The Church of St Agnes, Freshwater, is
on the south-western side of Gate Lane, overlooking the Blackbridge
Road. It was built in 1908 to a design by the then-fifty-eight
year-old architect Isaac Jones, who died on 25 November 1917. The
land in Freshwater Bay was donated by Hallam Tennyson, who lived at
nearby Farringford, second baron of that name and son of the famous
Alfred Tennyson. Hallam's wife, Audrey, suggested that the church be
named for St Agnes.
With a wooden bell-turret surmounted by a small,
tiled rood, the church was consecrated 12 August 1908, and it
remains the only thatched church on the Isle of Wight. The stone
used to build it came from an old, derelict farmhouse on Hooke
Hill, Freshwater, and the farmhouse date stone, showing 1622, was
incorporated into the vestry wall to mislead anyone who may think
it is older than it claims. Inside the walls are rough and the roof
has braced tie-beams.
St James Church, Yarmouth, is on the
eastern side of St James' Street, about twenty-five metres south of
St James' Square. Local tradition states that the town's first
church was located in what is now the old churchyard at the east end
of the High Street. This was destroyed during a French raid in 1377.
The present church replaced it only to be ruined in 1543. Rebuilt at
the start of the 1600s, it was consecrated in 1626. The chancel was
lengthened by 3.7 metres in 1889.
The Church of the Holy Spirit, Newtown,
can be found occupying the north-eastern inside of the dog-leg in
Town Lane. A medieval chapel once stood on this site, built during
the reign of Henry III. Its fate is unknown, but the Reformation
claimed a good many once-Catholic chapels. The present building was
erected in 1835 by the architect, A F Livesay (also responsible for
carrying out work on All Saints, Calbourne - see links), supposedly
over the ruins of the medieval chapel.
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, and from
The Gentleman's Magazine Vol X Jul-Dec 1838, Sylvanus