Chale has so much to see and remember; the lofty downs which are 780 feet high,
the bay three miles from Atherfield Point with its treacherous ledge to St
Catherine's Point with its famous lighthouse, an old manor house that has a 100
feet long barn that dates back to the 15th century, a beautiful church, the
chine, the old beacon, and the column on the downs.
Where the Undercliff starts is Blackgang
Chine which is a deep chasm that is cut into the cliffs by a stream that
runs into the sea, now a huge tourist attraction with its model dinosaurs
and theme park. Just past here there are ragged cliffs and green woods where
a tiny temple stands in honour of Shakespeare's 300 years. It was built
around 1864 and the stream below it is dedicated also to Shakespeare and has
an inscription from his Two Gentlemen from Verona.
church which has a fine turret and pinnacle tower is 15th century and it has a
pointed door that has rows of moulding, The two low bays of the south arcade are
the oldest parts and date from around the 12th century.
canopy posts of the altars have candlesticks of four golden angels with the
wings open, In the sanctuary is a splendid candelabra which is in memory of a
rector who was one Bishop of Northwest Australia and there are some beautiful
windows that were painted by Kempe, five of these were given by an American to
honour his ancestors who were rectors. There are six warrior saints dressed in
golden armour in the west window.
the top of St Catherine's Hill can be found a shrine that is a hundred years
older than the church and nearly 800 feet above the water, a 36ft high stone
tower which has stood here for 600 years that has a pointed cap and is has
openings all the way around. Two doorways are on one side one above the other
and over these are marks of an old gable roof. This is a mediaeval lighthouse
which was mentioned in the Winchester registers of 1328 as being endowed by
Walter de Godston. Once there was an oratory joined to it and it was a shrine
but this has now disappeared, the keep was a priest whose duty it was to see
that a light was burning all through the night and also to offer Mass to those
who were lost at sea. The oratory was of two storeys, the priest lived in the
lower one and the upper one was the chapel. The tower though had four storeys
with a ladder being used to reach the upper two.
most southerly point of the island is St Catherine's Point and it is here that
the lighthouse which was built in the 19th century can be found with a light
that is the equivalent of 15 million candles and holds one of the most powerful
fog horns in the world. The lighthouse tower is 80ft above the ground by the
lamp itself is 136 feet above the high water mark and at this height the horizon
is 17 miles off and its powerful beam can be see moving through 220 degrees, in
this huge area its flashing can be seen for a fifth of a second every five
seconds, 22ft below in the tower is a second lamp showing a fixed red light that
can be seen 16 miles away.
column with a ball on the top can be seen beyond Godston's tower on the inland
run of the downs, this tower is 72 ft high and was set up by Michael Hoy who was
a merchant in Russia, and was in memory of Tsar Alexander's visit a year before
the battle of Waterloo and was also to commemorate many years of happiness
living in Russia. On 1857 a second inscription was cut by a lieutenant to
commemorate those who fell in the Crimea.