Ryde Social Heritage Group research the social history of the citizens of Ryde, Isle of Wight. Documenting their lives, businesses and burial transcriptions.
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Ryde Town


Ryde is on the north east coast of the Isle of Wight, opposite Portsmouth Harbour, and is often referred to as the ‘Gateway’ to the Island. It is not the oldest town on the Island, but is currently the largest inhabited urban area. Ryde saw dramatic growth, expansion and rise in popularity, like much of the Island, with the arrival of Queen Victoria at Osbourne House in East Cowes in the nineteenth century.

Today much of Ryde is designated a conservation area in an attempt to preserve the rich heritage of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian properties. With its rise in popularity in the ninteenth century many wealthy and professional people had residences in the town and like all the local residents added to the rich and diverse social history of Ryde. Many of these individuals are buried in Ryde’s West Street Cemetery and the work of this group is to record those individuals memorials and preserve and promote the untold stories they hold.

History of Ryde 1700 to 2008 – A timeline showing the History of Ryde from 1700 to 2008 in the context of British Social History.

Mini Census 1866 (a petition by 103 Ryde Ratepayers objecting to the proposed leveling of unattended graves in Ryde Cemetery)

Charles Dimmick was head of the Dimmick family of Ryde. He was an entrepreneur in the world of gardening, had a shop in the High Street and green houses in the town. He developed his business from small beginnings and he even provided plants to Osborne House for Queen Victoria. Charles was also an itinerant Methodist preacher, a Town Councillor, and a member of the Cemetery Committee. He wrote his life story for the benefit of his descendants and is reproduced here by kind permission of his great-great-great grandson, Marc Dimmick.

Below are links to external websites containing information about aspects of the history of Ryde.

History of Ryde Photographers (by Gordon Childs) – including Edward Peter ADAMS, George St John BIGGS, Frederick Nutt BRODERICK, Wallace Henry CARLEY, Arthur DEBENHAM, Arthur William DEBENHAM, Paul Royz DE SA, William HICKS, William Robert HOGG, Jabez HUGHES, HUGHES & MULLINS, Charles KNIGHT, Cyril LINDEN, MATTHEWS & Son, F J MATTHEWS & Son, Henry MORRIS, Gustav MULLINS, James SCOTT, Walter SCOTT, Robert SCOTT, Frederick WILSON