Priory Bay

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Priory Bay
Priory Bay.jpg
Priory Bay looking north
Priory Bay is located in Isle of Wight
Priory Bay
Priory Bay
Priory Bay shown within the Isle of Wight
Civil parish
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
EU Parliament South East England
UK Parliament
List of places
Isle of Wight
50°42′33″N 1°06′04″W / 50.7092°N 1.1010°W / 50.7092; -1.1010Coordinates: 50°42′33″N 1°06′04″W / 50.7092°N 1.1010°W / 50.7092; -1.1010

Priory Bay is a small privately owned bay on the northeast coast of the Isle of Wight, England. It lies 34 mile (1.2 km) to the east of Nettlestone village and another ​34 mile along the coast from Seaview.[1] It stretches from Horestone Point in the north to Nodes Point in the south, the bay is surrounded by woodland known as Priory Woods owned by the National Trust. The bay faces east towards Selsey Bill and has a 950-yard (870 m) shoreline and can be accessed by walking round Horestone Point from Seagrove Bay.[1]


The northern part of the bay has a straight coastline that makes a 700-yard (640 m) beach that is sandy with some pebbles. At the southern end the bay curves round to the east. Here the coast is rocky with evidence of walls and buttresses that were built to protect the coastline. These have largely been breached and lie scattered along the shore. The cliffs around the bay rise to around 130 feet (40 m) but are under 'active erosion' from the sea, particularly affecting the southern part of the bay.[2]

The seabed is predominantly sandy and the shallow bay shelves gradually to the shore, a shallow sandbank called Gull Bank exists just offshore which keeps a long thin pool of water next to the beach at low tide.[3]


Palaeolithic tools, from the early stone age, have been discovered in the gravels on the beach of the bay, these tools have been washed down off the cliffs.[4] Several hundred of these flint implements have been found on the bay since they were first discovered in 1886.[2]

The bay takes its name from a small priory located nearby thought to be connected to monks from St Helens Old Church.[4]

To the south of the bay is the Nodes Point Battery, which was used from the around the start of the 20th Century till 1956.[5]


  1. ^ a b Google (6 September 2018). "Sandown Bay" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Isle of Wight Coastal Audit". Historic England. 2000. p. 25.
  3. ^ "Priory Bay". eOceanic. Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  4. ^ a b "The early history of the St Helens Duver area". The National Trust.
  5. ^ "Nodes Point Battery" (PDF). Victorian Forts.