Old Saint Boniface Church, Bonchurch
On the South East Coast of the Isle of Wight is the village of Bonchurch. Now very much an extension of the town of Ventnor, Bonchurch has a history going back to the beginning of mankind. Traces of prehistoric activity and Stone Age settlements have been found, nor did the Romans overlook the area.
The most lasting historic association is that of Saint Boniface. It is in the 8th century that mention of his arrival from across the seas to the area is made. He must have built up quite a following for in the 9th century a wooden building was dedicated to his name.
I understand that it was on this same site that the stone church, now known as Old Saint Boniface Church was built in the 11th century.
The church, one of the smallest I have visited, consists of a simple Nave and Chancel and it this part of the church that is attributed to the 11th century.
A Bell Cote and Bell were added in the 16th century and finally a South Porch Doorway in the 19th century.
It must have formed an important part of the community of Bonchurch as the church was used until a larger New Saint Boniface Church was opened in 1848. After the New church was opened there was talk of demolishing the Old Saint Boniface…. thankfully common sense prevailed and despite lack of electricity occasional Services are still held in this quintessential Old English Church.
The South Porch and Bell Cote, Old Saint Boniface Church
(C) David Oakes 2016
Next Sunday we will visit somewhere very different…so don’t forget to click on.