National Geographic : 1935 Jan
ENGLAND'S SUN TRAP ISLE OF WIGHT © Central Airophoto Co. THE NEEDLES TAKE A LAST STITCH AS THE ISLAND BACKBONE IS FRACTURED BY THE SEA The chalk uplands extend across the length of Wight to Culver Cliff and form the downs, which, when not exposed, are carpeted with gorse, heather, and scrub which will grow in shallow soil. These formations show how The Isle was severed from the mainland, and how England was cut off from the Continent. Here the "gentlemen adventurers" of the Ark and the Dove said farewell to their home land as they sailed to settle Maryland. is Farringford, where he wrote "Enoch Ar den" and "Maud," and "on the ridge of a noble down," now Tennyson's Down, stands the conspicuous Cross, at the point to which he climbed every fair day. It was raised, the inscription relates, in memory of him and as a beacon to sailors, "by friends in England and America" (see illustrations, pages 24 and 30). West of Freshwater is iridescent Alum Bay, where the changing sunlight paints amazing delicate colors on the cliffs and the rocky outposts of the downs, The Needles, which protrude from the choppy waters like the gaunt fingers of a sinking giant. Here it was that the "gentlemen adven turers" of the Ark and the Dove, on a his toric day of November, 1633, fired a salvo * See "Maryland Pilgrimage: Visits to Hallowed Shrines Recall the Major R61e Played by This Prosperous State in the Development of Popular Government in America," by Gilbert Grosvenor, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, February, 1927. as they passed from sight of their home land to found the New World State of Maryland.* FATHER WHITE'S NOTE ON THE NEEDLES Father White, teacher of the Indian School which fostered venerable Georgetown University, in Washington, tells in his fa mous "Narrative" how the tiny ships, after putting to sea from Cowes, "sailed past a number of rocks near the end of the Isle of Wight, which from their shape are called The Needles. These are also a terror to sailors on account of the double tide of the sea, which whirls away the ships, dashing them against the rocks on one side, or the neighboring shore on the other." A son of Maryland who now visits the Isle of Wight can but ponder that the founders brought with them some of that spirit of liberty and individualism of The Island people which survives in the name and temper of his Free State of to-day.