Historic Buildings Consultant

Royal Victoria Arcade, Isle of Wight

Royal Victoria Arcade, Isle of Wight

Royal Victoria Arcade, Isle of Wight

The building is a Grade II listed shopping arcade in Ryde, Isle of Wight. The arcade, named for the future Queen Victoria, was built in 1835-6 to the designs of William Westmacott (1792/3-1880) and constitutes one of the earliest purpose-built arcades outside of London. The plan is cruciform, with two-storey shops lining the central concourses and a central rotunda with dome and oculus.

Ryde District Heritage centre occupies a large part of the basements of the arcade and contains a recently-discovered internal ice well, built as part of the original design. The ice well was a considerable undertaking and, dating from the mid-1830s, predates the commercial ice trade in England, which gathered pace from the 1850s, by some time and provides a valuable insight into not only the early trade, but also its early commercial uses.

We provided professional advice to the Heritage Centre, comprising a study of the national and local context of the ice trade, as well as interpretation of the use of the well and the adjacent areas and general advice on their conservation.