Returning to Yarmouth we proceed from thence to Freshwater, a pleasant ride, of about two miles and a half.  The church formerly belonged to the priory at Carisbrooke, and was given by William Fitz-Osborne, with five others, to the Abbey of Lyra, in Normandy.  It is now in the presentation of St. John’s College, Cambridge, and is reckoned the most valuable living in the island.  The church is dedicated to All Saints.  Near the church is the Red Lion Inn, a small, but comfortable, house, kept by Mr. Robert Corney.  Freshwater parish was the birth-place of the celebrated Dr. Hooke, M.D., in the year 1635.  Proceeding over the Downs, and passing Farringford Hill, the seat of John Hambrough, Esq., we arrive at Alum Bay. 1)W.C.F.G. Sheridan, A Topographical and Historical Guide to the Isle of Wight (printed for M.A. Leigh, c 1833), 126.

All Saints’ Church in Freshwater is a Grade II listed building and is one of the oldest churches on the Isle of Wight.  Parts of the building date back before the Doomsday survey in 1086.  The nave arcades of the church are from the late 12th century, the windows from the 13th century and the tower is from the 15th century.  It was built from Isle of Wight stone and has a tiled roof.  The lych gate is a recent addition.

Virtually an island itself, Freshwater was historically a mainly agricultural area with clusters of settled regions including Afton, Easton, Norton, Middleton and Weston.  It is all but separated from the main island by Freshwater Gate and the river Yar.  Norton was also the home to some fishermen, as was Freshwater Gate and Brambles Chine.  Some residents earned income by digging pipe clay for the manufacture of tobacco pipes in London but the majority farmed the land and listed their occupations as farmers, husbandmen or yeomen and raised primarily wheat, barley and oats.

Isle of Wight Record Office

Parish Registers

Combined Register

FRE/REG/COM/1*

1576-1653 Baptisms, Marriages and Burials

Combined Register

FRE/REG/COM/2*

1653-1675 Baptisms
1653-1675
1752 Marriages
1653 – 1675 Burials
1691 – 1703 Burials
1706 – 1708 Burials

Combined Register

FRE/REG/COM/3*

1678-1780 Baptisms
1678-1753 Marriages
1678-1780 Burials

Combined Register

FRE/REG/COM/4*

1781 – 1812 Baptisms
1827 Baptisms
1781 – 1812 Burials

Baptisms

FRE/REG/BAP/1*

1813-1858

Baptisms

FRE/REG/BAP/2*

1858-1908

Baptisms

FRE/REG/BAP/3

1908-1921

Baptisms

FRE/REG/BAP/4

1921-1942

Baptisms

FRE/REG/BAP/5

1942-1965

Baptisms

FRE/REG/BAP/6

1965-1995

Marriages and Banns

FRE/REG/MAR/1*

1754 – 1812 Marriages
1754 – 1816 Banns

Marriages

FRE/REG/MAR/2*

1813-1837

Marriages

FRE/REG/MAR/3*

1837-1896

Marriages

FRE/REG/MAR/4*

1896-1915

Marriages

FRE/REG/MAR/5

1916-1934

Marriages

FRE/REG/MAR/6

1934-1941

Marriages

FRE/REG/MAR/7

1942-1951

Marriages

FRE/REG/MAR/8

1951-1960

Marriages

FRE/REG/MAR/9

1960-1969

Marriages

FRE/REG/MAR/10

1969-1981

Marriages

FRE/REG/MAR/11

1981-1988

Marriages

FRE/REG/MAR/12

1988-1993

Marriages

FRE/REG/MAR/13

1993-2003

Burials

FRE/REG/BUR/1*

1813-1892

Burials

FRE/REG/BUR/2*

1892-1914

Burials

FRE/REG/BUR/3

1914-1935

Burials

FRE/REG/BUR/4

1935-1956

Burials

FRE/REG/BUR/5

1956-1979

Burials

FRE/REG/BUR/6

1979-1994

Banns

FRE/REG/BAN/1

1865-1892

Banns

FRE/REG/BAN/2

1893-1907

Burials

FRE/REG/BAN/3

1938-1945

Burials

FRE/REG/BAN/4

1945-1975

Burials

FRE/REG/BAN/5

1974-1986

* Registers available on Family History Library Films

Estate Records

The records of the following estates have been deposited with the Isle of Wight Record Office and may include such documents as deeds, accounts, correspondence, maps and surveys.

Hamond-Graeme                             Bembridge, Freshwater (Norton), Yaverland *

Holmes / Heytesbury                   Calbourne (Westover), Freshwater, Yarmouth

Ward                                                    Cowes, Northwood, Freshwater, Kingston

* Collection available on Family History Library Films

School Records

Freshwater C.E. School – Log books 1903 – 1945

Family History Library Films

Parish Registers

FHL BRITISH Film [1470877] Freshwater.  Item 6:  Baptisms, burials and marriages, 1576-1653.  Item 7:  Baptisms, 1653-1675; marriages, 1678-1675, 1752; burials, 1653-1675, 1691-1708. Item 8: Baptisms and burials, 1678-1780; marriages, 1678-1753. Item 9: Baptisms 1781-1812, 1827; burials, 1781-1812.  Items 10 – 19: Baptisms, 1813-1908. Marriages, 1754-1915. Banns, 1754-1816, 1865-1907. Burials, 1813-1914.

Bishops Transcripts

FHL BRITISH Film [1596475] Freshwater.  Item 2:  Baptisms and burials, 1780-1872;  marriages, 1780-1837.

Miscellaneous Parish Records

FHL BRITISH Film [1471164] Freshwater. items 5 – 7:  Rate book 1837-1854 Vestry minutes 1895-1920 Poor law papers 1767-1823 Tithes/rents 1662-1901 Papers re. church property 1699-1915 Church fabric (subscriptions) N.D. Charities/trusts 1764-1890 Financial ledgers 1665-1903 Miscellaneous records 1720-1889 Personal papers 1600-1897 Freshwater school 1776-1849 Deeds (St. Andrews church) 1875-1910 .

FHL BRITISH Film [1471164] Freshwater. Items 9 – 20:  Rate book 1837-1854 Vestry minutes 1895-1920 Poor law papers 1767-1823 Tithes/rents 1662-1901 Papers re. church property 1699-1915 Church fabric (subscriptions) N.D. Charities/trusts 1764-1890 Financial ledgers 1665-1903 Miscellaneous records 1720-1889 Personal papers 1600-1897 Freshwater school 1776-1849 Deeds (St. Andrews church) 1875-1910.

Transcripts of Bishops Transcripts

FHL BRITISH Film [1278724] Freshwater.  Item 18:  1780 – 1812.

Land tax assessments for Freshwater

FHL BRITISH Film [1597131] Freshwater.  Item 2:  1800-1831.

Register of Persons entitled to vote – Freshwater

FHL BRITISH Film [1471134] Freshwater.  item 2, 4 – 6:  1840, 1847 – 1849, 1853.

Hamond-Graeme papers : a catalogue of holdings

FHL BRITISH Film [1470907] Hamond-Graeme papers.  These are the deeds of the Hamond-Graeme family of Freshwater and includes titles and deeds from 1612 – 1921 including many area surnames.

Marriage Indexes

Boyd’s Marriage Index                       1559 – 1837

Pallot’s Marriage Index                      1790 – 1812

References   [ + ]

1. W.C.F.G. Sheridan, A Topographical and Historical Guide to the Isle of Wight (printed for M.A. Leigh, c 1833), 126.
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