Bembridge Lifeboat Station
Bembridge shown within the Isle of Wight
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||Isle of Wight|
|Ceremonial county||Isle of Wight|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Fire||Isle of Wight|
|Ambulance||Isle of Wight|
|EU Parliament||South East England|
|UK Parliament||Isle of Wight|
Bembridge is a village and civil parish[dead link] located on the easternmost point of the Isle of Wight. It had a population of 3,848 according to the 2001 census of the United Kingdom, leading to claims by residents that Bembridge is the largest village in England, and occasional claims that it is the largest village in Europe. Bembridge is home to many of the Island's wealthiest residents.
Bembridge sits at the extreme eastern point of the Isle of Wight. Prior to land reclamation the area of Bembridge and Yaverland was almost an island unto itself, separated from the remainder of the Isle of Wight by Brading Haven. Prior to the Victorian era Bembridge was a collection of wooden huts and farmhouses, which only consolidated into a true village with the building of the church in 1827 (later rebuilt in 1846). The historical heart of the village is located close to the church in the north of the village, consisting of a number of shops, pubs and restaurants, along with the Village Hall and site of the former Parish Council hall. Bembridge Library serves the community and there is a local museum in the same location.
The Lane End district is located to the South of the village. It is largely composed of modern bungalows and a small shopping area which includes a Co-Op store. The lane comes to an end at the beach, where Bembridge Lifeboat station and the Bembridge Coast Hotel are situated. Formerly many of the bungalows were on the land of a cottage where Cecily Cardew lived, after whom an Oscar Wilde character was named. Moving inland from Lane End one finds Bembridge Primary school, along with the local community centre, which are connected by a large recreational playing field.
Bembridge is a local service centre, hosting Bembridge Primary School (see Education on the Isle of Wight for more information on the use of this term), a post office, several shops located in two main areas, and Methodist, Anglican and Catholic churches. It is also the location of a local fire station, (crewed by a team of retained firemen), and a Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeboat station.
Bembridge Airport is a local airport with a concrete runway, and is located close to the Windmill to the west of the village proper heading towards Yaverland.
The RNLI station is particularly significant, as it extends into the sea to the east of the village. Here lies the notorious "Bembridge Ledge", a large, rocky outcrop which poses a major threat to passing boats. Although it is private sailing yachts which are most at risk, a wide variety of boats commonly run aground here, especially in the often stormy weather conditions which affect the Solent during winter months. A former Bembridge lifeboat, the RNLB Jesse Lumb, is part of the National Historic Fleet, Core Collection, and exhibited at Imperial War Museum Duxford.
The current offshore boathouse was completed in Autumn 2010 by BAM Nuttall and Ecochoice and houses a new Tamar class boat, the 'Alfred Albert Williams'. The Inshore lifeboat station is currently being rebuilt. A complete new concrete walkway was built, and the new station is made completely of naturally durable timber.
Close to the lifeboat station lies a coastguard lookout. Positioned at a high elevation, this offers views of the Solent meeting the English Channel to the east of the Isle of Wight. From this vantage point one is able to view a variety of watercraft year round, although there is more marine traffic in the summer..
Bembridge Windmill, the only remaining windmill on the Isle of Wight, is located to the west of the village. Dating from around 1700, it is a National Trust property generally open from April to October.
Bembridge is governed by a Parish council of 12 members. For parish council elections the village is divided into two wards, the North and South, each electing six members to the body. The parish council has succeeded in obtaining Lottery funding for improvements to the village recently, including a play-park in Steyne Park. It is also one of the few Parish Councils that has a village centre office open 5 days a week.
Bembridge railway station, which was located in the north-west of the village close to the harbour served the village, with services to Brading, until 1953. The station became derelict and was demolished around 1970.
Bembridge Boarding Campus
This was formerly BEMBRIDGE SCHOOL but it is now owned by Ryde School with Upper Chine, with their lessees running Kingswood Centre. Kingswood Centre operates Kingswood during term-time and Camp Beaumont during school holidays. However it is closed for a few weeks in the winter.
Ryde School with Upper Chine have their Boarders boarding at Bembridge Boarding Campus.
New House Bembridge School is a Grade II Listed Building.
Bembridge School Chapel is a Grade IIGV Listed Building with Edward Woore stained glass to beautify it.
- "English Parishes and Welsh communities N&C 2004". www.statistics.gov.uk. 2004. Retrieved 2007-05-03.
- "Local area population and ethnicity - Bembridge on the Isle of Wight". www.town-guides.org. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- "Places to stay on the Isle of Wight - Bembridge". www.sunnycottcaravanpark.co.uk. Archived from the original on 16 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- "Wightindex - Bembridge Village Guide". www.wightindex.com. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- "Bembridge War Memorial". Memorials & Monuments on the Isle of Wight. 24 July 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2009.
- "Geograph British Isles - Bembridge Ledge". www.geograph.org.uk. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- "National Register of Historic Vessels: Jesse Lumb". National Historic Ships. 2011. Retrieved 1 August 2011.
- "HRH Princess Anne opens new lifeboat station". iwchronicle.co.uk. 16 August 2011. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- "National Trust - Bembridge Windmill". www.nationaltrust.org.uk. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-29.
- "Southern Vectis bus routes". Southern Vectis. Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-12-20.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bembridge.|
- The History of Bembridge Isle, Rob Martin, October 2001, updated January 2004.
- Old pictures of Bembridge
- Bembridge Parish Council
- Bembridge Business Association
- Bembridge Guide and Video