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History Revenue, Customs and Coastguards

Bembridge Coastguard Station

REF NR: 999

There were three locations for coastguards in the area. Location one was at the Bembridge end of the embankment at Branding Harbour. The 1862 OS map shows the coastguard situated on the edge of the harbour. 


It consisted of six terrace houses and possibly a small boathouse that was a short distance to from the westernmost house. These houses were presumably demolished when the Jabez Balfour reclamation embankment began its construction in 1876. 


Most likely post-1880 - new houses were built in an area called The Point. Going down the lands towards The Point is the first cottage, now known as Fram Cottage. Following this is a terrace of three cottages with outbuildings built behind the cottages. The building next along is now called Point Cottage, which consisted of two cottages on the 1907 OS map. Next there was a pair of semi-detached cottages, which had outbuildings. Finally The Watch House, with a flag staff erected in the north-west corner. This house was more than likely built for two senior coastguards and their families. Fram Cottage has the sign of the original owner still visible in the form of an anchor on the down pipes from the roof. On its northern wall, The Watch House has a large anchor embellished on it. 


No visible date mark can be found on the houses but they are definitely post-1856 when the admiralty took control of the coastguard and probably after the demolition of the first station. The coastguard boathouse location has now established, on the opposite side of the lane fronting, The Admiralty House which is now a bungalow. 


In 1907, the current site of a large block of flats named Solent Landing was the location of Spithead Hotel - which was demolished in 1989. To the north of the hotel grounds was sand and shingle, except for the boathouse. Now there is a two storey building in the ground of The Watch House. 

Source Citations