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Puckaster is a hamlet on the Isle of Wight, England. Puckaster is on the southern coast of the Isle of Wight, south of Niton , between St. Catherine's Point and Binnel.


Puckaster has historical significance. Some have tried to identify Puckaster Cove with the Roman "Portus Castrensis"[1] although others dispute this.[2] Also, on 1 July 1675 King Charles II was forced ashore in Puckaster Cove in bad weather and heavy seas,[3][4] as recorded in the Niton Church Register:

"July the 1st, Anno Domini 1675. Charles II, king of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, etc., came safely ashore at Puckaster, after he had endured a great and dangerous storm at sea."[5]

Vice-Admiral Sir Thomas Hopsonn as an orphan lived in Niton. Seeing the fleet passing offshore he literally ran away to sea, down Puckaster Lane and into a rowing boat, later distinguishing himself, especially at the Battle of Vigo Bay in 1702 and returning to become a local Member of Parliament. He is mentioned by Samuel Smiles in Self Help. The coastline around Puckaster is quite treacherous, leading to the creation of St. Catherine's Oratory on St. Catherine's Down and eventually other lighthouses in the area. Among the other shipwrecks near Puckaster was that of the West Indianman "Three Sisters". The Three Sisters went aground at Puckaster in January 1799. Three of the crew were drowned in this accident.[6]


Puckaster is part of the Undercliff area, and subject to coastal erosion concerns.[7][8][9][10][11] It is also the home of some rare bees and other unique insects. Its unique climate allows the growth of some plants that are found nowhere else in the British Islands; this was even the subject of a publication by philosopher and economist John Stuart Mill.[12] To this end, Puckaster Farm was purchased in an effort to preserve this area.[13]

Puckaster has inspired several renowned paintings and drawings. For example, British painter Edward William Cooke (1811–1880) made a watercolor of Puckaster Cove in 1831.[14] The Brigham Young University Museum of Art owns an anonymous drawn plan of a Puckaster dwelling[15] and a watercolor of a Puckaster cottage.[16] Mrs. W. Bartlett and W. Willis made a well known etching of Puckaster Cove that was published in "Barber's Picturesque Illustrations of the Isle of Wight" in 1845.[17] The Tate Collection includes a drawing by artist Sir David Wilkie (1785–1841) titled, "Sir Willoughby Gordon and his Daughter Julia, Cooking on a Griddle at Puckaster, near Niton, Isle of Wight 1822".[18] Painters L. J. Wood and Richard Henry Nibbs (1816–1893) have also produced notable paintings of Puckaster.

Famous residents[edit]

Yacht designer and builder Uffa Fox lived in Puckaster. Prince Philip stayed in Puckaster as a young man when he was learning to sail.[19]


Author Cassandra Eason identifies Puckaster as a place which is frequented by fairies in her book, "A Complete Guide to Fairies & Magical Beings".[20]


Puckaster has its own flag which references the Buddle Inn and the tin trade with Cornwell, the history of smuggling on its coast, St Catherine's Lighthouse, the local landmark and three anchors which reference the Isle of Wight and safe anchorage at the Isle of Wight.


  1. ^ On the "Longstone" and Other Prehistoric Remains in the Isle of Wight, A. L. Lewis, The Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, Vol. 14, 1885 (1885), pp. 45-47, doi:10.2307/2841479
  2. ^ "I Remember, I Remember." Memoirs of two previous 'Undercliff ' inhabitants, Alan Champion, Ventnor: 1989.
  3. ^ The Isle of Wight Timeline of History, Isle of Wight History Centre Archived 2007-08-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Niton, Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson (c)2003, Accessed October 24, 2007 from UK and Ireland Genealogy website.
  5. ^ WARD LOCK & Co's Illustrated Guide Book to the Isle of Wight, 1848
  6. ^ Isle Of Wight Shipwrecks: 'HMS Pomone' and 'Carn Brae Castle', BBC h2g2, December 7, 2002.
  7. ^ Isle of Wight Coastal Visitors Centre
  8. ^ Landslips on The Isle of Wight
  9. ^ West & South Isle of Wight Archived 2012-02-09 at the Wayback Machine., Standing Conference on Problems Associated with the Coastline.
  10. ^ LUCCOMBE - BLACKGANG ISLE OF WIGHT (UNITED KINGDOM), Robin G. McGiness, Isle of Wight Centre for Coastal Environment
  11. ^ Life on the Edge, Undercliff Matters, English Nature, Issue 2, September 2003.
  12. ^ John Stuart Mill, The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Volume XXXI - Miscellaneous Writings, ed. John M. Robson (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1989), Accessed on 2007-10-24, originally published as Rarer Plants of the Isle of Wight, Phytologist, I (Nov. 1841), 91-2. No. 59 in Art. XXXIII, "Varieties." Signed "J.S. Mill."
  13. ^ A Walk on the Wild Side[permanent dead link], Undercliff Matters brochure, English Nature, Issue 3, April 2004.
  14. ^ PAE5457 Puckaster Cove, Isle of Wight Archived 2011-06-08 at the Wayback Machine., Edward William Cookee, water colour drawing no. 33 in Notebook of Pictures (11 July 1831)
  15. ^ Plan for Puckaster, Isle of Wight, Brigham Young University Museum of Art.
  16. ^ Puckaster, Isle of Wight, Brigham Young University Museum of Art.
  17. ^ Puckaster Cove 1845, Isle of Wight Archived 2005-09-01 at the Wayback Machine., Bluegreen Pictures website Archived 2007-08-20 at the Wayback Machine..
  18. ^ Sir Willoughby Gordon and his Daughter Julia, Cooking on a Griddle at Puckaster, near Niton, Isle of Wight 1822, David Wilkie, 1922.
  19. ^ The Wing, Puckaster House Archived 2007-07-11 at the Wayback Machine., Island Holidays website.
  20. ^ Fairy magic[permanent dead link], Vicki Green, Hampshire, October 6, 2001.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°34′48″N 1°17′03″W / 50.58000°N 1.28417°W / 50.58000; -1.28417