Newport, IOW

Newport is a civil parish and a county town of the Isle of Wight, an island off the south coast of England. Newport has a population of 23,957 according to the 2001 census. The town is situated slightly to the north of the centre of the Island, at the head of the navigable section of the River Medina, which flows northward to the Solent, and on which the town has a quay.

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, is excavated and open to the public.

There was little later use until after the Norman conquest with the first charter being granted late in the twelfth 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 French 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.

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 leading to Charles’s execution.

The town was 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 Carisbrooke as the main central settlement, eventually absorbing the latter as a suburb. The borough ceased to exist in 1974 after the incorporation of the larger Borough of Medina, which was itself superseded in 1995 by a single unitary authority covering the whole of the Isle of Wight.

In recent times, Newport has undergone an influx of changes, with two shopping centres and all new road directions to show for the town’s recent development efforts. Newport Quay has also been re-developed, 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).

Note: this page is partly based on a Wikipedia page. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. Where possible, text is being updated to original, fully referenced research. ‘Our photos’ means we took the photographs. The Street View and street map visuals are courtesy of Google.

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