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Your ‘ticket to Ryde’ with new Island history explorer maps

Did you know that the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight is connected with Paul McCartney, the Beatles and that famous song? Or that only 200 years ago it didn’t exist as a town – just a couple of sleepy fishing villages? Today it’s a bustling local town with 25,000 residents that transforms each year into a major holiday destination and gateway for almost 400,000 tourists visiting the Island every year.

Royal Victoria Arcade, Ryde, built in 1835-1836 and named after Princess (later Queen) Victoria who holidayed nearby

With our new maps – appearing here over the next few months – you can discover some of the many stories behind how Ryde and the Isle of Wight became the vibrant and independent place it is today. Here at The Earth Museum we are working with great community-based organisations to explore these stories, including Independent Arts, Ryde Village, Isle of Wight Museums and Schools, and Ryde Academy.

Our first instalment is this wonderful Island map developed with Independent Arts during their Digging Deep project funded by Arts Council England. This was all about connecting Island residents with local history and heritage during the pandemic, and sharing their discoveries with the wider world. Creative practitioner Jess Ong worked with an avid group of researchers across the communities of Ryde, East Cowes and Cowes to explore stories and make creative responses to what they have discovered. On this map you can follow in their footsteps and uncover great snippets of local heritage, many connected with wider global stories.

Lt. John Sutton’s grave – the last man to be killed in a duel on the Isle of Wight in 1817

NB This resource requires the latest versions of most common desktop browsers, and works best with Chrome and Firefox. It also supports most common current iOS and Android mobile devices. 

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