Text Box: The town of Newport. the Island’s capital and major shopping centre, is set right at the heart of the Island. In 1190 the town received its first
Charter from Richard de Redvers, Earl of Devon and Lord of the Island. By that time there was already a road through the town following the line of the present High Street and Quay Street, and another, now Pyle Street, went down to the ford over the river. The rest of the streets were laid out in a grid pattern with the squares used as a market place. 
The second Charter granted by Isabella de Fortibus, was confirmed by successive monarchs, and eventually James I granted Borough status to the town, the first mayor being appointed in 1607.
From 1584 until 1885 the town sent two members to Parliament. among whom were the Duke of Wellington and Lord Palmerston.
 In medieval times, the town was subject to raids by the French. being burnt to the ground in 1377 after the population had fled to Carisbrooke
Castle, Very slowly the buildings and trade returned but it was not until the 17th century that the town really prospered. This was due to England’s wars with France which put the Island in the front line of defence. Army garrisons required supplies and  existing mills were enlarged with new ones being built to cope with the demand. Considerable building of all kinds took place. including large
merchants’ houses, and market days found the town thronged with happy shoppers - and the same is still
true today!
Text Box: The Parish Church of St Thomas
was built between 1854 and 1857 on the site of a much older church. The foundation stone was laid by Prince Albert, of whom there is a medallion
likeness inside on the north wall. Buried by the altar is Princess Elizabeth, second daughter of Charles
I, who died in 1650 while imprisoned at Carisbrooke Castle. There is a beautiful memorial to her by Baron Marochetti, commissioned by Queen Victoria in 1856. The 1637 Jacobean pulpit, which comes from the earlier church, was carved by Thomas Capert and consists of panels illustrating the seven virtues and seven liberal arts. The likeness of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip can be found outside the south door.
The Town Hall, or Guildhall, designed by John Nash, was built in 1816, and now houses the Museum of Island History. It has a fine colonnade and the clock tower was added in 1887 to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
Church Litten Park is the site of an old burial ground and the Tudor Gateway still remains. In the corner by the library is the memorial to Valentine Gray, a nine-year-old boy chimney sweep, whose death in 1822 through being ill-used by his master
caused a great public outcry.
The imposing monument in the centre of St James’ Square emphasises the close association there was between the Island people and Queen Victoria.
Nearby is the bust of Earl Mountbatten which was unveiled by the Prince of Wales in 1982.

High Street 1821


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