History of Sandown Isle of Wight

Sandown was originally of huge military significance as its wide sandy beaches offered a perfect landing place for invasion. The coastline and Culver Cliff to the north of the esplanade are to this day dotted with forts and barricades which once provided protection against invading forces. A little known fact is that Sandown was also once home to a small castle, one that sadly eroded away and was eventually demolished.

The 18th century saw the Isle of Wight win the hearts of many Victorian visitors, with Queen Victoria herself building holiday her home, Osborne House, in East Cowes. Sandown was no exception, with its sandy beaches and sunny aspects attracting visitors in their droves. Within a few decades, the sparsley populated community saw an explosion of investment and development culminating in the opening of a railway line from Ryde in 1864 which is still in use today, transporting visitors from the passenger ferry services. Sandown has now been delighting holiday-makers for well over 150 years; the Victorian influence can still be seen today in many of the hotels and buildings around the town.

Image courtesy of Visit Isle of Wight and James Dore

Sandown and District Historical Association

We are delighted to share a number of historic images of Sandown courtesy of the Sandown and District Historical Association. 

You might recognise or remember some of these old images of Sandown, but they are all facinating and have a short description under each photograph. We hope you enjoy them.

We'll look forward to sharing more historic images of Sandown on the Isle of Wight soon.

Historic video

As Sandown has been popular for many years there are also many facinating videos online including this one: