 50Handaxes and debitage has been recovered near Newport. Possibly dating to MIS 7, these tools are associated with Neanderthal occupation. A submerged escarpment 11m below sea level off Bouldnor Cliff on the Island’s northwest coastline is home to an internationally significant mesolithic archaeological site. The site has yielded evidence of seasonal occupation by mesolithic hunter-gatherers dating to c. 8000 years BP. Finds include burnt flint planks, worked timbers, wooden platforms and pits. Evidence of wheat-out of the planks shows evidence of the use of the oak planks as worked tools, as well as wood planks from oaks. DNA analysis of sediments at the site has been suggested this is evidence of wide-reaching trade in mesolithic trade in Europe, however the wheat-aneity of the Mesolithic occupation has been contested by some experts. The oldest records that give a name for the island are from the Roman Empire. From the Anglo-Saxon period Latin VectA, Old English Wiht and Old Welsh forms Gueid and Guith are recorded. It continued to share the Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire until 1974, when it was made its own ceremonial county. It is now no administrative link with Hampshire; although a combined local authority with Portsmouth and Southampton was considered, this is now unlikely to proceed.