The Print: - Ryde Isle Of Wight (1858) - "East of the Pier"
This appears to be a reprint of an earlier engraving "East of the Pier" c1847 and now reprinted with the date 1858, after a close study one can see that several small modifications have taken place which is very good example of the engravers craft and talent.
Main changes - "19th Century Photoshop"
- Most of the changes can be seen along the foreshore, on the right in the original 1847 image there are six or seven bathing booths, a small craft up against the sea wall , whereas the 1858 image these have gone and the tide looks to be slightly further out.
- As you move left on the 1847 image, directly behind the first large Gaff or Lugger vessel , you will notice that the foreshore has several people milling about and five or six smaller craft for transporting goods and clientele to the larger vessels offshore.
- It can also be seen that the sea wall appears to be higher in the original 1847 image as the 1858 image appears to have far more traffic and active pedestrians throughout the esplanade.
- The "ghost ship".... if you look very closely at the 1858 print just beyond the bow of the first rowing boat on the right you will see a shadow of a sail in the water, this has been left over from the sailing vessel that was in the 1847 print.
- The final significant change we could find is that of the small vessel central in the background, in the 1847 addition there are two foresails, however, these have merged for some reason in the 1858 plate.
- Thus the whole image appears to have had a makeover either side of the sea wall boundary throughout the 1858 engraving.
- The Congregational Church at the top of Geroge Street now seems to have its initial tower and small spire in place..
Overall Image information
In the foreground you can see several ‘Gaff’ rigged vessels normally associated with cargo supply vessels, many of the smaller boats are tenders to move clients from deeper water to the shore.
To the right of the image you can see George Street leading up to the Congregational Church with its original small tower and spire, several years later a larger spire to the church was constructed making it then supposedly the tallest spire in Ryde. However, the church was pulled down in the late 1970’s and replaced with a residential building known as Rose Court.
Further to the left at the bottom of which is now Dover Street (formerly “Wellington Street”) you can see “Ryde Castle” as it is now called. If you look very closely at the distance between the building and the sea wall you can see that it is only a few yard to the sea. It was only in later years did the Victorian civil engineering projects reclaim what is now the esplanade. Further up Dover Street you can see the Trinity Church with its spire.