Visit one of the Isle of Wight’s beautiful historic churches

The Isle of Wight, like any English county, has many churches or different denominations, ages and architectural styles. You will find a church in most towns and villages on the Island and many will be open for quiet visits throughout the day. Even if the buildings are not open, you might find something of interest in the church grounds.

Here are a few highlights:

St Agnes, Freshwater, PO40 9QD

The land for St Agnes Church was donated by Alfred, Lord Tennyson‘s eldest son Hallam (whose tomb can be found in the graveyard nearby All Saints, Freshwater).  It looks a lot older than it is. The church was designed by the architect Isaac Jones and was consecrated in 1908. The street frontage of the church is described as ‘contrivedly picturesque’, and it is the only thatched church on the Isle of Wight.

St Boniface Old Church, Bonchurch, PO38 1RG

The nave and chancel of St Boniface old church date from the 11th century. This church is the original for British scale model manufacturer Dapol’s 00 scale railroad scenery model church construction kit.

St Mary’s Church, Brading, PO36 0ED

St Mary’s dates from the twelfth century. The Oglander Chapel is the resting place of members of the local family and includes two distinctive wooden effigies of knights.

St Mildred’s, Whippingham, PO32 6LW

There has been a church in this parish since Saxon times. The precursor to the existing St Mildred’s was built by John Nash in 1804, but his church was demolished and replaced with the current more elaborate building. Prince Albert had some influence in the design, which incorporates Gothic and Romanesque elements and has a large central tower with a Rhenish-style spire. It’s quite a tourist attraction and sometimes has a teashop open in the summer.

St Olave’s, Gatcombe

St Olave’s, Gatcombe

St Olave’s, Gatcombe, PO30 3EJ

St Olave’s Church was dedicated in 1292. The church is noted for its stained glass by William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and Edward Burne-Jones, dating from 1865 and 1866. The wooden effigy of a Knight of the Crusades is located at the north side of the altar. The effigy became the subject of the Lucy Lightfoot hoax in the 1960s.