Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cowes, East and West, two towns, one on each side of the river Medina, in the Isle of Wight, co. Hants, almost opposite Southampton Water, and about equidistant from Portsmouth, Southampton, and Ryde, between each of which places and Cowes there is regular communication by steamer, while a steam ferry over the Medina estuary - here 600 yards wide - unites the east and west towns. The towns seem to have had their origin in two forts erected here by Henry VIII. in 1640 for the defence of the Medina. Of these the West Castle is now the Club-house of the Royal Yacht Squadron, which has its headquarters here. Besides the yachting which enlivens Cowes in the summer and employs many of the population, there is some ship building. Osborne House, the Queen's residence, East Castle and Norris Castle are in the neighbourhood.