| ©2018 St. Blasius Old Parish Church, Shanklin

The History of St Blasius Church
Some Other Mysteries Church & Manor Church Interior An Incomplete List Church From Outside
This   outline   history   and   guide   is   intended   to   welcome   the many   visitors   to   Shanklin   Old   Church.   Some   of   the   church's history   remains   obscure   -   it   did   not   become   a   parish   church until   1853,   and   much   of   what   the   visitor   will   see   is   the   result of   a   major   restoration   started   in   1852.   Previously   it   was   the Manorial    chapel    founded    in    the    reign    of    King    Stephen    by Geoffrey de Lisle. Opinions   on   the   attractiveness   of   this   little   church   vary,   but few   who   come   here   now   would   agree   with   the   rueful   tone   in an   early   guide   book   –   “almost   every   trace   of   antiquity   has vanished”-    -    or    the    even    more    dismissive,    “it    has    been    so altered   and   added   to   that   it   is   now   of   little   interest”   -   W.   M. Page in A History of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. On   the   contrary,   there   is   a   great   deal   to   interest   and   please the   discerning.   Mercifully,   the   sad   fashion   of   dismissing   all things   Victorian   has   had   its   day   and   we   are   free   to   enjoy   the strikingly   peaceful   beauty   of   the   church   and   its   surroundings, situated    as    it    is    on    its    own    small    rise    under    the    downs, overlooking the pond and former grounds of the Manor.
ST. BLASIUS - AND SOME MYSTERIES Many    visitors    ask,    "Who    is    St.    Blasius?"    as    few    English churches    were    dedicated    to    him.    This    question    can    be answered,   but   if   they   continue   by   asking,   "And   why   is   this church    dedicated    to    him?"    the    answers    become    hedged about with "possibly", "probably" or "it could be that..." To   deal   with   the   easier   question   first:   St.   Blasius,   or   Blaise, was   the   young   bishop   of   Sebaste,   in   Armenia   (now   in   Turkey) in   the   time   of   the   Roman   Emperor   Licinius,   in   the   early   fourth century.   It   was   a   time   of   persecution   of   the   Christians   and,   his whereabouts   known   only   to   his   congregation,   Blasius   had   to take   refuge   outside   the   city   walls,   in   a   cave   in   the   forest.   Here he   ministered   to   sick   or   injured   creatures   that   he   found,   while a   reward   was   offered   for   his   capture.   The   forest   animals   lost their   fear   and   made   their   way   to   him.   An   unfortunate   return for    Blasius'    goodness    was    that    the    tracks    of    the    visiting animals   led   hunters   to   discover   his   hiding   place;   they   took him back to Sebaste so that they could claim the reward. As   he   was   being   taken   to   prison,   a   woman   brought   him   her son,   who   was   choking   to   death   with   a   fishbone   in   his   throat. Blasius   freed   the   bone   and   saved   the   boy.   As   thanks,   the woman    brought    him    food    and    candles    in    prison    as    he awaited     trial.     Blasius     was     tortured     by     being     torn     with sharpened     wool-combs,     before     being     beheaded.     These features   of   his   story   caused   his   later   adoption   as   the   patron saint   of   wool   combers   and   of   sore   throats.   He   was   also   the patron    saint    of    animals,    until    he    was    superseded    by    St. Francis of Assisi in the 15th century. Quite   how   St.   Blasius   came   to   be   the   patronal   saint   of   this small   church   in   Shanklin   is   a   matter   of   speculation,   though some facts are known. Knowledge   about   him   came   to   England   as   a   result   of   the crusades.   When   Richard   the   Lionheart,   on   a   crusade   in   1192, was   shipwrecked   on   an   island   off   the   coast   near   Regusa,   (the present    day    Dubrovnik    in    Croatia),    he    wished    to    build    a church   to   offer   thanks   for   being   saved.   However   Bernard, Archbishop    of    Regusa,    persuaded    him    to    give    the    money towards   the   rebuilding   of   the   cathedral   in   the   city,   dedicated to   St.   Mary   and   St.   Blasius.   Because   Archbishop   Bernard   was extremely   unpopular   in   Regusa,   the   citizens   managed   to   send him   to   England   with   Richard   when   the   king   returned   to   his kingdom,   and   on   Richard's   death   in   1199   Bernard   remained at   the   court   of   King   John.   When   the   Pope   appointed   another Archbishop   of   Regusa,   Bernard   was   left   without   position   or income   and   had,   perforce,   to   accept   demotion   to   the   position of   Bishop   of   the   then   undesirable   diocese   of   Carlisle,   a   post unfilled    for    some    years    as    it    was    a    wild    and    disputed borderland.    Clearly,    Bernard,    ex-Archbishop    and    the    new Bishop   of   Carlisle   brought   the   Balkan   St.   Blasius   to   Northern England. A puzzle and a guess Tradition   has   it   that   one   of   the   family   at   Shanklin   Manor   went on   the   crusades   and   is   believed   to   have   carved   the   crusader's cross   on   the   original   doorpost   to   the   chapel   (this   cross   can still   be   seen   in   the   stone).   He   might,   if   he   was   a   member   of King   Richard's   retinue,   have   heard   of   the   saint   at   Regusa,   or from Archbishop Bernard. A question of dedication If   the   chapel   had   been   consistently   dedicated   to   St.   Blasius since   the   twelfth   century,   we   might   consider   the   puzzle   of   the dedication   virtually   solved.   But   the   twelfth   century   dedication by   Geoffrey   de   lnsula   (the   family   later   became   Lisle)   of   the manorial   chapel   was   not   to   St.   Blasius,   but   to   St.   John   the Baptist.   Mention   of   St.   Blasius/St.   Blaise   is   made   through   the centuries,   though   at   the   time   of   the   major   rebuilding   in   1852, and   as   late   as   1890,   the   church   was   still   known   as   St.   John's. The    dedication    to    St.    Blasius    must    therefore    be    a    revival, perhaps   of   the   dedication   of   a   chantry   altar   within   the   chapel. There   is   no   known   record   of   the   change   or   of   the   reasons   for it. Some of the mystery remains.
Some Other Mysteries Church & Manor Church Interior An Incomplete List Church From Outside

| ©2018 St. Blasius Old Parish Church, Shanklin

The History of St Blasius Church
Some Other Mysteries Features of the Church Interior Church & Manor: An Outline History The Church From Outside An Incomplete List of Incumbents and Patrons
This   outline   history   and   guide   is   intended   to   welcome   the   many   visitors   to Shanklin   Old   Church.   Some   of   the   church's   history   remains   obscure   -   it   did   not become   a   parish   church   until   1853,   and   much   of   what   the   visitor   will   see   is the    result    of    a    major    restoration    started    in    1852.    Previously    it    was    the Manorial chapel founded in the reign of King Stephen by Geoffrey de Lisle. Opinions   on   the   attractiveness   of   this   little   church   vary,   but   few   who   come here   now   would   agree   with   the   rueful   tone   in   an   early   guide   book   –   “almost every   trace   of   antiquity   has   vanished”-   -   or   the   even   more   dismissive,   “it   has been   so   altered   and   added   to   that   it   is   now   of   little   interest”   -   W.   M.   Page   in   A History of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. On   the   contrary,   there   is   a   great   deal   to   interest   and   please   the   discerning.   Mercifully,   the   sad   fashion   of   dismissing   all   things   Victorian has   had   its   day   and   we   are   free   to   enjoy   the   strikingly   peaceful   beauty   of   the   church   and   its   surroundings,   situated   as   it   is   on   its   own small rise under the downs, overlooking the pond and former grounds of the Manor.
ST. BLASIUS - AND SOME MYSTERIES Many   visitors   ask,   "Who   is   St.   Blasius?"   as   few   English   churches   were   dedicated   to   him.   This   question   can   be   answered,   but   if   they continue   by   asking,   "And   why   is   this   church   dedicated   to   him?"   the   answers   become   hedged   about   with   "possibly",   "probably"   or   "it could be that..." To   deal   with   the   easier   question   first:   St.   Blasius,   or   Blaise,   was   the   young   bishop   of   Sebaste,   in   Armenia   (now   in   Turkey)   in   the   time   of the   Roman   Emperor   Licinius,   in   the   early   fourth   century.   It   was   a   time   of   persecution   of   the   Christians   and,   his   whereabouts   known only   to   his   congregation,   Blasius   had   to   take   refuge   outside   the   city   walls,   in   a   cave   in   the   forest.   Here   he   ministered   to   sick   or   injured creatures   that   he   found,   while   a   reward   was   offered   for   his   capture.   The   forest   animals   lost   their   fear   and   made   their   way   to   him.   An unfortunate   return   for   Blasius'   goodness   was   that   the   tracks   of   the   visiting   animals   led   hunters   to   discover   his   hiding   place;   they   took him back to Sebaste so that they could claim the reward. As   he   was   being   taken   to   prison,   a   woman   brought   him   her   son,   who   was   choking   to   death   with   a   fishbone   in   his   throat.   Blasius   freed the   bone   and   saved   the   boy.   As   thanks,   the   woman   brought   him   food   and   candles   in   prison   as   he   awaited   trial.   Blasius   was   tortured   by being   torn   with   sharpened   wool-combs,   before   being   beheaded.   These   features   of   his   story   caused   his   later   adoption   as   the   patron saint   of   wool   combers   and   of   sore   throats.   He   was   also   the   patron   saint   of   animals,   until   he   was   superseded   by   St.   Francis   of   Assisi   in the 15th century. Quite   how   St.   Blasius   came   to   be   the   patronal   saint   of   this   small   church   in   Shanklin   is   a   matter   of   speculation,   though   some   facts   are known. Knowledge    about    him    came    to    England    as    a    result    of    the    crusades.    When    Richard    the    Lionheart,    on    a    crusade    in    1192,    was shipwrecked   on   an   island   off   the   coast   near   Regusa,   (the   present   day   Dubrovnik   in   Croatia),   he   wished   to   build   a   church   to   offer   thanks for   being   saved.   However   Bernard,   Archbishop   of   Regusa,   persuaded   him   to   give   the   money   towards   the   rebuilding   of   the   cathedral   in the   city,   dedicated   to   St.   Mary   and   St.   Blasius.   Because   Archbishop   Bernard   was   extremely   unpopular   in   Regusa,   the   citizens   managed to   send   him   to   England   with   Richard   when   the   king   returned   to   his   kingdom,   and   on   Richard's   death   in   1199   Bernard   remained   at   the court   of   King   John.   When   the   Pope   appointed   another   Archbishop   of   Regusa,   Bernard   was   left   without   position   or   income   and   had, perforce,   to   accept   demotion   to   the   position   of   Bishop   of   the   then   undesirable   diocese   of   Carlisle,   a   post   unfilled   for   some   years   as   it was   a   wild   and   disputed   borderland.   Clearly,   Bernard,   ex-Archbishop   and   the   new   Bishop   of   Carlisle   brought   the   Balkan   St.   Blasius   to Northern England. A puzzle and a guess Tradition   has   it   that   one   of   the   family   at   Shanklin   Manor   went   on   the   crusades   and   is   believed   to   have   carved   the   crusader's   cross   on the   original   doorpost   to   the   chapel   (this   cross   can   still   be   seen   in   the   stone).   He   might,   if   he   was   a   member   of   King   Richard's   retinue, have heard of the saint at Regusa, or from Archbishop Bernard. A question of dedication If   the   chapel   had   been   consistently   dedicated   to   St.   Blasius   since   the   twelfth   century,   we   might   consider   the   puzzle   of   the   dedication virtually   solved.   But   the   twelfth   century   dedication   by   Geoffrey   de   lnsula   (the   family   later   became   Lisle)   of   the   manorial   chapel   was   not to   St.   Blasius,   but   to   St.   John   the   Baptist.   Mention   of   St.   Blasius/St.   Blaise   is   made   through   the   centuries,   though   at   the   time   of   the major   rebuilding   in   1852,   and   as   late   as   1890,   the   church   was   still   known   as   St.   John's.   The   dedication   to   St.   Blasius   must   therefore   be   a revival,   perhaps   of   the   dedication   of   a   chantry   altar   within   the   chapel.   There   is   no   known   record   of   the   change   or   of   the   reasons   for   it. Some of the mystery remains.
Some Other Mysteries Features of the Church Interior Church & Manor: An Outline History The Church From Outside An Incomplete List of Incumbents and Patrons HOME ABOUT US SERVICES EVENTS HISTORY COMMUNITY PRIVACY NOTICE CONTACT
The History of St Blasius Church
Some Other Mysteries Features of the Church Interior Church & Manor: An Outline History The Church From Outside An Incomplete List of Incumbents and Patrons
This    outline    history    and    guide    is    intended    to welcome     the     many     visitors     to     Shanklin     Old Church.    Some    of    the    church's    history    remains obscure   -   it   did   not   become   a   parish   church   until 1853,   and   much   of   what   the   visitor   will   see   is   the result    of    a    major    restoration    started    in    1852. Previously   it   was   the   Manorial   chapel   founded   in the reign of King Stephen by Geoffrey de Lisle. Opinions   on   the   attractiveness   of   this   little   church vary,   but   few   who   come   here   now   would   agree   with   the   rueful   tone   in   an   early   guide   book   –   “almost every   trace   of   antiquity   has   vanished”-   -   or   the   even   more   dismissive,   “it   has   been   so   altered   and added to that it is now of little interest” - W. M. Page in A History of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. On   the   contrary,   there   is   a   great   deal   to   interest   and   please   the   discerning.   Mercifully,   the   sad fashion   of   dismissing   all   things   Victorian   has   had   its   day   and   we   are   free   to   enjoy   the   strikingly peaceful   beauty   of   the   church   and   its   surroundings,   situated   as   it   is   on   its   own   small   rise   under   the downs, overlooking the pond and former grounds of the Manor.
ST. BLASIUS - AND SOME MYSTERIES Many   visitors   ask,   "Who   is   St.   Blasius?"   as   few   English   churches   were   dedicated   to   him.   This   question can   be   answered,   but   if   they   continue   by   asking,   "And   why   is   this   church   dedicated   to   him?"   the answers become hedged about with "possibly", "probably" or "it could be that..." To   deal   with   the   easier   question   first:   St.   Blasius,   or   Blaise,   was   the   young   bishop   of   Sebaste,   in Armenia   (now   in   Turkey)   in   the   time   of   the   Roman   Emperor   Licinius,   in   the   early   fourth   century.   It was   a   time   of   persecution   of   the   Christians   and,   his   whereabouts   known   only   to   his   congregation, Blasius   had   to   take   refuge   outside   the   city   walls,   in   a   cave   in   the   forest.   Here   he   ministered   to   sick   or injured   creatures   that   he   found,   while   a   reward   was   offered   for   his   capture.   The   forest   animals   lost their   fear   and   made   their   way   to   him.   An   unfortunate   return   for   Blasius'   goodness   was   that   the tracks   of   the   visiting   animals   led   hunters   to   discover   his   hiding   place;   they   took   him   back   to   Sebaste so that they could claim the reward. As   he   was   being   taken   to   prison,   a   woman   brought   him   her   son,   who   was   choking   to   death   with   a fishbone   in   his   throat.   Blasius   freed   the   bone   and   saved   the   boy.   As   thanks,   the   woman   brought   him food   and   candles   in   prison   as   he   awaited   trial.   Blasius   was   tortured   by   being   torn   with   sharpened wool-combs,   before   being   beheaded.   These   features   of   his   story   caused   his   later   adoption   as   the patron   saint   of   wool   combers   and   of   sore   throats.   He   was   also   the   patron   saint   of   animals,   until   he was superseded by St. Francis of Assisi in the 15th century. Quite   how   St.   Blasius   came   to   be   the   patronal   saint   of   this   small   church   in   Shanklin   is   a   matter   of speculation, though some facts are known. Knowledge   about   him   came   to   England   as   a   result   of   the   crusades.   When   Richard   the   Lionheart,   on   a crusade    in    1192,    was    shipwrecked    on    an    island    off    the    coast    near    Regusa,    (the    present    day Dubrovnik   in   Croatia),   he   wished   to   build   a   church   to   offer   thanks   for   being   saved.   However   Bernard, Archbishop   of   Regusa,   persuaded   him   to   give   the   money   towards   the   rebuilding   of   the   cathedral   in the    city,    dedicated    to    St.    Mary    and    St.    Blasius.    Because    Archbishop    Bernard    was    extremely unpopular   in   Regusa,   the   citizens   managed   to   send   him   to   England   with   Richard   when   the   king returned   to   his   kingdom,   and   on   Richard's   death   in   1199   Bernard   remained   at   the   court   of   King   John. When   the   Pope   appointed   another   Archbishop   of   Regusa,   Bernard   was   left   without   position   or income   and   had,   perforce,   to   accept   demotion   to   the   position   of   Bishop   of   the   then   undesirable diocese   of   Carlisle,   a   post   unfilled   for   some   years   as   it   was   a   wild   and   disputed   borderland.   Clearly, Bernard,   ex-Archbishop   and   the   new   Bishop   of   Carlisle   brought   the   Balkan   St.   Blasius   to   Northern England. A puzzle and a guess Tradition   has   it   that   one   of   the   family   at   Shanklin   Manor   went   on   the   crusades   and   is   believed   to have   carved   the   crusader's   cross   on   the   original   doorpost   to   the   chapel   (this   cross   can   still   be   seen in   the   stone).   He   might,   if   he   was   a   member   of   King   Richard's   retinue,   have   heard   of   the   saint   at Regusa, or from Archbishop Bernard. A question of dedication If   the   chapel   had   been   consistently   dedicated   to   St.   Blasius   since   the   twelfth   century,   we   might consider   the   puzzle   of   the   dedication   virtually   solved.   But   the   twelfth   century   dedication   by   Geoffrey de   lnsula   (the   family   later   became   Lisle)   of   the   manorial   chapel   was   not   to   St.   Blasius,   but   to   St.   John the   Baptist.   Mention   of   St.   Blasius/St.   Blaise   is   made   through   the   centuries,   though   at   the   time   of   the major   rebuilding   in   1852,   and   as   late   as   1890,   the   church   was   still   known   as   St.   John's.   The   dedication to   St.   Blasius   must   therefore   be   a   revival,   perhaps   of   the   dedication   of   a   chantry   altar   within   the chapel.   There   is   no   known   record   of   the   change   or   of   the   reasons   for   it.   Some   of   the   mystery remains.
Some Other Mysteries Features of the Church Interior Church & Manor: An Outline History The Church From Outside An Incomplete List of Incumbents and Patrons HOME SERVICES EVENTS HISTORY COMMUNITY PRIVACY NOTICE CONTACT
Shanklin Isle of Wight St. Blasius Old Parish Church
Shanklin Isle of Wight St. Blasius Old Parish Church
Shanklin Isle of Wight St. Blasius Old Parish Church