COWES, ISLE OF WIGHT
The Kernot Grave
The time and hard work volunteers spent clearing plot 1 (immediately inside the cemetery on the left) opened to view many of the earliest graves in Northwood Cemetery. Amongst these is the Kernot Memorial (pictured).
Its top is missing and parts of the base are crumbling, however the inscriptions on all four sides are intact and make interesting reading.
Three people are interred here: Dr Charles Middleton Kernot who died in 1876, his wife Ann who died 17 years before him in 1859 and William Pearce Kernot who died aged 86 in 1927 in Worthing and his ashes placed here in August 1928.
Also remembered by inscriptions are Charles Noyce Kernot ( Charles Middleton Kernot’s son); his wife Adeline who was buried in Brighton; William’s wife Jane Veronica; and Charles Middleton‘s daughter Jane Ann Muzio who was buried in Locksbrook, near Bath.
The south face of the memorial is in memory of Henry Middleton Kernot, the eldest son of Charles Middleton Kernot, who died in Paris on 30th January 1873, aged 42 years – and whose remains were removed from France by sanction of the French Government and deposited here.
In 1857 a Petition to the local Board of Health called on them to consider the necessity of at once carrying about the clause empowering them to erect a pier a Feathers Slip (now Waterside Inn).
The reason for this was that Fountain Quay (the only pier at the time) was owned by the Ward Family who controlled it, imposing tolls much to the chagrin of local inhabitants and businessmen.
In 1861, under the General Pier and Harbour Act, the West Cowes Pier Company received authorisation to build a pier. The Company was owned by Dr Charles Noyce Kernot, and the pier was locally known as Kernot’s Pier. It was built behind Gloucester House, 72 High St, which was owned by Dr. Kernot. Today the Waterside public house stands on this site. Large limestone blocks can still be seen beneath the present building; these are all that remains of Kernot’s Pier.
The pier was 250 feet long (permission had been given for a 350ft long structure) with a 60-foot landing stage, a pagoda, a refreshment bar and a stage from which the Cowes Regatta could be watched. The pier was extremely popular, and was the ideal promenade pier, immediately raising the status of Cowes as a town.
The 1871 Hampshire and Isle of Wight Directory described it as “The Royal Promenade and Steam Packet Pier”. The one drawback of the pier was that it was not accessible to steamships at the lowest tides – perhaps surprising given its length
Sadly, on 28th September 1876, a tornado struck the town, destroying boats, houses, two seafront hotels and the Pier. Charles Middleton Kernot , the co-owner, had died on 2nd September 1876 aged 70 – just 26 days earlier.It was never rebuilt and was eventually demolished. In 1880 struts that remained from Kernot’s Pier that obstructed Market Slipway were removed.