probably means 'The people living by the edge of the Downs' and dates from
at least 683 .
was originally the main port of the Island; the land
has been reclaimed three times in the past 900 years, and the town now
stands about 1 mile from the sea. Behind
the 12th Century (1180) church, St Mary the Virgin, overgrown remains of
the old sea wall can still be seen.
Archaeological remains of burial mounds, weapons, tools, coins etc prove
that the area has been inhabited from the stone age. Nearly
2000 years ago Brading was where the Roman Governor of the Isle of Wight had
his palace. The remains of this can still be seen, and are very well
was the first part of the Island to be introduced to Christianity by St
Wilfred at the end of the 7th century.
William the Conqueror commissioned the Domesday Book, and Brading is
recorded in this.
Town Hall, rebuilt in 1875, houses the town jail, stocks, and whipping post.
A market was held here from 1285 finally ending sometime in the 19th
King (Kynge) Edward 1st gives the town it's first charter, and Brading
became known as Ye Kynge's Towne.
King Edward 4th gave Brading "The Town Gun", or "Parish Gun". This was to be
used to defend that part of the Island against attacks from the Spanish and
French. It is 6ft in length, (2 metres), and set on a wooden base. This gun
was last fired in 1832 to celebrate the Reform bill. Unfortunately the
barrel split. About 1950 the gun was stolen, and subsequently purchased from
a London auction. It was returned to Brading and is now kept at Nunwell. It
is hoped to be soon to be able to place it in the Old Town Hall.
oldest house in the town, dating from 1499/1502, is now a wax museum showing
the history of the Isle off Wight from Roman times. When this building was a
coaching inn, it had it's own murder, and the remains of a skeleton,
believed to be that of the victim, can still be seen.
the new town hall (1902) can be seen the bull baiting ring. It is possible
to see the wear marks in the iron made by the bull straining against the
tether. According to old diaries, the Governor of the island would donate 5
Guineas (£5.25p) to buy a Bull to be baited on Sunday after the church
service. The meat was given to poor families. The town Mayor, and
corporation, always attended wearing their full regalia. A dog, known as the
Mayor's dog, would be set on the Bull. A free, gory, spectacle for the
Bear baiting was made illegal in 1825.
railway came to the town.
has a small, but good, range of shops for everyday needs.
the iron head of a 200 year old Pikestaff was found in the Animal Pound
behind the church. It can now be seen in the Old Town Hall.
Text courtesy of:
Isle of Wight Photo