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Coordinates: 50°45′58″N 1°12′58″W / 50.766°N 1.216°W / 50.766; -1.216 The Motherbank is a shallow sandbar off the northeast coast of the Isle of Wight in England. It lies in the Solent between Cowes and Ryde.[1]

The Motherbank is located near historically significant ports and anchorages such as Portsmouth, Spithead, Southampton and St. Helen's Bay, and has long served as an important anchorage itself. Merchant ships have anchored at the Motherbank for centuries.

The Royal Navy for many years anchored old, decommissioned warships at the Motherbank while they awaited disposal. An old warship might be anchored there for anything between several weeks and several years before being sold, scrapped or sunk as a target.[2]


  1. ^ Old Towns of England
  2. ^ For references to the Motherbank's use in this way, see numerous articles on Royal Navy warships, many of which mention the ship ending her days anchored there.