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Churches of the British Isles

Gallery: Churches of the Isle of Wight

by Peter Kessler, 21 March 2020

Isle of Wight Part 1: Churches of Whippingham to Calbourne

St Mildred's Church, Whippingham, Isle of Wight

St Mildred's Church, Whippingham, is on the outside of the south-west corner of Beatrice Avenue, as it turns north towards East Cowes. The first church on this site was Saxon, named for St Mildred (died AD 725), daughter of the abbess of the minster on the Isle of Thanet. Mildred succeeded her mother as abbess and was later abbess of Canterbury. There are some basic remains of the Saxon building on the west wall of the present porch, showing knights on horseback.

St Mildred's Church, Whippingham, Isle of Wight

This first church building was replaced by a Norman building by 1086 as it is this that appeared in Domesday Book. The renowned architect, John Nash, rebuilt it in the early 1800s, but when Queen Victoria bought first Osborne House and then the property of Lady Isabella Blachford she thought the church too small and not at all to her liking. A new chancel was added in 1857 at the queen's expense and for royal use, and the rest of the church was rebuilt (again) in 1860.

Holy Cross Church, Binstead, Isle of Wight

Holy Cross Church, Binstead, is at the outer north-west corner of the junction between Church Road and Ladies Walk. It was built mainly in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, probably close to the houses of a medieval village that has since been lost but which would have been associated with the nearby quarries. Modern Binstead stands some distance from it. Much of the chancel is of herringbone masonry. The nave was replaced in 1844 and enlarged in 1875.

Old St Boniface Church, Bonchurch, Isle of Wight

Old St Boniface Church, Bonchurch, stands at the eastern end of Bonchurch Village Road, about two hundred metres south-east of St Boniface (New) Church. The nave and chancel date from the eleventh century, with the bell cote dating from the sixteenth century, as does the bell. The south porch was added in the nineteenth century. The church was replaced by the new church in 1848 but despite contemporary discussions about demolition it managed to survive.

Parish Church of St Andrew Chale, Isle of Wight

The Parish Church of St Andrew Chale, is at the north-west corner of the Military Road and Church Place junction. It was founded by Hugh Gendon in Chale in 1114 and dedicated to St Andrew at the same time. However, the present building dates largely from the fourteenth century, which is when the tower was added. It has six bells in its tower, and one of these may have been made about 1360. The Victorians undertook a course of major alterations and extensions.

All Saints Church, Calbourne, Isle of Wight

All Saints Church, Calbourne, can be found on the eastern side of Lynch Lane, about thirty metres north of the Winkle Street turning. The building dates mainly to the thirteenth century, but the south-west tower was rebuilt in 1752 and the North Chapel, or Barrington Chapel, was added in 1842 by A F Livesay who began restoring the church in 1836. The building, with its four-bay nave, is generally in Isle of Wight stone rubble with some flintwork and tiled roofs.

All photos on this page kindly contributed by Douglas Law via the 'History Files: Churches of the British Isles' Flickr group. Additional information by Douglas Law.



Images and text copyright © all contributors mentioned on this page. An original feature for the History Files.