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Bembridge Lifeboat Station 2011.jpg
Bembridge Lifeboat Station
Island: Isle of Wight
Grid reference: SZ643882
Location: 50°41’23"N, 1°5’20"W
Population: 3,567
Post town: Bembridge
Postcode: PO35
Dialling code: 01983
Local Government
Council: Isle of Wight
Isle of Wight

Bembridge is a village standing at the easternmost point of the Isle of Wight in Hampshire. It had a population of 3,848 according to the 2001 census, leading to claims by residents that Bembridge is the 'largest village in England'.[1]

This is a prosperous place, and home to many of the island's wealthiest residents.

About the village

Aerial view of Ryde and Bembridge

Bembridge sits at the extreme eastern point of the Isle of Wight. Before land reclamation, the area of Bembridge and Yaverland was almost an island unto itself, separated from the remainder of the Isle of Wight by Brading Haven. The Victorian era saw growth, before which Bembridge was little more than a collection of wooden huts and farmhouses, which only consolidated into a true village with the building of the church in 1827 (later rebuilt in 1846). The historical heart of the village is located close to the church in the north of the village, consisting of a number of shops, pubs and restaurants, along with the Village Hall and site of the former Parish Council hall. Bembridge Library serves the community and there is a local museum in the same location.

The Lane End district is located in the east of the village. It is largely composed of modern bungalows and a small shopping area which includes a supermarket. The lane comes to an end at the beach, where Bembridge Lifeboat station and the Bembridge Coast Hotel are situated. Moving inland from Lane End is Bembridge C of E Primary School, along with the local community centre, which are connected by a large recreational playing field.

The Royal Isle of Wight Golf Club (now defunct) was located at St Helens Duver, across the harbour from Bembridge. The club was formed in 1882. It closed in the 1960s.[2]

The RNLI has a lifeboat station here.[3]

Bembridge Airport is a local airport with a concrete runway, and is located close to the Windmill to the south-west of the village proper heading towards Yaverland.


  • Church of England
  • Methodist
  • Roman Catholic

The war memorial was designed by local architect, Percy Stone (1856–1934).[4]

Features around the village and coast

Lifeboat station

Seawall in Bembridge.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution lifeboat station is particularly significant, as it extends into the sea to the east of the village. Here lies the notorious "Bembridge Ledge", a large, rocky outcrop which poses a major threat to passing boats.[5]

Although it is private sailing yachts which are most at risk, a wide variety of boats commonly run aground here, especially in the often stormy weather conditions which affect the Solent during winter months. A former Bembridge lifeboat, the RNLB Jesse Lumb, is part of the National Historic Fleet, and exhibited at Imperial War Museum Duxford.[6]

The current offshore boathouse was completed in Autumn 2010 by BAM Nuttall and Ecochoice and houses a new Tamar class boat, the 'Alfred Albert Williams'.[7] A complete new concrete walkway was built, and the new station is made completely of naturally durable timber. The Inshore lifeboat station was rebuilt in 2014.

Coastguard lookout

Close to the lifeboat station lies a coastguard lookout. Positioned at a high elevation, this offers views of the Solent meeting the English Channel to the east of the Isle of Wight. From this vantage point one is able to view a variety of craft year round, although there is more marine traffic in the summer.

Bembridge Windmill

Bembridge Windmill

Bembridge Windmill, the only remaining windmill on the Isle of Wight, is located to the west of the village. Dating from around 1700, it is a National Trust property generally open from April to October.[8]

Bembridge Fort

Main article: Bembridge Fort

Bembridge Fort is a Victorian fort, known as a 'Palmerston Fort', on Bembridge Down close by the village.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Bembridge)