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Isle of Wight History of Brighstone Village (formerly Brixton in the 19th century)

Smuggling was a major occupation in Brighstone during the 18th and 19th century with some smugglers rowing across to France & the Channel Island in long boats. A barrel of brandy still full was found in recent years down the road from Carrier Stable when the building was being converted. Some stone/chalk buildings have a small old square rig sailing ship designs carved into them and some say that this was a symbol that these were safe houses to store contraband. Many of these smugglers went on to be crew on the first local lifeboats.

Brighstone is steeped in history with a Norman church of over 800 years old with a rectory next to the graveyard dating back to 1347. There are many fine thatches and stone buildings in and around the village, North Street in the centre being a fine example

Originally there were two public houses in the centre of the village one is now the village hairdressers, previously the 'Five Bells Inn' the second was called the 'New Inn' till it was renamed 'The Three Bishops' as there has been three local churchmen who have gone on to become bishops (Thomas Ken, Samuel Wilberforce and George Moberely).

Bronze age burial mounds can be found on the downs above Brighstone, the picture at the top of the home page was taken just to the side of one of the mounds. The Romans also lived in the shadow of the downs where the remains of a villa were found similar to that found in Newport, only a 400 yards up our road on farm land further up the road close to a spring, the stream from this runs through a now converted mill house then flows past just 130m from Carriers Stable. Skeletal remains were found in the building when building stone was being removed for reuse back in the 19th century.
The erosion of the coast which is about a mile away by car is continually revealing fossil remains hence the other name for the island "Dinosaur Island" and these can be seen at the dinosaur museum at Sandown. Many fossils can be seen on the beach some rocks are almost completely made up of fossil shells, parts of the fossil forest can be found on the beach mainly as small lumps of black rock, but the growth rings found in the rock can be seen and many have crystals of 'fools gold' (iron pyrites) attached.

Brigstone Village Nth St
North Street in village centre (old stone thatched cottages) includes the library and village museum.