Remains of a late 19th century former chain ferry that operated on the Medina River, Isle of Wight between 1896 and 1909. The current remains consist of the basic hull form, one of the two boarding ramps, the four posts of the lifting gear, the chain ways and two water tanks. Overall length is 14.4 m, beam is 8.93 m, total height is 4.5 m and depth off hull 1.56 m. The hull is made from iron fastened with iron bolts, the deck is constructed from wood and the boarding ramp from wood and iron. Most of the hull is still present and has preserved and has some structural integrity, though heavily corroded. Only a small fragment of the wooden deck survives on the port bow corner (Beattie-Edwards and Satchell 2011, 32).
The Medina River chain ferry was built to cross the Medina river on the Isle of Wight and operated between 1896 and 1909. Dubbed a ‘Floating Bridge’ it was built by William White and Sons at the Vectis Works in Cowes in 1896. It was replaced in service and remained in Cowes as a spare floating bridge until 1925. It was then owned by boat designer Uffa Fox who bought it for £150 who converted it into a workshop and accommodation, it became known as ‘Summer Bridge’. He built a roof over the central part to make the workshop and used the ramp as a gangway to the shore with the other used as a slipway to launch boats. The boiler and steam engine were removed and the space used to create an office and a bedroom. The passenger cabins were converted into a kitchen and another bedroom on one side and a dining room and drawing room on the other side. It was sold and moved to Forton Lake in 1948 where it was stripped for parts.
Surveyed as part of the Forton Lake Archaeological Project between 2006-2009
NAS survey reference: FL11
The vessel was subject to a drone survey in November 2016 by CITiZAN and local resident Stuart Fitt, the model is available online https://sketchfab.com/models/bcfbb53e2781490cb9160c79f46c9abf
- Modern (1901 and later)
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Constructed by William White and Sons at Vectis Works, Cowes in 1896. Operated as a chain ferry between 1896 and 1909. Following its replacement in 1909, the ferry remained in Cowes as a spare 'floating bridge' until 1925.
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