Heritage Category: Listed Building

Grade: II

List Entry Number: 1276090

Date first listed: 24-Oct-1950



Ordnance survey map of CHURCH OF THE HOLY CROSS
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The building or site itself may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

District: Isle of Wight (Unitary Authority)

Parish: Ryde

National Grid Reference: SZ 57522 92806


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.


Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.



II Late C11 origins. Mid-C13 remodelling. Nave demolished and rebuilt 1843-5 by Thomas Hellyer. N aisle added 1875 possibly by G T Windyer Morris. Restored following serious fire in 1969.

MATERIALS: Local Binstead stone with tile and slate roofs

PLAN: Nave with W organ gallery; chancel; N aisle; S porch; NE vestry; NW modern extension housing kitchen and WCs, also boiler house.

EXTERIOR: S elevation: nave with lancets with continuous hood mould. Pitched tiled roofs to nave, chancel and S porch. Re-used stone inscription at base of SE buttress possibly reads 'CW 1798'. Awkward W gallery access arrangement to W of porch, added mid C19 in a different fabric. Chancel with herringbone masonry, mass dial (of circular form), low square-headed medieval window and mid C13 tracery to 2-light principal window. E elevation: mid C13 3-light E window and further herringbone masonry. N elevation: herringbone masonry and cusped head lancet to chancel. Pitched vestry and lean-to aisle roofs in slate. Plain lancets to latter. Modern extensions at NW corner not of special interest. W elevation: paired lancets lighting ground floor and W gallery, the latter with zoomorphic key stones depicting a griffin and possible dragon. Simple W gabled bellcote. Medieval bell from Quarr Abbey. Gable decorated by engaged shaft supported on a grotesque corbel, presumably relating to former belfry.

INTERIOR: Nave: mid C20 oak hammer beam roof supported on carved stone corbels, some mid C20 replacements. W organ gallery with modern balcony and partition wall concealing meeting room. Chancel: Ribbed panelled ceiling, probably by Hellyer, with replacement bosses (the originals damaged in the 1969 fire). Medieval piscina in window ledge south of altar. Deep internal splay and blind trefoil to SW square-headed medieval window. North Aisle: 4-bay arcade of pointed arches supported on plain round pillars with simple moulded capitals. Boarded late C19 roof. Baptistery to E end. Stone slab, tile and parquet flooring.

PRINCIPAL FEATURES: Carved wooden altar, probably late C16 or early C17 Flemish, including scenes of the Last Supper and Nativity. Dark oak traceried panelling to chancel brought from Winchester College Chapel in 1932 and attributed to William Butterfield. Carved lectern to rector's chair with Moses tableau of mid C19 date. Brass wall mounted memorial plaque to The Fallen of the parish in the First World War erected May 1921, which unusually includes a woman, Mary Gartside-Tipping, killed in France in 1917 while serving with the Women's Emergency Corps, and awarded the Croix de Guerre. Stone octagonal font of 1844 designed by the Hon Henry Graves. Stained glass: some Victorian glazing. Accomplished aisle lancets by Gabriel Loire of Chartres depicting St John the Baptist (1971) and our Lady of Quarr (1987). Chancel NE lancet of Holy Spirit (1972), SE nave lancet of a symbolic cross and W gallery lancets depicting a peacock and phoenix rising from the flames all early 1970s and by Lawrence Lee.

SUBSIDIARY FEATURES: Churchyard gate to the SE of the church incorporating Norman order mouldings from former N door. Above the arch, a stone figure with enlarged head and exaggerated ears, sits astride a beast's head. Restored early C21.

HISTORY: Permission to quarry Quarr stone at Binstead for Winchester Cathedral was granted shortly after the Norman Conquest (also used to build the nearby Quarr Abbey founded 1131) and it has been suggested that Holy Cross was constructed as a church for the quarrymen in c1150. The herringbone masonry of the chancel suggests a Norman date but the chancel windows are mid C13 suggesting a C13 remodelling. Its early plan was a simple single-cell church with nave and chancel as shown in a painting by John Nixon (1755-1818) in the Carisbrooke Castle Museum. The same painting shows a shingled square belfry and south porch both of which were replaced in the Victorian period.

In the mid C19 the nave was demolished and rebuilt in elongated form by the noted Ryde architect Thomas Hellyer (1811-1894). He also added the vestry and current south porch. A north aisle was added in 1875 possibly by G T Windyer Morris. At the turn of the century the church retained its elaborate Victorian belfry which is shown on a photograph in the National Monuments Record of c1900. This was replaced in 1925 by the current bellcote. A serious fire in 1969 destroyed the nave roof which has been replicated and caused other damage. The church was restored and re-dedicated in 1971.

The historic elements of the churchyard gate formed the north door of the church until the C19 and were presumably moved when the north aisle was added in the 1870s. The figure is known locally as 'The Idol' and identified in some quarters as a Sheela-na-gig (a female figure associated with fertility and protection) although a drawing of 1819 (National Monuments Record), allowing us to see greater detail than at present, suggests this might not be the case.

Sources B Gorley, Guide to the Parish Church of the Holy Cross, Binstead (2007) David W Lloyd & Nikolaus Pevsner,'The Isle of Wight' (Buildings of England, 2006), 84-86 Memorials and monuments on the Isle of Wight: Binstead Holy Cross at [accessed 17 Aug 2010] British History on-line entry for Binstead at [accessed 17 Aug 2010] Hellyer's plans of 1843-5 at

Reasons for Designation Church of the Holy Cross, Binstead, of late C11 origins with Victorian additions, is designated at Grade II for the following principal reasons: * Architecture: for its early chancel with Norman herringbone masonry, mid C13 windows and mass dial, and mostly Victorian structure. * Group value: with churchyard gate incorporating Norman fabric.


The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System number: 410466

Legacy System: LBS

End of official listing