Brading – known as ‘Ye Kynge’s Towne’ after its first charter was granted by Edward I in 1280 – is an ancient town whose origins date back to the Stone Age. Although it was once the main port of the Isle of Wight, it now stands a mile from the sea (the old sea walls lie behind the 12th century church of St Mary the Virgin). |
A notable attraction is the well-preserved remains of a Roman villa that was once the home of the island’s all-powerful Roman Governor. The town was also the first part of the island to be introduced to Christianity by St Wilfred at the end of the 7th century.
Outside the new town hall is a bull baiting ring which shows marks of wear made by terrified bulls as they tried to charge at wild-eyed dogs.
Close by is 16th century Nunwell House and its glorious garden which contains a fountain from the Crystal Palace.