Niton

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For other uses, see Niton (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Knighton, Isle of Wight.
Niton
The White Lion in Niton.JPG
The White Lion, the village's pub.
Niton is located in Isle of Wight
Niton
Niton
 Niton shown within the Isle of Wight
Population 1,142 (2001 census)[1]
OS grid reference SZ507765
Civil parish Niton and Whitwell
Unitary authority Isle of Wight
Ceremonial county Isle of Wight
Region South East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town VENTNOR
Postcode district PO38
Dialling code 01983
Police Hampshire
Fire Isle of Wight
Ambulance Isle of Wight
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament Isle of Wight
List of places
UK
England
Isle of Wight

Coordinates: 50°35′13″N 1°17′06″W / 50.58687°N 1.2849°W / 50.58687; -1.2849

Niton is a village on the Isle of Wight, near Ventnor with a thriving population of 1142, supporting two pubs, several churches, a pottery workshop/shop, a pharmacy and 3 local shops including a post office. The post office houses a cafe which serves as a local meeting place.

Geography[edit]

Panorama over Niton.

Niton village is split into two halves by a break in the inner cliff large enough to house the main road through Niton. Upper Niton lies in a hollow and is set around a crossroads.

The lower part of the village, below the inner cliff is often known as Niton Undercliff, and was a small fishing hamlet until the 19th Century. This part of Niton flourished in Victorian times due to the popularity of Ventnor as a health resort, and many mansions and holiday cottages were built here.

Mount Cleves House was originally constructed in the late 1700s, and substantially remodelled in the early 1800s. Its residents included a Mr Kirkpatrick who owned the Isle of Wight Bank at the time and the owner of the Mortimer Foundry in Newport.[2]

The road on the Undercliff continues east from Niton towards Ventnor. The Undercliff at Niton includes the most southerly point of the Isle of Wight, St. Catherine's Point and St. Catherine's Lighthouse. That is also where the Navtex transmitting station is located.

The source of the Eastern Yar is in the parish, a little to the north of the village.[3]

Together with Whitwell, Niton composes a civil parish.[4]

Niton lighthouse[edit]

St Catherine's Lighthouse

St Catherine's Lighthouse was bombed in World War II, receiving a direct hit on the boiler house that killed three lighthouse keepers. The lighthouse itself was only slightly damaged, its lens only being chipped; the same lens is still used today.


Niton Church[edit]

Radio[edit]

Marconi used Knowles Farm in Niton as a location for radio experiments when he was living on the Isle of Wight in the late 1890s and early 1900s. In January 1901, he transmitted radio signals a record 186 miles from his transmitter station at Knowles Farm at the southern tip of the Isle of Wight to his Lizard Radio Telegraph Station at the southern tip of Cornwall. There is a stone at Knowles Farm into which is cut the inscription, "This is to commemorate that Marconi set up a wireless experimental station here in A.D. 1900". While in Niton, Marconi stayed at the Royal Sandrock Hotel[5] in Undercliff.

A ship-to-shore radio station was established in 1900 and Niton Radio (callsign GNI) was maintained as a coastal radio station well known to yacht masters—including being featured in a British Telecom International information film—until it finally closed, along with the rest of the coastal radio network, in 1997.[6] The Navtex transmitter at St. Catherine's Lighthouse is still in operation as of 2013 (Navtex is a shore-to-ship service).

Surfing[edit]

Niton has a reputation as a notoriously dangerous spot for Surfboarding. A powerful rip current and a rocky landing await the surfer who attempts to tame Niton's powerful shore break. [7]

Transport[edit]

Southern Vectis bus route 6 serves the village on its way between Newport and Ventnor, including intermediate villages.[8] During the summer, the Island Coaster also runs through the village.[9]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Niton and Whitwell Parish Council". Isle of Wight Council. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  2. ^ "The National Heritage List for England". English Heritage. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "River Yar Trail - Source to Sea". WightCam. Retrieved 2009-06-17. 
  4. ^ "English Parishes & Welsh Communities N&C 2004". www.statistics.gov.uk. Retrieved 2007-05-03. 
  5. ^ The Royal Sandrock Hotel no longer exists.
  6. ^ "Coastradio reference site". 
  7. ^ "Niton". 
  8. ^ "Southern Vectis - bus route 6". Southern Vectis. 2008. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  9. ^ "Southern Vectis Island Coaster". Southern Vectis. Retrieved 2009-06-16.