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Yarmouth Town

The historic and picturesque harbour town of Yarmouth is packed with maritime history.

This pretty harbour town offers a varied choice of pubs, restaurants and cafes and is home to many yachts and pleasure craft.

Yarmouth High Street There are beaches nearby and excellent coastal and countryside walks around Yarmouth the Yar Estuary and the beautiful surrounding area of West Wight with its scenic locations such as Tennyson Downs and the Needles Rocks.

There is also a good bus service covering the whole island

More pictures of Yarmouth can be found in the Gallery page of this website

Yarmouth High Street

 

History

Yarmouth has a strong sense of history. It was probably the site of Celtic settlement before the Romans came, then called Ermud, the muddy estuary, and eventually, in the 12th century a town was built here by the Norman Baron de Redvers, who is believed to have given the town its first Charter in 1135.

Yarmouth was subjected to a series of attacks by the French, some 200 years later, who sailed into the Solent and ransacked the town. This action was repeated in the 16th century when Henry VIII was persuaded that a castle was needed to protect that part of the island from attack. The castle was completed in 1574, since when Yarmouth has been free from French or any other invasion.. In 1875 the Castle garrison was withdrawn as being no longer required. The larger guns had been dismantled in 1869. The castle, which itself is easily missed, being small and tucked away behind its surrounding buildings, is open to visitors during the summer season and is in good state of preservation.

In 1584, Yarmouth had been given a second Member of Parliament, but the Reform Bill of 1832, deprived Yarmouth of both its MPs. In 1880 Yarmouth was declared a "rotten borough'.
Yarmouth, enjoyed some more practical benefits though, including the construction of the bridge across the river Yar - a single-track timber toll – opened. In 1860. and the building of its pier, which was completed in 1876. Planning for the present Yar Bridge was started in 1963 but, because of planning disputes, was not opened to traffic until 25 September 1987.

The first decade of the 20th Century saw the beginning of the breakdown of Victorian society with its rigid class distinctions and the unequal distribution of wealth. This culminated in the 1914-18 war which heralded the social revolution which is still ongoing. Traffic increased and tourism became increasingly important to the town. Nevertheless it is still a working port with a small fishing fleet and the regular ferry service to and from Lymington on the mainland. It is also a popular yachting harbour with many resident boats and, in the summer, even more visiting craft.



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