In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described St Lawrence like this:
LAWRENCE (ST.), a village and a parish on the S coast of the Isle of Wight. The village stands at the Undercliff, 2¼ miles WSW of Ventnor; and consists of ivy mantled thatched cottages, with orchards. The parish consists of a narrow strip, about 1½ mile in length, along the coast. ...
Post town, Ventnor. Acres, 332. Real property, £783. Pop. in 1851, 111; in 1861, 85. Houses, 18. The manor was formerly called Underwath or Undercliff; belonged to the De Anlas; passed to the Russells, the Hackets, the Leighs, and the Worsleys; and belongs now to the Earl of Yarborough. St. Lawrence villa here was erected, in 1 79 4, by Sir Richard Worsley; high walls encircle it; and a road, of perilous narrowness, cut like a groove, goes up an ascent close to the walls. A strenuous attempt was made by Sir Richard Worsley to form a vineyard, on a plot of 2½ acres, with about 7, 000 vines; was conducted under the supervision of an experienced person from France; but was abandoned in 1808. A fountain, called St. Lawrence's well, bubbles out, clear and sparkling, beneath a little Gothic building. About 20 acres are under wood, chiefly juniper trees. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Winchester. Value, £106. Patron, the Hon. E. A. Pelham. The church is probably of Norman date; made long a claim to be the smallest in England, measuring only 20 feet long, by 12 wide, and 6 high; but was recently enlarged by a chancel 10 feet long, and by a porch and a bell gable. A picturesque ivy clad fragment of an early English manorial chapel is in the neighbourhood, at Woolverton Farm. There is a national school. See Undercliff.
St Lawrence is now part of the Isle of Wight district. Click here for graphs and data of how the Isle of Wight has changed over two centuries. For statistics about St Lawrence itself, go to Units and Statistics.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of St Lawrence, in The the Isle of Wight and Hampshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 28th March 2017
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