Arreton, St George's Church
History, tourist information, and nearby accommodation
HERITAGE HIGHLIGHTS: Saxon doorway and window in the tower.
Arreton parish was established during the Saxon period, one of seven parishes on the island before the coming of the Normans. The first church here was established as a private chapel for nearby Arreton Manor. After the Norman Conquest Arreton was granted to the abbey of Lyre in France. In 1132 Lord Baldwin de Redvers founded Quarr Abbey, and granted Arreton to his new monastery.
The monks of Quarr farmed land at Arreton and administered the church for over 4 centuries, until the abbey was dissolved by Henry VIII at the Reformation, and Arreton passed to the crown.
Set onto the east wall of the north aisle is a very worn carving thought to depict Christ in Majesty. Just to the north (left) of this carving is a wonderful little carved head of a dragon, or serpent.
Quite a bit more modern is a memorial to Sir Richard Worsley Holmes, who drowned in 1815. The tomb was designed by Sir Richard Westmacott and shows a despairing woman, a wrecked ship, and a broken anchor. Also by Westmacott is a memorial to Sir Henry Worsley Holmes (d. 1811), showing a youth seated on rocks flanked by an eagle and a female figure. The style is pure 19th century sentimentality and a wonderful example of funerary style at the time. Even newer is the Burma Star window, installed in 1992 and dedicated by Countess Mountbatten of Burma.
Other interior highlights include a Jacobean parish chest (1619) and altar table, and a royal coat of arms to Queen Anne.
Outside the church you can find the 1720 tomb of Oliver Cromwell's grandson, William, and his wife Hannah, just to the west of the porch. And if you go around the back of the church you will find the tomb of Arreton's famous literary figure, Elizabeth Wallbridge, the Dairyman's Daughter.
The Dairyman's Daughter
Elizabeth Wallbridge was born in the late 18th century at Hale Common. She was known for her quiet, pious lifestyle, but she died tragically young in 1808 of consumption, aged just 31. Her life was immortalised - and romanticised - by Leigh Richmond in his book 'Annals of the Poor', and she became something of a celebrity. Her tombstone can be found behind the church, outside the north wall of the chancel.
Address: Arreton Barns, Arreton, Isle of Wight, England, PO30 3AB
Attraction Type: Historic Church
Location: Off the A3056 at the Arreton Barns complex, near the Shipwreck Centre. Easy access by footpath from the Barns parking area. Usually open daylight hours.
Photo Credit: David Ross and Britain Express
NEARBY HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS
Heritage Rated from 1- 5 (low to exceptional) on historic interest
Arreton Manor - 0 miles (Historic Building)
Newport Roman Villa - 0 miles (Roman Site)
The Shipwreck Centre & Maritime Museum - 0.1 miles (Museum)
Carisbrooke Castle - 3.1 miles (Castle)
Godshill, All Saints Church - 3.1 miles (Historic Church)
Nunwell House and Gardens - 3.7 miles (Historic House)
Appuldurcombe House - 4 miles (Historic House)
Brading Roman Villa - 4.3 miles (Roman Site)
Nearest Accommodation to Arreton: