Old postcards are sometimes poorly produced and grainy, I've done my best to scan them. Please click thumbnails for full size picture. Dates are from the card or my estimate (where possible). The manufacturer of the card is shown in brackets (where available).
Ventnor, says Mr. Thorne, “has been most affected by the popularity of the Undercliff. Forty years ago it contained about half a dozen humble cottages, and until the publication of Sir James Clark’s work, “On the Influence of Climate in the Prevention and Cure of Disease” its few inhabitants were nearly all fishermen. It was one of the most picturesque spots along the coast. The platform was broken into several uneven terraces. The huge hills towered up aloft. Down to the broad smooth beach the ground ran in smooth slopes, mingled with abrupt banks of rock, along which a brawling rivulet careered gaily towards the sea, and the few fishermen’s huts gave a piquant rustic liveliness to all besides. The climate seemed most favourable, and the neighbourhood most agreeable, to the invalid. In the open gardens of the cottages, myrtles and other tender plants flourished abundantly, and without need of protection even in winter; snow hardly ever lies on the ground; sunny and sheltered walks abound, and the beach is excellent for bathing. Ventnor at once caught the attention of the crowd of visitors; and it was one of the first places to provide them suitable accommodation. In the tiny fishing-hamlet soon sprang up hotels, and boarding-houses, and shops, and a church, and Ventnor became the capital of the Undercliff. Invalids came here for a winter retreat, as well as a summer visit. Speculation was stimulated. And now, as Fuller has it, ’the plague of building’ lighted on it, and it spread until every possible spot was planted with some staring building, or row of buildings.
Black's Guide to the Isle of Wight, 1870
Freshwater | Totland | Alum Bay and the Needles | Yarmouth | Shalfleet | Newtown | Calbourne | Carisbrooke Castle | Newport and Carisbrooke | Cowes and Gurnard | Osborne House | Wootton, Fishbourne and Quarr | Ryde | Seaview | Bembridge | Brading | Sandown | Shanklin | Godshill | Arreton Valley | Ventnor | St Lawrence and the Undercliff | St Catherine's Lighthouse's | Niton | Blackgang Chine | Blackgang and Chale | Brighstone and Shorwell | Mottistone to Compton
13 August 2014