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Isle of Wight Joint Field Trip with IWNHAS

To commemorate the centenary of The Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society a joint visit to the Isle of Wight was organised. Proceedings, Vol 9, Part 1 1920 - pp. 147-8, has an announcement of the setting up of the IWNHAS. Due to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the visit was postponed from 2020 to 2022.

Locations visited: Brading Roman Villa; Thornycroft Boat Testing Tank and Steyne Wood Battery in the grounds of a house called ‘Steyne Wood Battery’ , Bembridge

Date: Saturday, 1 October 2022

The Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society invited us on a joint field trip to celebrate their centenary with visits to Brading Roman Villa (photo below) and two fascinating historic buildings in the grounds of Steyne House.  

HFC Members examine some of the mosaics Members inspect mosaics at Brading Roman Villa

Since its foundation the Field Club has had strong links with the Island. It had an Isle of Wight Section led by George Colenutt (1862-1944) who served as the ‘Local Honorary Secretary for the Isle of Wight’ for nearly 60 years. He used to organise popular field trips to the island every year from 1887 onwards. He had the honour of being the IWNHAS’s first President.
Since the Field Club’s last visit to Brading Roman Villa in 2009, more remains have been revealed. The re-excavation of the North and South Ranges have added to the original findings of 1880. Victorian artefacts were also uncovered, including glass bottles, leather shoes and even a baby’s dummy!

Steyne House was the home of the Thornycrofts, the family behind the Southampton shipyards and the Basingstoke motor works. We visited the remarkable testing tank where Sir John I Thornycroft and his daughter Blanche worked on their innovative marine designs, including those for the Coastal Torpedo Boats.

Exterior of Thornycroft Test Tank Thornycroft Test Tank - exterior

Thornycroft testing tank - interior Thornycroft Test Tank - interior

There is also an intriguing Victorian battery in the grounds; see photo below. Both the testing tank and battery are in the grounds of a house called ‘Steyne Wood Battery’. 

Steyne Wood Battery Steyne Wood Battery


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