|When on holiday here in my
childhood I used to love visiting the towns by the old steam
locomotives and most people will remember the Wroxall tunnel
which was dug through St Boniface Down, those few minutes of
darkness lit only by a single bulb in the carriage and then
coming out the other end and continuing down to Ventnor.
The railway changed this small
agricultural settlement even though permission for it to be
built over land belonging to Lord Yarborough of Appuldurcombe,
thus the tunnel was constructed, many of teh workers lived in
cottages in the main street of Wroxall as these cottages were
built especialy to house them.
Sadly the railway is no long here and
there is hardly a sign to show that it was here. This is also a good
spot for walkers and you can easily walk to Ventnor, Shanklin,
Godshill and Whitwell from here. It is not a pretty village as such
but it has a fine church dedicated to St John built from the same
stone that was taken from the tunnel and has a conical tower and a
clock that has a blue face.
The main building here is Appuldurcombe
House and its ruins and surrounding parkland is steeped in history
most of it centred around the Worsley family from Lancashire.
James Worsley was a page to Henry VII
and he was also a companion to Henry VIII, then knighted and given the
office Captain of the Isle of Wight. He married Ann Leigh who was the
heiress of Appuldurcombe and they began a dynasty that would be
closely aligned to life in an island and in politics that would last
for the next three hundred years.
The house was later demolished by the
family and a classic styled mansion was built in its place. In 1855
the estate was sold and converted to a hotel which became a
school and then it was temporary accommodation for the Benedictine
Monks during the building of Quarr Abbey. Until 1909 it remained empty
then a land mine damaged it and now a ruin it is surrounded by
parkland and is under the care of English Heritage.
Left The church of St
John the Evangelist