1st mentioned in 13th-14th centuries
At some point before the mid 16th century, the Town had an embankment built round this area, creating some very marshy pasture. A bridge was constructed across the river from the town side to this embankment roughly where the Medina way adjoins the Council car park. This bridge allowed Newport inhabitants to cross over and dump their soil and rubbish into the marshy area within the embankment. This became one of the three official dumping grounds within the town. Richard James was the lessee of this Oase meadow in Elizabeth’s reign, which passed on to the March family in the early 17th century. In the Royal Survey of 1559, the official status of this tipping ground was recognised:
“The Town hath a parcel of meadow ground, sometime called The Woes on the eastward part of the river, in occupation of Richard James, except for a footway there for the inhabitants of Newport to lay dust and soil on the premises where the tenant shall appoint”.
In a 1567 “Rental of Newport Town Lands”, Richard James paid the town a rent of 4d. for “ye medoe called ye Oes”, listed under “The towne lands in Key Streete & Shishpoole [Old Ledger Book NBC/45/2]. This was the standard rent paid for this plot for many years to come. In 1584, at the Court Leet, Richard James was instructed “to make a sufficient hedge or ffence upon the banke againste Peter Woodford [i.e. Peter Woodford’s close called Key or Quay Close in Fairlee] before the next Lawe daie sub pena vis. viiid.” [NBC/45/21]
Key Close [Quay Close] was the field between Hillside and Snook’s Hill, now occupied with the Social Services Offices and the top car park of the Riverside Centre.
In the 1592 Borough Book of Newport, a detailed look at the Town lands was recorded. The marsh was still held by Richard James and was described as:
“Itm a pece of ground called the Oase sometyme hath ben overflowne wth the sea & nowe woone & inclosed wth a banke by the Towne wch bancke beginneth at a ground called coule crafte and for compasinge about up to the key close & bounded as followeth that is to saye the haven in the North west the River wch cometh from fourde myll in the South coule craft close in the este”. [NBC/45/22]
In the early 17th century, the marsh was leased to the March family, an overner family of substantial merchants who set up in Newport but eventually came to have substantial holdings throughout the Island but especially in the Newport and Cowes areas. The Newport Terrar Book [a book detailing the Town’s properties and their rents] shows that the marsh is still being used as one of the town’s official dumping grounds:
“1652 TERRAR BOOK
A peece of ground measured lying betweene Sea Street & the river wth the storehouse theron and a peece of meadow ground sometime called the woes on the eastward pt of the River (except a footeway for the inhabitants of Newport to lay dust and soile on the premisses where Mr. March shall appoint) Letten to Mr. David March by Indenture dated the second day of June in the yeare of our Lord 1624 ffor 99 yeares begining at Lady daie last past before the said date At the yearlie rent of for the ground and storehouse theron Rent viiid. Burgage iiiid.
& for ye meadowe Rent iiiid. [No burgage]”. [NBC/45/101]
In 1676, John Hopkins is leasing the marsh [NBC/45/101], which he held till 1681. In 1688, a Mr. James Grant has taken over. [NBC/45/2 & NBC/45/16B] On 18 October 1695, Grant asked for the lease to be made out in the name of Richard French, carpenter, of Snooks Hill. [NBC/45/16B f.333] It is possible that this Richard French is the builder of the mill on the marsh, for the next lease in 1703, made out to John Redstone mentions a mill along with the marsh [1703 Dec. 17, NBC/45/16B]. By 1710, a small close adjoining the east side of the marsh has become Mill Close due to its proximity to the mill.
” And also that close or parrock of land called Mill Close near Newport, but in the parish of Whippingham (1 acre) upon the river running from Fordbridge towards Newport Quay on the west part, Key Close on east part, the marsh belonging to the Mayor, Aldermen and Chief Burgesses of the town of Newport on North side, and the highway from Newport to Whippingham and the last mentioned messuage or tenement on the south side Also Key Close, parish of Whippingham, near the Key of the town of Newport (7 acres) bounded with Colcroft Close, being pasture, part of Cosham Farm on the north, the lane leading from Newport to Whippingham on the east part, the Marsh aforesaid on north and north west parts and the said parrock, called Mill close, on west part, which said pieces of ground were heretofore in occupation of Jone Harvey, widow, of Newport, and afterwards of John Howe of Newport, basket maker”
[9 Dec. 1710 Marriage Settlement of John King, baker and Sarah Harris of Newport, widow, JER/MISC/40]
On the above maps, the mill is marked at the north east end of the marsh where the entrance to Seaclose car park is today. It’s almost certain that a building, which appeared on a 1758 plan in the same position, marked the position of the mill. On the right is shown a copy of part of a plan of the Encampment near Newport in the Isle of Wight 1758 & 1759 [BL Add 15532]. It clearly shows the mill pond that belonged to the mill on what had early been the town marsh dumping ground. The small bridge, that is shown on Speed’s map to allow the Newport inhabitants access to the marsh in order to dump their waste, has now been removed.
On 5 December 1723, the Mayor and Burgesses of Newport leased to John Redstone
“a storehouse in Sea Street, having the river descending from Foord Bridge to the haven on the north-east side, and also their piece of meadow ground, sometime called the ooze, lying on the eastward part of the said river running down from Foord Bridge and adjoining the south part of the haven, with the corn water mill lately erected, and all the banks, sluices and appurtenances to the same belonging, except a convenient footway for the King’s subjects upon the bank adjoining the said haven”.
Here specific mention is made of sluices, suggesting a tide mill as sluice gates were required to allow water in at high tide but then trap it in the mill pond once it was full.
Left: The site of the mill can be located in the area where the waterboard building stands and slightly to its right.
The Terrar Book of the Estates belonging to the Corporation of the Borough of Newport [NBC/45/103] shows that John Redstone is still leasing this property in 1749:
A Storehouse and Backside with the Marsh and Corn Water Mill and appurtenances granted to Mr. John Redstone for 51 years from Michas 1738.
for the Storehouse 3s. 2d.
for the Mill 4d.
The mill was in existence for almost one hundred years: it seems to have ceased to exist by 1792, as it is not shown on the 1792 Ordnance Survey map, but a small cottage is shown at the southern end of the marsh. This cottage was also marked on the tithe map of 1845 for Whippingham parish. The mill banks were still extant and these can be seen in two late 18th century paintings of the area, one by an Horatio Dennett, and the other by Joseph Turner [see below]. In the Turner drawing, two people can be seen walking on the mill bank. In the Dennett picture, the embankment seems to be in a decaying state, allowing a view of its structure. It seems to be very similar in construction to the Newtown marsh walls, consisting of a row of wooden stakes driven into the soft river bed mud, with an embankment of clay formed over the top of or on the inside of them. This bank is shown in a somewhat eroded condition with the wooden stakes clearly visible and large pools of water still remaining within the mill pond.
In 1851, Newport Corporation authorised the improvement of the River Medina and for £15,000 undertook to have parts of the river dredged as well as certain parts of the banks near Newport straightened and fortified with quays. This included the improving of the marsh, with quay walls and infilling behind. Part of the site was then leased to Sir A. W. Hilary, of London, in order to construct a gas works on the site of the present Riverside Centre. This new company, The Newport (I.W.) Gas Company, provided much cheaper gas than its older rival, The Newport Gas Light Company, whose premises were situated at Pan Bridge. R.J. Eldridge notes that the “Newport Gas Light Company were so affected by this that their £50 shares fell in value to £4, and in the end Sir A. W. Hilary and his partners purchased the old company’s undertaking” [Newport in Bygone Days, R.J. Eldridge. Isle of Wight County Press 1952].
The northern most street on Smeed’s map of 1611 with its junction with that of Holyrood Street on the west side and Quay Street on the right.
Once known as ‘Shispoole Street’ because of the number of the most important warehouses.
A solitary alms house on the east side of Sea Street, near the Quay.
The Railway bridge span the lower end of the Medina river, the centre span slid open to allow barges to go through. The railway closed in 1966 and the bridge demolished.
(North East Side)
Holyrood Street corner with Sea Street stands the Medina Railway Tavern.
1 Elizabeth Rainbird – Licensed Victuler 
William J Rainbird – Musician
Elizabeth A Rainbird – Milliner
Charlotte E Rainbird – Pianist
Henry Sherring – Cellerman
Frank Blew – Tinman
Thomas Hayden – Licensed Victualler 
Louisa J Hayden
Bertie A Love
William Stephens (visitor, butler)
Thomas Hayden – 1885
O W Elsbury – 1889
Elsbury Oliver White – 1891
Joseph Smith – Licensed Victualler 
Helen R Smith
George J Smith
Edythe Holland – Hotel manageress 
Mary Ethel Holland
Beatrice Emily Gallop – servant
Mr Johnson – Landlord 
1 & 3 Later C18 on the corner of Sea Street and Holyrood Street qv where the front has been entirely refaced in late C19 including a public house. On Sea Street: 2 storeys stucco with frieze and plinth. Gable end old tile roof, shallow wood eaves cornice. 3 windows: 1st floor, 2 light casement to north with glazing bars thin wood block sill, others windows slightly recessed sash, glazing bars moulded frames, block sills. C19 ground floor window to north of 2 round headed lights with colonettes, recessed, block sills, bracketed hood, other 2 windows, C19, recessed sash of 2 lights with plain strips, thin block sills (mid C19). No 1 has recessed door modern, but with semi-circular fanlight, splayed reveals, doorcase of stucco pilasters with block capitals, plain arch over.
No 3 has recessed door of 4 fielded panels, 2 glazed, moulded frame, doorcase of stucco Doric pilasters frieze and block cornice.
Listing NGR: SZ4998589388 Grade II 1 Feb. 1972
2 Samuel Isaac Honning – 1891
Lawes & Co. manure merchants – 1889-1891
Cradock Butchers Ltd – 1971
4 Alfred John Harley – coal merchant 1891-1898
5 Alfred Harley, agent Globe Parcel Express Office – 1891
6 Samuel Leigh, carrier by water – 1891
W B Mew Langton & Co Ltd. Brewery stores – 1891
Ash & Thomas, stores – 1891
5-9 W Hurst & Son – 1971
This area is now a public car park
Until the late 16th century, the area where Quay Arts Centre and the Riverside centre are today were marshy wetlands known variously as the Woas, Oase or ooze. Covered at high tide with brackish water, these areas became marshy soft mudlands at low tide possibly fringed with reeds. It is recorded that the town inhabitants used the Little London marsh area for mooring and mending their boats. Indeed the limits of the River Medina or Newport River (as it was then known) corresponded with the town boundaries and so the marshy margins on both sides of the river were within the town boundary, while the valuable dry fields above were owned by various other landowners. At a later date, when the Town corporation reclaimed these areas, small strips of valuable dry ground was added to the Town’s lands on the Whippingham parish and the Carisbrooke parish sides [east side of river Medina, and north of the Lukely Brook/Medina River junction respectively].
The Quay Arts Centre
The current Quay Arts building was originally known as the Porter Store. It was used as a bonded warehouse by Mew Langton’s Brewery where Island-brewed beers were stored on the ground floor, and spirits stored on the first. In 1884, the Rope Store was built by Robert Croucher.
The complex features three art galleries, a 134 capacity theatre, a crafts shop, conferencing facilities and a cafe and was fully refurbished in 1997 by architect Tony Fretton. The Quay Arts owns and operates Jubilee Stores, also located on Newport Quay.
The Quay Arts was first proposed in 1974 by a painter Anne Lewington and graphic designer Nigel Lewington, who proposed the idea of a building to house an arts centre for the island. Disused brewery warehouses on the Quay side at Newport Harbour were first identified as a suitable site, and is the location of the Quay Arts Centre today.
In 1976 the buildings were sold to the Isle of Wight Council for £14,000, and in 1978 the Isle of Wight Visual Arts Centre Ltd was formed to manage and operate the Quay Arts Centre.
Since the centre opened in 1982 flooding has been a recurring problem to facilities on the ground floor, and in 1993 a flood wall was built to help prevent further flooding, although it didn’t stop completely. A successful redevelopment bid to the National Lottery in 1996 led to a complete refurbishment and re-opening in 1998. This also included further development of the adjacent Rope Store, also to house art
Island Quakers –
Nos l5 & 19 with the 2 blocks the other side of the river and adjacent to the viaduct form a group
Listing NGR: SZ5009189365 Grade II 1 Feb. 1972
15a-c Converted quayside warehouse now forming three terraced properties
17 Semi-detached property
19 Warehouse of 3 storeys in red brick, with central and ground floor hatches and 2 windows with cast iron traceried bars. A small round window in the gable end, which is treated as a pediment with moulded brick capping. Purple brick arches to the hatches and windows. The Sea Street front and eastern side are now cement rendered, but the brick work remains intact on the river front. Also mid C18. Slate roof.
Lupton Electrics – 1971
19a-c Converted to flats
here is the Quay (1891)
6 Fountain Inn
Albany Lodge (151) – masonic meeting – 1815
W Holdeck – 1852
Thomas Coleman – publican – 1859-1875
Frank Coleman – 1879
Sarah Coleman 1865-1880
Sarah Coleman – Innkeeper, widow – 1881
Emma Livington – boarder, assistant
Mrs Smoat – 1885
Samuel Leigh – water carrier – 1889
Angus Leigh and wife Matilda – 1890
16 property renumbered
Samuel Leigh – Licensed Victualler & Mariner – 1891-1898
7 sons & daughters
Mrs Carley – 1898-1909
Emily Ellen Davies – Innkeeper, widow – 1901
Ada Brewer – domestic servant
17 Edwin Morgan, shipping carriers & coal & coke merchant
18 William Wheeler, sail maker
John Bull, manure agent
Charles Odell, coal merchant
19 Shepard Brothers, general carriers & to the South Western Railway Co.
21 Mrs Dallimore
22 Scovell Bros, millers stores
23 Edward Morgan – town carrier & stores
24 Edward Way & Son, millers stores
Alex Sharp & Co, timber merchants
Alex Sharp & Co Ltd, timber importers – 1960
Samuel & Daniel Pring, coal merchants
W B Mew Langton & Co Ltd, cooperage
Nos 25 to 37 (odd) form a group
29 Newport & IOW Coal Co – 1889
30 Mrs Williams
31 Harry James
33 Walter H Shields, loan office
35-37 Mid C18 similar to Nos 25 to 33 but in painted brick, set back in courtyards, gabled slate roofs, hatches in centre with 2 light casements to side, 3 on north west elevation of No 37 which projects forward from No 35.
Listing NGR: SZ5017989343
These properties no longer exist having been demolished and now form part of a carpark associated with Isle of Wight Council Offices.
(South West Side)
backway to Swan hotel, off High Street
Salvation Army Barracks – 1891
41 Dolphin Inn, a corner property situated at Quay Street and Sea Street (pic). This dates from around 1711. In the census of 1871 & 1881 it was listed as No.62. The bricked-in windows, using lavender headers, may be ‘window tax’ or may simple have been a design feature. A well known former landlady, Mrs Prangnell, said in 1969, at the age of 91, that she had been a Mews tenant for 68 years.
1871 James Woodnutt, Coal Merchant
1875 Jas Woodnutt
1881 Charles Odell, Inn Keeper & Coal Merchant
Walter W Odell
Edward Woodnutt/Brother in Law, Marin
1885 Mrs Ellen Odell
1889 Bernard Rice
1891 Bernard Rice/Licensed Victualler
Charles J Odell/Brother in Law, Telegraph Boy
Walter W Odell/Brother in Law, Errand Boy
Henry Whitmarsh/Lodger, Army Pensioner, Widow
1898 Warden Jay
1911 Edward Busby
1920-1927 Mrs M Busby
43 John Callaghan
44 William Gray, mariner
46 Frederick James Croucher (1891)
Crouchers Ltd, Removals premises in Quay Street in 1910 now Car Park
Harry Edward Croucher
47 Medina House – Arnold Frank Sheppard
48 Francis Albert Joyce
49 James Cooper
50 Mrs Linington
51 Banner Inn
1859-1870 R Auger
1871 Elizabeth Auger [Innkeeper, widow] [property recorded as No.71]
1878-1885 Henry Lockhart
1889 Mrs Elizabeth Lockhart
1891 Elizabeth Lockhart [Licensed Victualler, widow]
Edward Woodnutt – Retired Mariner
Emily Rogers – Widow
1898 Mrs Ann E Cotton
1901 Henry Kerley – Forman P O Telegraph
Joseph & Percy Cotton
William Denton – Labourer
1908 Closed being refered for compensation
1960 demolished, the last occupant being Donald Brown, who was a skipper of Croucher’s vessel
“Chamois” and took the boat to France at the evacuation of Dunkirk.
52 William D Mew
53 Mrs Frampton
54 Charles Hobbs, bailiffs’ assistant
55 Arthur Odell, mariner
56 Frederick Gustar
Queen Charlotte 1818
To be Let by Auction on Wednesday 27th May 1818, at the Bugle Inn, in Newport between the hours of six and eight in the evening (subject to the conditions to be then and there produced):- All that free and good-accustomed Public House, with a brewery, malt-house, and kiln attached to the same known by the name of Queen Charlotte, situated in Sea Street, in Newport aforesaid, now in the occupation of Mr John Corrie. The house comprises two good parlours, a large kitchen, a bar, pantry, and larder, four best bedrooms, three bedrooms in the attic, and adjoining the premises a very convenient brewery, malt-kiln, and floors for making malt with excellent beer cellars and every conveniency required in the above business.
The situation of the premises is desirable being near Newport Quay, where there is a great thorough-fare. The brewhouse has been recently built; and will be let for the unexpired term of fifteen years, commencing from the 11th October last. Possession may be had immediately. – Hampshire Telegraph 18 May 1818.
Formely warehouses occupied the area, fronting onto Sea Street and backing onto the river Medina
16 Anchor Inn – 1888-1889
Nos 26 to 40 (even) form a group
No 26 (Seymour House)
(GPO property). Fine late C18 house of 3 storeys, purple grey headers with red brick dressings. Plain parapet with stone coping. 5 windows, the centre blocked, recessed, sash, no glazing bars to ground floor. Central door of 6 fielded panels, semi-circular fanlight with radial glazing bars with ornamental swags between. Very fine moulded wood doorcase, with panelled reveals, quarter Doric columns, fluted frieze with roundels, dentil cornice over.
Listing NGR: SZ5005389352 Grade II 1 Oct. 1953
No. 28 Semi-detached property
Early C19. 2 storeys purple grey headers with red brick dressings, plinth. Gable end slate roof. 3 windows, recessed, sash glazing bars, block sills. Round headed doorway with semi-circular fanlight.
Listing NGR: SZ5006189349 Grade II 1 Feb. 1972
No 30 Seal House
Sloop Inn first appears in the 1750 directory and subsequent directories up to 1871 census, today this premises is known as Seal House. An advertisment was discovered above the entrance during restoration work which reads “Frederick King Licensed to sell beer by Retail to be drunk on the premises”. (pic)
Fine early C18 house: 2 storeys in red brick with plinth and moulded band. Heavy wood modillion cornice. Old tile roof. 5 windows with segmental heads and flush wood frames. Early C19 wood doorcase with fluted pilasters and plain frieze and cornice. 8-panel door. Good ground floor contemporary panelled room, also staircase.
Listing NGR: SZ5006889342 Grade II 1 Oct. 1953
No.32 Small timber frame weatherboarded warehouse of 2 storeys. One window sash, glazing bars, moulded frame over yard door. Gable end old tile roof.
Listing NGR: SZ5007889344 Grade II 1 Feb. 1972
No.34 to 38 Early C19 red brick with grey headers, red brick dressings. Stone plinth. Low pitch gable end slate roof. No 34 3 windows, centre one blind, No 36 2 windows, No 38 one window and hatch (used as warehouse). Windows recessed, sash, glazing bars intact Nos 34 and 38 block sills, flat brick arches. Recessed modern doors, Nos 34 and 36. Yard door with segmental arch to No 38.
Listing NGR: SZ5008589344 Grade II 1 Feb. 1972
34 Harbour Cottage
36 Gull Cottage
52 dates 1697 no longer here.
James Thomas & Co. provisions merchant – 1898
Compiled by Roy Richardson, 2015