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Wootton Time Line

Historically the north east coastline of the Isle of Wight had been linked since Neolithic times to 'modern day Hampshire'. With archaeological research carried out between 1989 and 1994, lying in soft sediments and peats between high and low watermark. On exceptionally low tides, wooden trackways of Neolithic date can be observed at the low water mark. Slightly inshore Stone Age implements of flint tools have been found. Where Roman and medieval ships had delivered cargoes to these shores, delicate materials like leather, wood and rope along with all types of pottery have been found.

Human Activity in Changing Environment

From 4000 BC the Island had become separated from the mainland as sea levels rose, by a distance of as much as 2-4 kilometres from its present position. Remains of wooden fish traps have been discovered in the silts. Around 3000 BC the demise of the oak forest on the Wootton-Quarr coastline can be seen with the poisoning of tree roots.

By Roman times the sea level had risen about 2 meters below that of today. Discovery of the remains of two salt drying kilns have been found below the high water level. To operate effectively it would have been essential for these kilns to be sited above high water.

By around 800 AD large quantities of stout wooden stakes were constructed along the Quarr coastline, one kilometre long parallel to the shore. Study of these has revealed that a workforce of skilled and unskilled workers had constructed structures such as fish weir, capable of feeding a growing coastal community.

At the mouth of Wootton Creek lies Young’s Slipway. In Saxon times a ‘sea pond’ was constructed here with the aid of wooden hurdles. This may have been the ‘pond, in the arm of the sea at Wodyton’ that the monks of Quarr Abbey mention in a document from AD 1304. This area was then known as Fishouse. [See also separate article under Wootton].

Change of Fortunes

In 1042 Edward 'the Confessor' became King following the death of Hardicanute. One of Canute's most powerful earls was Godwin of Wessex, whose daughter, Edith, married Edward in 1045 (the marriage was childless). Queen Edith owned lands in 'Odetone' where a Saxon chapel would once have stood, the site now being St Edmund's Church and Wootton Manor.

In 1066 following the Battle of Hastings, William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, became King William I of England and introduced feudalism into the country. From the Conquest, the King alone owned all the land of England, except for land he gave to Earls, Barons and others in return for their support, especially in providing military resources. Among the principle landowners on the Isle of Wight was the Urry family, the Sture or Stur from whom the de Insula family (1086), Fitz Azors and de Reviers (d. 1107).

1132 Foundation Charter of Quarr Abbey. Between Baldwin de Redvers, Earl of Exeter and 4th Lord of the Isle of Wight and Abbot Gervase of Savigny, Normandy.
1536 Dissolutions of the Monasteries by Henry VIII
1690 Lease of Wootton Mill between Edward Lisle and William Moseley of Wootton.
1775 The Greyhound Public House in the area of Wootton Mill, Mill Square.
1787 Widow of James Gumm of Newport left half share interest in The Sloop Inn, Wootton to nephews and nieces.
Post 1791 Fernhill built by Thomas Orde-Powlett, 1st Baron Bolton.
1824 Foundation of Methodism in Wootton.
1846 Littletown Society founded.

More information can be found under their respective headings in the main menu.

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:49

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Wootton Bridge Walks

Wootton Walk leaflet

If you are visiting the Isle of Wight you may be interested in our Wootton Walks leaflets which include a large scale route map.

These leaflets enable you, in a series of five walks, to explore some of our village’s history and beautiful surroundings. Enjoy your walk.

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