The history of the Isle of Wight dates back to the Iron Age, with much evidence of settlement being discovered through archaeology and also through some ancient structures which still stand today. Some of the earliest evidence of settlement on the island comes from the Roman conquest of Britain in 43AD, as there was a Roman presence by 50AD and by 170AD the Romans had set up home in Brading and Newport.
The era of history thought to have had the biggest impact and to which we can thank for many of the buildings on the Isle of Wight, is during the reign of Queen Victoria…Victorian times. In 1831, a 12 year old future Queen of England – Victoria - visited the Isle of Wight on holiday at Norris Castle. The island made a real impression on Queen Victoria and in 1845 she acquired the Osborne Estate.
Queen Victoria had a massive influence on the Isle of Wight during her time here and she really helped to put the island ‘on the map’ as a holiday destination. Charles Dickens wrote much of David Copperfield whilst staying here and various other well-known Victorians holidayed here, perhaps due to the island now being seen as a rather fashionable place to visit, loved by none other than royalty!
The Needles and Alum Bay share an equally rich and varied history, so this section of our website has been designed as a historical resource for the culture and history vultures amongst you.
To find out more about different aspects of our fascinating and varied history and heritage, please use the history section navigation menu.
Find yourself wondering what the weather might be like down at Alum Bay? Our new webcam is here to save the day!
For five weeks only we’re open late every Thursday for a non-stop party of games, live music and street entertainment with a spectacular fireworks finale lighting-up the skies above the Needles.