East Cowes Town Centre.
|Island:||Isle of Wight|
|Council:||Isle of Wight|
|Isle of Wight|
East Cowes is a town on the north coast of the Isle of Wight, Hampshire. It stands on the eastern bank of the River Medina, opposite its neighbour on the west bank, Cowes. The two towns are connected by the Cowes Floating Bridge, a chain ferry operated by the local council which runs continuously between the two towns.
East Cowes is the site of Norris Castle, and Osborne House, the former summer residence of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The Prince had a major influence on the architecture of the area, for example on the building of St Mildred's Church in Whippingham near East Cowes, which features distinctive turrets imitating those found on a German castle. It was at Osborne House that Queen Victoria died on @ 1901.
- Church of England: St James's
- The Community Church
- East Cowes Evangelical Free Church
- New Life New Hope Christian Fellowship
- Methodist: East Cowes Methodist
The name Estcowe (East Cowes) originally comes from one of two sandbanks each side of the River Medina estuary, so called after a supposed likeness to cows. The name was subsequently transferred to fortifications built during the reign of King Henry VIII on the east bank to resist French invasion, referred to as cowforts or cowes, which subsequently gave the name to the town. The naming of Cowes was done in a similar fashion. They replaced the earlier name of Shamblord.
The settlement of Shamblord at East Cowes was first recorded in 1303. It grew as East Shamblord, and became a much more significant settlement than the Western Shamblord. As the Isle of Wight was the target of frequent French invasions, with some notable incursions, the fort built at East Cowes was later destroyed and should not be confused with East Cowes Castle built subsequently by John Nash.
During the reign of Queen Victoria, who made her summer home at Osborne by acquiring and rebuilding Osborne House, East Cowes was the subject of planned estate of grand houses, groves and parks. The scheme, not finding the finances it needed, was folded, but a few residences built in the early stages still survive to this day such as the former Albert Grove residences of Kent House and Powys House on York Avenue.
In East Cowes Norris Castle was designed in the Norman style by James Wyatt in the late eighteenth century. The building survives and today remains a private home. In 1798, the architect John Nash, began building his home, East Cowes Castle, where he later entertained the Prince Consort and other prominent guests. East Cowes Castle was notable for its Gothic architecture|Gothic towers and turrets, and elaborate castellation. Nash died in 1835 and is buried in the tower of East Cowes Church which he also designed. East Cowes Castle was demolished during the 1960s, although the ice house remains and is visible in Sylvan Avenue.
During Second World War, both Cowes and East Cowes became the targets of frequent bombing due to its industry and proximity to Southampton and the Royal Navy's home at Portsmouth. The shipyard of J Samuel White was badly damaged by air attack in early May 1942 but, when rebuilt, innovative ship construction methods had been introduced. The first warship completed by the renewed yard was HMS Cavalier. During the air raid, the local defences had been fortuitously augmented by the Polish destroyer Blyskawica (itself built by White's), which put up such a determined defence that, in 2002, the crew's courage was honoured by a local commemoration lasting several days to mark the 60th anniversary of the event. Later in 2004, and over to the west, an area of Cowes was named Francki Place in honour of the ship's commander.
To celebrate the Silver Jubilee of the Queen's accession in 1977, the main hangar doors of what was then the British Hovercraft Corporation (a successor to Saunders Roe) were painted with the world's largest image of the Union Flag, which can still be seen today.
East Cowes is linked to the mainland by Red Funnel’s vehicle ferry service. The Cowes Floating Bridge links Cowes with East Cowes throughout the day. It is a chain ferry, and is one of the few remaining not to be replaced by a physical bridge. The Isle of Wight Coastal Path runs through East Cowes.
Local industry in both Cowes and East Cowes has always centred on the building and design of marine craft and materials associated with boatmaking, including the early flying boats, and sailmaking.
East Cowes was also once home to the aircraft manufacturer Saunders Roe, who built the large, advanced, flying boat The Saunders-Roe Princess, as well as the Black Knight rocket and the Black Arrow satellite carrier rocket. They also developed and tested the first hovercraft, the SR.N1.
The former Saunders-Roe factory at Venture Quays, which still boasts the world's largest Union Flag, now produces wind turbines, which can be seen laid on the quay for shipping out. Due to local objections no wind turbines have been allowed to be erected on the Isle of Wight.
- "Special celebration of ship that saved Cowes". Isle of Wight County Press. http://www.iwcp.co.uk/news/special-celebration-of-ship-that-saved-cowes-15876.aspx. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
- "BBC H2G2 - East Cowes, Isle of Wight". BBC. http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/alabaster/A430110. Retrieved 2009-12-23.
- "About Britain - Isle of Wight Coastal Path". www.aboutbritain.com. http://www.aboutbritain.com/articles/isle-of-wight-coastal-path.asp. Retrieved 2009-05-10.
| ("Wikimedia Commons" has material|
about East Cowes)
- Waitrose East Cowes - Waitrose East Cowes website giving all the information on the new build.
- Isle of Wight Tourism - Isle of Wight Tourist information.
- J Samuel White's shipyard - Maritime information on the HMS Cavalier
- The East Cowes Heritage Centre - Local history centre.
- Old postcards of Cowes, Gurnard, East Cowes and Osborne House.