Walks About Wootton
Notable Buildings and Features
Other Wootton Bridge Walks
Welcome to Wootton Bridge. This leaflet is one in a series of five walks designed to help you explore some of our village’s history and beautiful surroundings. Enjoy your walk.
- Distance: Just under 2½ miles.
- Timing: Approximately 1 hour.
- Nearest car park: Brannon Way.
- Bus routes: Ryde - Newport No. 9, Ryde - East Cowes No 4.
- Recommended: Bring your binoculars and bird book!
- Suitable for disabled.
- Start and finish: At the bridge/Kite Hill.
- Taken at a gentle pace this walk is easy going on reasonably good surfaces.
Start your walk at the Great Plane Tree by entrance to Lakeside, opposite the Sloop Inn.
Look across to Wootton ‘bridge’. The present bridge was constructed in 1865. To the south of the causeway the water forms a mill pond covering about 100 acres. A sluice gate created a head of water, which was utilised at low tide for the working of the once tidal mill. The view across the Mill Pond is beautiful and look out for herons, egrets and other wading birds.
Beyond the bridge is Bridge House which faces you on the right hand side abutting the banks of the Mill Pond. This Grade 11 listed building was originally called Sydney Cottage. It has footings dating from 1536 and was at one time part of the Manor of Quarr, near Binstead. Among its many occupants were Kaines Adlard Coles, the author of Sailing Years, and Twinings of tea fame. Covenants include the stipulation that the property may not be used as a place of worship nor as a pub. Today’s façade is not the original, although there are traces of it in the cellar.
Now look across the road into Mill Square, where the Sloop Inn is situated. The site of the tidal mill was where the yachtsmen’s cottages now stand. Built prior to 1690, in the lease of July 1700 between Edward Lisle and Col. Edward Fleming the document included a watermill,millhouse, dwelling house currently used as an ale house, stables, outhouses and garden. Parts of the wall of the mill building can still be seen today, adjacent to
the grass area and public slipway in Mill Square. If you look carefully in the wall you can see the position of the original doorway.Sadly, the mill was demolished in 1963.
Beside the yachtsmen’s cottages there was once a small quay where several fishing boats and other vessels up to 250 tons could operate at high water. Twice daily a wherry operated by a William Furmidge carried passengers to Portsmouth, returning in the evening.
Turn into Lakeside at the Great Plane tree.
Continue for about 100 yards until you come to the entrance to the Woodland Cemetery on your right at Fernhill Park. This has recently been turned into a Woodland Cemetery but there is public access through the site. Turn into the Park. The woodland to your right is known as the Ornamental Drive and was once the drive that led to Fernhill House. It was established about 150-200 years ago and has an unusual mix of exotic trees in the walk, including acers, prunus and rhododendron. The great Plane Tree, where you started, would have at one time been at the entrance to the Drive.
Continue up until you exit the Park at Fernside Way.
Carry straight on and about 100 yards along on the left is the turning for Fernhill. The original lodge, now a private house, stands here on the opposite side of the road. Fernhill House itself was situated at the end of Fernhill (unmade road). The House was built by Lord Bolton the Governor of the Isle of Wight in 1794.
Sadly it was disastrously destroyed by fire in 1938.
Turn right by the lodge into Station Road until you reach the junction with the High Street. Cross over the High Street into Church Road, which is opposite, using the light-controlled crossing.
Walk right along the length of Church Road until you reach St Edmund’s Church, at the end. Dating from Norman times, it was built around 1087 AD as a private chapel for the nearby manor house. The west wing is of the original building, the east wing being added in the 13th century. At this time a chantry was constructed on the north wall; this was demolished in the 17th century and replaced by the present side chapel which was built on the same site in 1892. The early Norman doorway was part of the original structure and the roof timbers probably date from the 14th century. The Jacobean pulpit and late Victorian stained glass windows complement the building.
Opposite the Church, turn into Norman Way and walk straight ahead until you reach the junction with Footways. Take a quick left and then right which will take you into the recreation ground.
Follow the designated pathway through the recreation ground and the Doorstep Green, which was opened in 2005. The information panel at the entrance explains how and why the Green was created.
Exit into the High Street. Turn left and start walking down the High Street.
At the traffic lights you will see the Cedars public house on the right hand corner. A public house since 1953, it was built as a private residence for Edmund Brading, retiring headmaster of Wootton School. Later requiring a smaller dwelling, he sold it to the Fulford family and built the house to the left of the Cedars. The car park was once the tennis courts for the house. After World War II, the Fulfords sold the property to Mew Langton brewery.
Cross Church Road carefully at the lights and continue on down the High Street.
Pause to look in the garden of number 80 where the Queen Victoria Golden Jubilee Fountain is sited. Although on private land, the fountain can be viewed from the footway. It was originally erected in 1887 at the bottom of the High Street (next to where the launderette is now sited). It supplied water and on the right hand side had a bowl to drink from, whereas the left was used for filling buckets. The monument was dismantled in the late 1960s and the stonework was transported further up the hill to 80 High Street and deposited in the rear garden. In 1987 the current owner had it rebuilt in the front garden.
Carry on walking until you reach the junction with New Road on the left. Turn left and walk along New Road for about 150 yards, past the Youth Centre, formerly Wootton School (1867), built on land donated by Robert Stayner Holford, owner of the former Wootton Manor Estate.
Take a right into an unmade road called Pump Lane.
Follow the road around until you reach the green, pausing to admire the view down the Creek. Proceed to the metal gate on the far side of the green. On your right there is a group of three cottages dating from 1758. Walk through the gate, following the lane round which takes you into Mill Square.
A survey of 1862 reveals that the buildings to the left of the Sloop (as you look at it) comprised the Post Office, (now part of the Sloop Inn), Methodist Reformers Chapel, (which became St John’s Ambulance hall, now a private residence) and Ella Cottage.
You have now reached the end of the walk.
A printable version of this walk is available by clicking on the leaflet image on the right of your screen. This PDF document is designed to be printed at A3 size. If your printer prints A4 you will still be able to print this document, but at a reduced size.
Printed copies of this walk and four others are available from:
Wootton Bridge Help and Information Center
4 & 5 Joanne's Walk, Brannon Way, Wootton Bridge.
Telephone: 01983 884 555
Open: Monday - Friday 0900 - 1300 hours
Note: Outside of these times copies are normally available from the display point on the pavement outside the centre. There is also another display point located at the entrance to Wootton Station Car Park.
Wootton Parish Council wishes to thank the many people and volunteers who have supported and helped in whatever way with the production of the Walks About Wootton Project. Without them these leaflets would not have been possible.
All the drawings used on this page are © Copyright Coco Design Co. Tel: 0198 3854 006 Mobile: 07530 867318. E-mail: Coco Design.
The creators of this website express there appreciation to Coco Designs for the use of these images.