History

A colourful history behind St Catherine's Oratory

The familiar landmark of the Oratory, high on St Catherines Hill

The familiar landmark of the Oratory, high on St Catherines Hill

Local legend links the oratory with a cargo of French wine, the Lord of the Manor of Chale, the King of England and the Pope. Discover the repercussions of a 14th-century shipwreck.

The Hoy Monument

The Hoy Monument on St Catherine’s Down has links with both Tsar Alexander I of Russia and the Crimean War. To visit it and read its two contrasting inscriptions, follow our trail called The Monk and the Merchant.

The lighthouse at St Catherine's Point

A lighthouse was built at St Catherine’s Point after one of the Isle of Wight’s worst shipwrecks, in 1836. Two earlier attempts to provide an effective light for ships along this stretch of treacherous coast had failed.

Knowles Farm and Marconi

A plaque to Marconi, who set up a wireless station at Knowles Farm in 1900

A plaque to Marconi, who set up a wireless station at Knowles Farm in 1900

At the start of the 20th century Knowles Farm, situated in a remote spot at the southern tip of the Isle of Wight, became the place from where Guglielmo Marconi made a great breakthrough in the field of communications.

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