World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Hayling Island


Hayling Island

Hayling Island
The coastline of Hayling Island
Hayling Island is located in Hampshire
Hayling Island
Hayling Island (Hampshire)
Location Solent
Total islands 1
Area 30 km2 (12 sq mi)
Length 6.5 km (4.04 mi)
Width 6.5 km (4.04 mi)
County  Hampshire
Borough Havant
Largest city Mengham (town)
Population 17,379 (as of 2011)
Density 562.9 /km2 (1,457.9 /sq mi)

Hayling Island is an island off the south coast of England, in the borough of Havant in the county of Hampshire.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Climate 3
  • Sport and leisure 4
  • Transport 5
  • Notable people 6
  • Hayling oysterbeds 7
  • Paris To Hayling Charity Cycle Ride 8
  • Population 9
  • List of settlements 10
  • Places of interest 11
  • References 12


Photograph of Hayling Island between Selsey Bill and Portsea Island from the air from the west (north to the left)

An iron-age shrine in the north of Hayling Island was later developed into a Roman temple in the first century BC and was first recorded in Richard Scott's Topographical and Historical Account of Hayling Island published in 1826. The site was excavated between 1897 and 1907 and again from 1976 to 1978. Remains are no longer visible and are buried beneath cultivated farmland.[1]

Salt production was an industry on the island from the 11th century (the Domesday Book records a saltpan on the island for this purpose) until the late 19th century.

Construction of Northwode Chapel by the monks of Jumièges, Normandy, began in about 1140 and this became the present St Peter's Church and now the oldest surviving church on the Island. It has been claimed that St Peter's three bells, cast in about 1350, have one of the oldest peals in England. St Mary's Church is a standard design of the churches of its era, but upon close examination the walls have been constructed from a mortar of local shells and beach pebbles. The ancient yew tree in the churchyard is believed to be the oldest yew in the country, with a girth of some nine metres. Although estimates as to its age vary, they range from over a thousand to nearly two thousand years old.[2]

The grave of Sandeman, nephew of the founder of Sandeman Port and second head of that company,[4][5] is prominently featured in the north-east part of St. Mary's graveyard.[6]

The island was the location of a mock invasion during the military Exercise Fabius in May 1944, rehearsing the preparations for D-Day.[7]

In 1982, British courts recognised prior art by Peter Chilvers, who as a young boy on Hayling Island assembled his first board combined with a sail, in 1958. It incorporated all the elements of the modern windsurfer. The courts found that later innovations were "merely an obvious extension" and upheld the defendant's claim based on film footage.[8] This court case set a significant precedent for patent law in the United Kingdom, in terms of Inventive step and non-obviousness. The case, Chilvers, Hayling, and a replica of Chilvers' original board were featured on an episode of the BBC's The One Show in 2009.[9]

On October 20, 2013, at least one hundred properties on the island were damaged when it was hit by a tornado. No injuries were reported.[10][11]


Hayling Island is a true island, completely surrounded by sea. Looking at its north to south orientation, it is shaped like an inverted T, about 6.5 kilometres (4.0 mi) long and 6.5 kilometres wide. A road bridge connects its northern end to the mainland of England at Langstone. A small foot-passenger ferry connects it to the Eastney area of the city of Portsmouth on the neighbouring island of Portsea Island. To the west is Langstone Harbour and to the east is Chichester Harbour.

The natural beach at Hayling was predominantly sandy but in recent years it has been mechanically topped with shingle dredged from the bed of the Solent in an effort to reduce beach erosion and reduce the potential to flood low lying land. At low tide, the East Winner sandbank is visible, extending a mile out to sea. The coastline in this area has substantially changed since Roman times: it is believed much land has been lost from the coasts of Hayling and Selsey by erosion and subsequent flooding.


As with the rest of the British Isles and Southern England, Hayling Island experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. Temperatures have never fallen into double figures below freezing, illustrating the relative warmth of the Island - comparable to the far South West of England. Temperature extremes between 1960 & 2010 have ranged from −9.4 °C (15.1 °F) during January 1963,[12] up to 32.1 °C (89.8 °F) during June 1976.[13]

Climate data for Hayling Island 4m asl, 1981-2010, extremes 1960-2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13.7
Average high °C (°F) 8.0
Average low °C (°F) 3.4
Record low °C (°F) −9.4
Precipitation mm (inches) 75.02
Source: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI[14]

Sport and leisure

Hayling Island has a non-League football club, Hayling United F.C., which plays at Hayling Park.

Although largely residential, Hayling is also a holiday, windsurfing and sailing centre, the site where windsurfing was invented.

In summer 2010, the Hayling Island Sailing Club hosted the 2010 World Laser Standard Senior and Junior Championships (27 August-5 September). The Senior championship was won by Australian Tom Slingsby, whilst Dane Thorbjoern Schierup won the Junior competition.[1]. Today it is a home to many different types of sailing, including a growing Fireball fleet.

As a consequence of the Island's popularity for water activities, there are two lifeboat services: Hayling Island Lifeboat Station, run by the RNLI and Hayling Island Rescue Service, an independent service run by retired RNLI helmsman, Frank Dunster.

The Island hosts one of the few active Real Tennis courts in the UK. Founded in 1911, Seacourt Tennis club is one of only a handful in the UK where it is possible to play every recognised racquet sport. The racquets court itself was opened by Sir Colin Cowdrey.

Seacourt Tennis Club also hosts a weekly fencing club featuring all ages, levels and weapons.

Hayling Golf Club has been voted in the top 100 golf courses in the UK. A traditional links course, although relatively short by modern standards, the strong prevailing south-westerly winds, fast greens, gorse bushes and traditional deep links bunkers make this a stern test for any golfer.

A funfair (Funland[15]) situated at Beachlands, is open year round, as is the East Hayling Light Railway which runs from the funfair to Eastoke corner.

The 5-mile (8.0 km) Hayling Billy Trail is a former light rail right-of-way which has been converted to one of many footpaths on the island.[16] The Ordnance Survey Explorer 120 map covers the area[17] and the local tourist information office supplies leaflets of local interest walks.[18]

The Station Theatre hosts a variety of plays staged by the Hayling Island Amateur Dramatics Society, Hayling Musical Society, musical events and films throughout the year.[19][20] Hayling Island was also the birthplace and home of actress Stephanie Lawrence who starred in many West End musical shows, she was for many years close friends with Windsurfing inventor Peter Chilvers also from Hayling. The island supports several churches of different denominations including 3 Anglican churches; St Peter's at Northney, St Mary's at Gable Head and the more recently built St Andrew's in South Hayling.

Local hotels, holiday centres, bed and breakfast accommodation, holiday homes and caravans for rent, all support this year-round tourist resort.


Beaches at Hayling Island
Station Theatre, West Town, Hayling Island

Hayling ferry links Portsmouth and Hayling Island. The Ferry is busy in the summer if the weather is good, bringing tourists and cyclists to Hayling.[21] In the winter, there is a significant reduction of use, and the ferry service to and from Portsea Island is subsidised by the local authorities. This leaves the ferry under constant threat of closure due to limited resources.

Apart from the ferry the only public connection between Hayling Island and the mainland is a single carriageway road linking Northney to Langstone, Havant. In summer in particular this road can become very congested rendering the journey between the bridge and South Hayling (the most populated area) anything from 30 minutes to an hour. A proposed Millennium project to create a new shared pedestrian and cycle bridge was unsuccessful.[22]

Until 1963 when the line was closed, Terrier steam locomotives pulled carriages along the 5-mile (8 km) Hayling Billy Line from Havant Station on the mainland to a station which was located at the northern end of Staunton Avenue, passing through Langstone where there was a Halt.[23] The only remaining railway building, a goods shed, has now been converted into a theatre which is run by HIADS.[24]

A tourist attraction — the East Hayling Light Railway — is a 2 ft (610 mm) gauge railway that runs for just over 1 mile (1.6 km) from Beachlands Station to Eastoke Corner with aspirations to extend the route to Ferry Point within the next few years.

The nearest railway station to Hayling Island is Havant, just onto the mainland off Hayling Island. Alternatively, Portsmouth and Southsea is another railway station, used for connections to Bristol (Temple Meads) and Cardiff.

Notable people

  • Princess Catherine Yurievskaya, the youngest daughter of Alexander II of Russia, lived on Hayling Island for many years and was buried at St Peter's church in 1959.
  • William Thomas Stead, notable political and social campaigner and journalist, had a home on Hayling Island - Hollybush House. He was one of those who perished on the 'Titanic'
  • Nevil Shute (Nevil Shute Norway), the Ealing-born aeronautical engineer and novelist lived at Pond Head on Hayling Island during World War II. His most famous novels were 'A Town Like Alice' and 'On the Beach'.
  • Gary Mehigan, British-born chef and judge on Masterchef Australia, was born and raised on Hayling Island.

Hayling oysterbeds

Oysters have been fished on the Hayling oysterbeds, at the northwest corner of the island, as long ago as Roman times, documented in town records since 1615.[25] The oysters were actively farmed between as early as 1819 until the 1970s.[26] Oysters became a delicacy that was exported throughout the country under the classification of “Emsworth Oysters”. Large complexes consisting of several pens separated by a series of bund walls and sluice gates were built to contain the oysters at varying stages of growth. Although large sections of the walls have since collapsed into the harbour, much of shape and scale of the beds can still be seen today.

In 1996, the oyster beds on the north west coast of Hayling Island were restored by the Havant Borough Council,[26] creating a wildlife haven which has become an important seabird breeding site. The Design Council awarded this project 'Millennium Product' status for the renovation.

Paris To Hayling Charity Cycle Ride

The island is the home of the Hayling Charity Cycle Ride.[27] This event, run entirely by local unpaid volunteers, was started in 1986 and has been run every year since. Up to 2013, over £1,350,000 has been collected for more than 500 good causes. Entrants have come from 15 different countries on five continents. Now in its 29th year, and after two years going to Holland, the event is returning in 2014 to its original destination: Paris.


In the mid to late twentieth century, Hayling Island's population was known to double during the Summer months, due to a large influx of holiday makers and the associated tourism employees to accommodate. As domestic holidays have declined and Hayling's prominence as a traditional English seaside resort have followed in parallel, the population only swells by approximately 20%-25% (English Tourist Board estimate, 2001).

Population Date
~300 1086 (Domesday Book)
578 1801 (census)
>1,600 1901
>5,500 1950
16,887 2001 (census, usually resident population)

List of settlements

Places of interest


  1. ^ Anthony King; Robert Downey (1977). "Internal Organisation and Deposition at the Iron Age Temple on Hayling Island (Hampshire)". Archived from the original on 2001-01-25. 
  2. ^ St. Mary's Church Hayling Council website. Retrieved 2010-03-14
  3. ^ Church booklet - Guide to St Peter's Church North Hayling 2003.
  4. ^ Sandeman Archive description AIM25 Archives website. Retrieved 2012-04-20
  5. ^ PORT AND SHERRY Originally published by George G Sandeman & Co (1955), now hosted on Retrieved 2012-04-20
  6. ^ St. Mary's Church Hayling Anglican Churches website. Retrieved 2012-04-20
  7. ^ Southampton and D-Day, Ingrid Peckham. Southampton City Council Oral History, 1994. ISBN 1-872649-04-1
  8. ^ "Windsurfing International Inc. v Tabur Marine (GB) Ltd. (1985) RPC 59". SLCC - Scots Law Courseware. The  
  9. ^ The One Show 7pm BBC1 Friday 5 June!; Simon Bornhoft's WindWise. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  10. ^ "'"Hayling Island properties hit by 'tornado. BBC News. 20 October 2013. 
  11. ^ "‘Tornado’ damages 100 homes in Hampshire’s Hayling Island". Metro. 20 October 2013. 
  12. ^ "1963 temperature".  
  13. ^ "1976 temperature".  
  14. ^ "Hayling Island Climate".  
  15. ^ Funland Funfair
  16. ^ Coastal Path - Billy Trail. Visitor Guides; Hayling Island Community Online. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  17. ^ Ordnance Survey Explorer 120 map. Ordnance Survey National Mapping Agency, 2009. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  18. ^ Tourist Information Office Beachlands Havant Tourist Information Office. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  19. ^ Events diary. Hayling Island Station Theatre. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  20. ^ Current Production. Hayling Musical Society.
  21. ^ Hayling Ferry History
  22. ^ Hayling Billy Project history. Havant Borough Council website. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  23. ^ "The Book of Hayling Island and Langstone - More than a Millennium". Rogers,Peter: Tiverton, Halsgrove Press, 2000. ISBN 1-84114-078-3
  24. ^ Hayling Island Amateur Dramatic Society Official website. Retrieved 2010-06-20.
  25. ^ William Page, ed. (1908). "The borough of Southampton: General historical account". A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 3,.  
  26. ^ a b West Hayling Local Nature Reserve Havant Borough Council website. Retrieved 2010-03-14.
  27. ^

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.