Silent Sunday….. Hiding within the Castle Walls


Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight

Within the Castle Walls at Carisbrooke, can be found a wonderful and distinctively different small Chapel.  The Chapel is dedicated to Saint Nicholas….  and whilst is has been built on the site of a much older Chapel, the Chapel you see today was only built in 1904.  

The Chapels construction is a little unusual.  Long, narrow and very tall. 


But when you enter please note the mirror on the floor of the nave.  Then either, look down into the mirror or up to the heavens, and you will find the incredible painted ceiling…


It was of course not long after the Chapel was dedicated, that the 1st World War began. After the hostilities finished, it must have seemed very appropriate for the residents of the Isle of Wight, who had lost many in the conflict, to see Saint Nicholas adopted as a War Memorial for the Islands dead.

As a War Memorial  it is a special location, a very safe location in an equally unique setting.

IOW Castle

This Sunday, like every day…..

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

7th February

(C) David Oakes 2021

White on Wight…..


The Needles on the south west tip of the Isle of Wight…. a line of dazzling white rocks, jutting out into the South Channel of the Hampshire Solent where it meets the English Channel.  Hazardous rocks and hazardous currents for sailors over the centuries.  The Needles an important navigation warning even before the lighthouse at the tip of the Needles was erected .What you cannot see are the wartime gun emplacements built into the rocks below to guard the important port of Southampton.  Today a beautiful dramatic location.

Then you turn and look in the opposite direction and you get another special view of the tranquil Alum Bay.  Alum Bay is also popular tourist attraction, the cliffs and beach are famous for its multi coloured sands.

I.O.W Alum-Bay

The Isle of Wight is rather special.  Its natural beauty and location here on the south coast of England, in the English Channel, is very special.  But that location is exposed, and over the centuries it has acted as both an observation point and has played various defensive roles.  The Island is also reputed to have its own microclimate.  Extra beautiful on a calm sunny day but can also be exposed to extremes of the weather.

I will try to bring some other Isle of Wight Memories over the coming months….  might brighten up those dark days heading our way over the winter months.

As it is Sunday tomorrow, why not pay an early visit to Church.  Here is a link to a very special Island Church which you might enjoy (and maybe remember) :-

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

3rd October

(C) David Oakes 2020


To be beside the Sea…….


All quiet, of an evening, on the beach at Shanklin, on the Isle of Wight.  A viewpoint just above Shanklin Chine.  A Chine is one of the steep valleys that lead down to the waterside.

Evening a great time for a stroll along the beach.

At the moment a walk along a beach seems a long way off….. but who knows…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

25th July

(C) David Oakes 2020

Silent Sunday…… Off To Church

It is some years since I started the occasional Sunday ‘Off to Church’  postings.  When I started I made the point that it was not as a result of any religious commitment  nor would I make any religious comment.

Churches, in the widest concept, includes Chapels, Abbey’s , Cathedrals, Places of Worship of any Faith….. have and are a part of our communities.  All provide a light on our Historical Heritage.  Building, culture and faith all in one location.  These religious building, probably more than any other construction, provide a direct link back to our earliest recorded history, buildings that today are still used as they were many many centuries ago.

One such Church we visited many years ago, is the very tiny Church of Saint Boniface.


The Church is located on the Isle of Wight in the village of Bonchurch.  There has been a settlement here almost since time began.  Stone Age settlements and Roman occupation have been recorded.   The Domes Day Book records the name of Bonercerce.   It is in the 8th century that Saint Boniface arrives on the island. Saint Boniface built a strong following in the area and in the 9th century a wooden church was built.  It is believed to be an older site of worship.  This first church was dedicated to Boniface.

It is on this same site that  in the 11th century a small stone church was built.

That church still exists and is used today….  a direct and continuous historical ink.

Over the centuries there have been some modifications.  A Bell Cote with Bell were added in the 16th century.  Then in the 19th century a Porch Doorway was added.

What hasn’t changed is  that services and weddings can be held by candle light as no electricity has been added.  Yes, the Church is still in use today.


The Church is also referred to in Bonchurch as ” Old Saint Boniface Church”. That definition is important.  As the population and importance of Bonchurch grew and NEW Saint Boniface Church was built and opened in 1848.  There followed some talk of demolishing the Old Saint Boniface, thankfully common sense prevailed.  Special occasional services, including weddings, continue the link between Saint Boniface’s and the community.


To stand in this nave and look around, you stand in history.  You stand in the shadows of so many that have come before you, to stand in this very spot.  It may well be small by comparison to say a Cathedral,  but  it is equally as inspiring and full of a special aura.


If you ever visit the Isle of Wight, and amongst all the island treasures and beauty spots, do find time to head to Bonchurch.  Find the narrow  wooded lane that leads down the hillside and discover this little gem of history.

Maybe, no matter if you are religious or not,  spare some time to evaluate the times we currently live in today…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

31st May

(C) David Oakes 2020




Sunday….So Off to Church


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

25th September

(C) David Oakes 2016

Next Sunday we will visit somewhere very different…so don’t forget to click on.