COWES.

EAST AND WEST COWES, in the Isle of Wight, He on opposite sides, and near
the mouth of the river Medina, which rises on the southern side of the island, and after
passing Newport, discharges itself into the strait — usually called the Solent Sea —
that separates the Isle of Wight from the main land. The view of the harbour in the
engraving is taken from West Cowes.

In the reign of Henry VIII., two castles were built at the mouth of the river Medina
to defend the passage to Newport. The old castle at West Cowes is still standing, but
that of East Cowes has long been demolished. The castellated building seen in the
engraving is a gentleman’s seat, and is of modern erection, combining the interior
comforts of modem civilization with the exterior grandeur of a baronial residence of
the Middle Ages; but whether such a combination is lawful, admits of a doubt. Beheld
from the sea, with its towers and battlements rising above the luxuriant plantations
around it, has a fine and imposing effect. The grounds are extensive and well designed,
possessing at once the scenery of a park and the cultivated beauty of a pleasure-
ground.

Cowes harbour is spacious and commodious; and the roads off the mouth of
the river, which afford excellent anchorage, used frequently to De crowded, in time of
war, with merchant-vessels waiting for convoy; and the towns derived great advantage
from supplying ships, while thus detained, with provisions and small stores. The loss
of a great part of this trade, on the termination of the war, has perhaps been more than
compensated by Cowes having become the rendezvous of the Royal Yacht Squadron,
which was first established under the name of the Yacht Club, in 1815. The number of
vessels belonging to the squadron is about a hundred, and their aggregate tonnage
is nearly 9,000 tons. The members have a club-house at Cowes; and at the annual
regatta, which generally takes place about the last week in August, there are usually
upwards of two hundred vessels assembled in the roads, to witness the sailing for the
different prizes.

The town of West Cowes is situated on the declivity, and at the base of a hill, on
the summit of which stands the church. The streets are mostly narrow, and irregularly
built; but recently the town and its vicinity have been much improved by the erection of
several large houses and beautiful villas. There is a regular communication between
Cowes and Southampton, by steam-boats, which, in summer, leave each place twice

a day, East Cowes is a much smaller place than West Cowes; but, like the latter, it has
been greatly enlarged within the last twenty years.

In the vicinity of East Cowes is situated Osborne House, the marine residence
of her Majesty and the royal family, for whose accommodation great additions and
improvements have been made to the house and grounds, and what was formerly the
seat of a private gentleman, has now been rendered a palace worthy of the royalty of
England. The brief limits to which our notices are confined preclude us from entering
upon a description of an edifice to which we could do but very imperfect justice, and
which, after all, must derive its chief interest from the illustrious family who occupy its
walls, and avail themselves of its peculiarly advantageous situation as the starting point
for those marine excursions in which the Queen and her Consort so frequently indulge.
The presence of royalty in its neighborhood has rendered Cowes one of the most
fashionable, as nature had previously made it one of the most beautiful, of the watering
places on our southern coast, while the facilities afforded by the competing lines of the
London and South Western, and London and South Coast Railways, render it at all
times easy of access from the metropolis.

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