Chronicles: Local names for Ventnor places – Part 2

We continue our list of names used locally for places in Ventnor originally published in The Isle of Wight Mercury on 6th January 1984. These were contributed by local residents but some contain rather dubious speculation on their origins. If you know better, please let us know (see Part 1 here).

Longdown: Fields on the high piece of land later bounded by North, East, South and West streets.  Perhaps more usually related to the school once there.

Mill Bank: Pier Street (originally Mill Street because Ventnor Mill  was sited somewhere near the present  Mercury Office).  Mill Bank was Pier Street below the junction with Albert Street.

Newberrys Corner: Junction of Upper Cills Cliff, Ocean View and Newport Roads;   Mr. Newberry had the shop there (later known as ‘Crispy Fry’) Photo below shows an organ grinder, with his pet dog and monkey, playing outside the  shop.

Ninestones: Steps leading from Ventnor High Street (upper part) to St. Boniface Road

Odd Linches: Original name of field, now Ventnor Park.  Odd Linches was part of Steephill Farm, 123 acres, one of two farms (the other being Cooks Farm) purchased by Mr. Hambrough of Steephill.

Paradise: Path along the south side of Whitwell Road, renowned for magnificent views of the Channel

Purgatory: Watcombe Bottom (origin unknown)

Quarry: Lower Gills Cliff Road. Before the houses on the landward side were built, there was a quarry and lime kilns.

Redgun: The narrow and very steep path from the cliff top to Pelham Woods, joining the path by the bridge which once carried the old I.W. Central Railway line from Ventnor West Station.  The late Mr. Fred Hunt and others believed Redgun was a corruption of St. Rhadagund, one of the Patron Saints of Whitwell Church, and also the name of a home at St. Lawrence.

Sally Dilkes: Now Lowther Post Office and shop.

Sands: Pathway/road leading off Down Lane, Upper Ventnor

Seven Sisters: Road junction at St. Lawrence, so called because seven large elm trees once stood there

Slovens Bush: Land off Ocean View Road, now The Shute

Soapsuds Alley: Steephill Down Road, Upper Ventnor. So called because most of the residents there took in washing

Station Hill: Grove Hill, now know as Grove Road, called Station Hill because it led to and from the Railway Station

The Swamp: Former marshy land, later the site of many cottages, now the Market Street Car park

Target: Another name for Combe Bottom

Tatey Bay: Wheelers Bay.   A ship with a cargo of potatoes was said to have been driven ashore by gales about the middle of the last Century. Inhabitants of the few cottages down the Bay were for some while called Tatey Bay-ites!

Ten Downing Street: Corboulds (now the Blenheim), where much of Ventnor’s Council and other business was “brewed” over!  Also the seat of the Home Rule for Isle of Wight movement!

Tollgate: End of Newport Road, Upper Ventnor (also a Tollgate at St. Lawrence)

Two Posts: Path and steps leaving Ocean View Road opposite Ravenscourt and leading to Zig Zag Road

Up Shute: Upper Ventnor: derived from The Shute (also called the Cut, see Local Names for Ventnor Places Part 1, last week)

Richard Downing, Ventnor and District Local History Society.  Originally published in the Isle of Wight Mercury in 1984.  This version first appeared in the South Wight Chronicle in 2016.

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