With some lovely views of Spithead,
Binstead is situated in a lovely corner of the island and is known for its
quarries that once took stone to the mainland for the construction of
Salisbury and Winchester cathedrals.
Abbot of Quarr built the Norman church and it is said that he "would not
have all his tenants and the inhabitants of Binstead come to trouble the
19th century church has retained its Norman chancel which has some 14th
century windows and a mediaeval bell. There are also carvings of the old
nave built into the west wall of the new church. A gateway into the
churchyard has been made out of the old south doorway (1150) and above it
there is a little man with a beard sitting on the head of a strange
creature. A grinning face with feathers is set below the bell turret and yet
another beast, this time heraldic, is at the head of two lancet windows.
Quatrefoil panelling lines the chancel and stalls and this was once in the
chapel at Winchester College, and a piece of Flemish woodwork that
represents Aaron and Hur supporting the hand of Moses during the fight
between the Amaekites and the Israelites can be seen between two upright
posts of a reading desk.
the graveyard there is a gravestone to a smuggler which has a scene
depicting the smuggler fleeing from the revenue men, unfortunately it was he
who lost as the officers shot him on board his ship.
Horace Smith who was the author of the famous Ode to and Egyptian Mummy in
the porch of the church and on leaving the island he wrote:
Farewell, sweet Binstead! take a
From one unused to sight of woods and trees,
Amid the strife of cities doomed to dwell,
Yet roused to ecstasy by scenes like these;
Who could for ever sit beneath thy trees,
Inhaling fragrance from the flowery dell.
the end of a lane there is a farmhouse that has lancet windows and a bell
cot, a section of a ruined wall can be seen, this is all that remains of old
Quarr Abbey which was consecrated in 1132 by Henry de Blois. Practically
everybody on the island congregated here to mark the occasion as nearly every
inhabitant on the island had helped in its construction. Baldwin de Redvers
was the found and he now sleeps here with his wife Adeliza and the two sons
Richard the Lionheart loved. Their graves are unmarked, though not forgotten
as a new abbey was built by French monks in 1904 with pure red brick walls
and pinnacled turrets. It has a short nave and long choir and a continuous
line of arches lined west to east and is one of the most striking buildings
on the island.