| ©2018 St. Blasius Old Parish Church, Shanklin

Some Other Mysteries Church & Manor Church Interior An Incomplete List Church From Outside

Church and Manor:

An Outline History

The chapel of St. Blasé (Blays, Blasius) or St. John at Shenklyn Inception and the early centuries: 11th to 15th Pre-conquest,   there   are   no   records   to   help   us, but   the   Domesday   survey   in   1086   gives   the   first mention   of   Shanklin,   held   by   Joscelin   FitzAzor.   It is   a   fact   that   a   church,   at   neither   Brading   nor   St. Helens,   finds   a   place   in   the   return   made   to   the Conqueror. The    first    chapel    was    built    here    in    the    twelfth century   by   Geoffrey   de   Lisle   for   the   use   of   his family    and    tenants    at    Shanklin    and    for    the tenants    of    Ralph    de    Glamorgan    in    Landguard and   Sandown.   Several   writers   state   that   one   of the   Lisle   family,   who   then   held   the   Manor,   built   it in the reign of King Stephen (1135 - 54). An     agreement     in     Latin,     dated     about     1160 (translated   by   Sir   John   Oglander   of   Nunwell   in 1632)   was   made   under   the   authority   of   Cardinal Beaufort,   Bishop   of   Winchester,   and   brother   of King    Stephen.    This    agreement    was    between Simon   of   Beverley,   parson   of   Brading,   Geoffrey of   the   Isle   (de   Insula)   and   William   Stower   and concerned   the   establishment   and   endowment   of a   chapel   in   Shanklin,   owing   fealty   to   Brading   as the   mother   church.   The   agreement   is   signed   by Ralph,        Archdeacon        of        Winton;        Roger, Archdeacon   of   Surrey;   Robert   de   Lyra,   William Russell   and   Ralph   Bearne.   The   dedication   was   to St.   John   the   Baptist;   though   in   1367   it   is   referred to   in   the   Bishops'   Registers   as   "The   Chapel   of   St. Blays of Shanklyng". On   this   evidence,   it   is   safe   to   say   that   the   church of   St.   Blasius   (or   St.   John   the   Baptist)   dates   from the   twelfth   century.   From   the   very   beginning,   the alternative     dedications     were     recorded,     and through      the      centuries      that      followed      the connections   with   Brading   and   Bonchurch   were also to vary. Throughout    the    Hundred    Years    War    (1337    - 1453),      the      Island      was      subject      to      French incursions   and   frequent   alarms.   At   this   time,   the "Church   at   Shentlyn"   furnished   one   archer,   for the   defence   of   the   Island.   However,   in   quieter times,   Cardinal   Beaufort's   "Valor,   Beneficium   in Insula   Vecta"   deemed   the   Chapel   of   St.   John   of Sentling    to    have    no    value    on    account    of    its insignificance. By   the   fourteenth   century,   the   records   (Calendar of   Patent   Rolls)   indicate   that   St.   Blaise   was   the saint    of    the    Lisle    family    sanctuary    within    the church.   When   the   chapel   was   first   presented   for institution,   the   King   (Edward   III)   as   custodian   of the land had the living in his gift. Through   these   centuries,   and   later,   the   chapel may   have   looked   very   much   like   the   Old   Church at   Bonchurch.   It   was   entered   by   what   is   now   the door   between   the   Parish   Room   (old   Baptistery) and   the   nave,   the   hollowed   steps   testifying   to the   years   of   use.   On   the   jamb   of   the   door   can still   faintly   be   seen,   with   the   scratched   outlines of    simple    crosses,    a    crusader's    cross.    Was    it carved    there    by    the    follower    of    Richard    the Lionheart    who    brought    the    dedication    of    St. Blasius back with him to Shanklin? Perhaps... The      chapel      from      the      sixteenth      to      the eighteenth centuries In    the    intervening    centuries,    the    chapel    of    St. Blasius    remained    under    the    patronage    of    the Lords     of     the     Manor.     It     was     connected     to Bonchurch    by    various    appointments    of    Rector and    Clerk,    although    in    1519    the    Rector    was instituted    on    the    same    day    but    separately    to Bonchurch   and   Shanklin,   and   in   1558   the   chapel is   referred   to   as   "the   free   chapel   of   St.   Blaze   with the parish of Brading". There   is,   however,   no   record   of   annexation   to either     Bonchurch     or     Brading     and     the     next institutions   to   Bonchurch   omit   St.   Blasius,   until in   1570   the   Clerk,   Richard   Cook,   was   instituted   to the   Parish   Church   of   Bonchurch   and   Shanklin. When   he   died   in   1604,   the   next   presentation   was to   the   Rectory   of   Bonchurch   with   the   chapel   of Shanklin.     The     inhabitants     of     Shanklin     were buried    at    Brading    "as    of    right"    until    the    first interment   in   the   churchyard   in   1857.   Ministers continued   to   be   buried   at   Brading   until   the   mid- 18th   century.   Before   that   only   the   Lords   of   the Manor     and     their     families     were     buried     at Shanklin. It   is   in   the   eighteenth   century   that   the   parish registers     record     the     first     baptism,     the     first marriage    and    the    first    recorded    burial    of    a rector: 1724     William,   son   of   David   and   Elizabeth Proctor was baptised on Christmas Eve. 1754     John   Robin   of   the   parish   of   Shorwell was   married   to   Mary   Weeks   of   Shanklin   on May 1st. 1766     Reverend        Cornelius        Norwood, Rector 1763 - 6 was buried on January 16th. In    1788,    the    chapel    is    recorded    as    still maintained   by   the   patrons,   William   Hill   and Sarah Popham. The    Tomkins    engraving    dates    from    the    late eighteenth    century    (1794    or    1796)    and    shows the   simple   chapel   with   the   bellcote   at   the   west end, with entry through the south wall porch. It   seem   that   the   Dissolution   of   the   Monasteries, the   Civil   War,   Protectorate   and   Restoration,   the 1688   revolution   and   other   major   upheavals   in national   affairs   had   only   incidental   effects   on   the Shanklin     Chapel,     though     the     arrival     of     the Silksted   chest   may   have   been   a   result   of   the   Civil War,   and   tradition   says   that   Charles   I,   whilst   a prisoner   at   Carisbrooke   Castle,   was   allowed   to ride   under   escort   to   visit   the   Manor   and   chapel where    he    received    Communion    in    the    church porch.
The early nineteenth century: changes become necessary In   the   early   years   of   the   nineteenth   century,   the Shanklin   chapel   proceeded   much   as   it   had   done for   most   of   its   existence,   though   the   recorded baptisms   and   marriages   were   more   frequent.   In 1831,   Shanklin   was   a   small   coastal   settlement   of 355   people:   so   far,   even   the   well-documented visits   of   John   Keats   had   made   little   difference   to the   place.   The   church   baptism   registers   record children   of   fishermen,   coastguards   and   customs officers.   It   is   probable   that   the   fishermen   had other,      less      legitimate,      occupations,      which accounts   for   the   Preventative   men.   The   invasion fears   of   the   time   of   the   Napoleonic   Wars   had gone     and     a     resident     of     Shanklin     in     earlier centuries   would   have   noticed   few   changes   had he been able to return. However,     the     need     for     definitions     became pressing      as      is      shown      by      the      record      of disagreements     between     the     incumbent     (the Reverend     Justly     Hill)     and     the     patrons     (his cousins). In   1816   -   "the   present   incumbent   about   seven years       after       his       appointment       adopted measures    to    set    up    a    Rectory    (parish)    at Shanklin     took     virtual     possession     of     the freehold    by    locking    up    the    key    after    Divine service   and   carrying   it   away   to   his   own   house demanded       parochial       Rights       and       the Appointment   of   a   churchwarden   failing   in   the last   point   the   key   was   placed   in   neutral   Hands for   some   Years   and   accessible,   for   repairs   by the    Patron    who    also    buried    and    placed    a Hatchment      in      the      interior      "      (Original punctuation retained) In     1836     -     "Alterations     for     increase     of accommodation   having   been   made   which   did not   please   the   incumbent   from   that   date.   He has     assumed     the     sole     possession     of     the Chapel   put   a   Door   to   the   porch   and   kept   it locked    so    as    to    exclude    the    Patron,    from internal    repairs    needful    to    an    ancient    and dilapidated   building.   He   has   also   procured   a Sermon   to   be   preached   -   by   a   colonial   Bishop to   raise   money   for   improved   accommodations and   has   signified   to   the   Agent   of   the   Patron /who   has   been   very   anxious   and   is   still   willing to    effect    them    at    his    own    charge/    that    he intends   to   rearrange   a   lot   out   the   old   chapel under   sanction   of   the   ordinary   for   whom   he   is preparing a proposal for this interference.” There followed a request for clarification: "Is    the    benefice    of    Shanklin    Chapel    or    a Rectorial Parish Church. Has   it   by   frequent   though   desultory   insertion in   the   same   presentation   with   the   Rectory   of Bonchurch,   where   there   is   a   separate   church and   Distinct   Parish,   become   presentative   and so   amassed/   although   by   no   formal   deed   or arrangement/   as   to   demand   union   therewith in   future   presentations   or   may   it   be   separately disposed     by     Donation.     If     presentative     or otherwise in whom is the freehold? If   in   the   Patron   how   is   this   right   to   be   resumed in    course    of    the    Law?    How    exercised,    and maintained    against    the    usurpation    of    the Incumbent    or    Ordinary.    By    whom    if    a    free chapel   as   admitted   by   Bishop   Waynflete   when instituting   on   lapses   by   whom   is   the   chapel visitable   if   process   to   enforce   repairs   become needful      -      the      Lord      Chancellor      or      the Ordinary?” It   is   clear   that   the   easygoing   ways,   when   no   one seemed    particularly    concerned    about    areas    of power, were becoming insufficient! The mid-nineteenth century Signs    of    changes    to    come    began    to    appear (rather    like    the    spring    flowers,    first    just    one bloom,   then   a   few,   and   more   -   until   everything seems   to   bloom   at   once).   An   early   indicator   from the   Church   records   was   the   baptism   in   1838   of John      Daish,      Hotel      Keeper.      The      gathering momentum   of   the   changes   is   confirmed   by   two other   entries:   1864   records   the   baptism   of   the child   of   a   railway   worker   and   1865   that   of   a   child of the stationmaster. The    railway    came    in    1864,    the    result    of    the growing   popularity   of   Shanklin   and   a   cause   of further     growth     of     the     town.     By     then     the transformation   of   the   church   had   happened,   the work    starting    in    1852.    The    original,    probably aisle      less,      chapel      had      been      lengthened westward,   the   north   and   south   transepts   were added   and,   with   the   roof   being   raised   some   five to    six    feet,    a    bell    turret    constructed    at    the intersection.   The   date,   1859,   can   be   seen   carved on    one    of    the    cross    beams    of    the    octagonal tower,   if   you   stand   by   the   Rector's   stall   and   look upward.      The      Reverend      George      Southouse guided   the   enlargement.   Fittingly,   the   window   of Christ   with   the   twelve   apostles   is   a   memorial   to him,   and   at   the   west   end   of   the   nave   is   the   organ loft,   added   in   his   time,   the   organ   replacing   the flute     and     clarinet     accompaniment     of     earlier years. In   Thomas   Hardy's   "Under   the   Greenwood Tree",   we   are   given   a   wonderful   picture   of   church music   when   organs   were   rare,   except   for   major churches. Much   of   the   church   as   we   now   see   it   dates   from this   time   of   major   rebuilding.   The   baptistery   was built   then,   retaining   the   original   south   door   (way) with    its    worn    steps    showing    that    people    had gone   down   into   the   old   church.   Two   symmetrical pointed   arches   separate   the   baptistery   from   the south   transept   and   until   1997,   the   font   was   in this      room.      Perhaps      the      most      important recognition   of   the   change   in   church   and   village was   that,   under   the   patronal   name   of   John   the Baptist,   the   church   became   a   parish   church   in   its own   right   in   1853.   Shortly   afterwards   the   first person was interred in the churchyard.
Some Other Mysteries Church & Manor Church Interior An Incomplete List Church From Outside

| ©2018 St. Blasius Old Parish Church, Shanklin

Some Other Mysteries Features of the Church Interior Church & Manor: An Outline History The Church From Outside An Incomplete List of Incumbents and Patrons

Church and Manor: An Outline History

The chapel of St. Blasé (Blays, Blasius) or St. John at Shenklyn Inception and the early centuries: 11th to 15th Pre-conquest,    there    are    no    records    to    help    us,    but    the Domesday   survey   in   1086   gives   the   first   mention   of   Shanklin, held   by   Joscelin   FitzAzor.   It   is   a   fact   that   a   church,   at   neither Brading   nor   St.   Helens,   finds   a   place   in   the   return   made   to the Conqueror. The    first    chapel    was    built    here    in    the    twelfth    century    by Geoffrey   de   Lisle   for   the   use   of   his   family   and   tenants   at Shanklin    and    for    the    tenants    of    Ralph    de    Glamorgan    in Landguard   and   Sandown.   Several   writers   state   that   one   of the   Lisle   family,   who   then   held   the   Manor,   built   it   in   the   reign of King Stephen (1135 - 54). An   agreement   in   Latin,   dated   about   1160   (translated   by   Sir John    Oglander    of    Nunwell    in    1632)    was    made    under    the authority   of   Cardinal   Beaufort,   Bishop   of   Winchester,   and   brother   of   King   Stephen.   This   agreement   was   between   Simon   of   Beverley, parson   of   Brading,   Geoffrey   of   the   Isle   (de   Insula)   and   William   Stower   and   concerned   the   establishment   and   endowment   of   a   chapel   in Shanklin,   owing   fealty   to   Brading   as   the   mother   church.   The   agreement   is   signed   by   Ralph,   Archdeacon   of   Winton;   Roger,   Archdeacon of   Surrey;   Robert   de   Lyra,   William   Russell   and   Ralph   Bearne.   The   dedication   was   to   St.   John   the   Baptist;   though   in   1367   it   is   referred   to in the Bishops' Registers as "The Chapel of St. Blays of Shanklyng". On   this   evidence,   it   is   safe   to   say   that   the   church   of   St.   Blasius   (or   St.   John   the   Baptist)   dates   from   the   twelfth   century.   From   the   very beginning,   the   alternative   dedications   were   recorded,   and   through   the   centuries   that   followed   the   connections   with   Brading   and Bonchurch were also to vary. Throughout   the   Hundred   Years   War   (1337   -   1453),   the   Island   was   subject   to   French   incursions   and   frequent   alarms.   At   this   time,   the "Church   at   Shentlyn"   furnished   one   archer,   for   the   defence   of   the   Island.   However,   in   quieter   times,   Cardinal   Beaufort's   "Valor, Beneficium in Insula Vecta" deemed the Chapel of St. John of Sentling to have no value on account of its insignificance. By   the   fourteenth   century,   the   records   (Calendar   of   Patent   Rolls)   indicate   that   St.   Blaise   was   the   saint   of   the   Lisle   family   sanctuary within   the   church.   When   the   chapel   was   first   presented   for   institution,   the   King   (Edward   III)   as   custodian   of   the   land   had   the   living   in   his gift. Through   these   centuries,   and   later,   the   chapel   may   have   looked   very   much   like   the   Old   Church   at   Bonchurch.   It   was   entered   by   what   is now   the   door   between   the   Parish   Room   (old   Baptistery)   and   the   nave,   the   hollowed   steps   testifying   to   the   years   of   use.   On   the   jamb   of the   door   can   still   faintly   be   seen,   with   the   scratched   outlines   of   simple   crosses,   a   crusader's   cross.   Was   it   carved   there   by   the   follower of Richard the Lionheart who brought the dedication of St. Blasius back with him to Shanklin? Perhaps... The chapel from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries In   the   intervening   centuries,   the   chapel   of   St.   Blasius   remained   under   the   patronage   of   the   Lords   of   the   Manor.   It   was   connected   to Bonchurch   by   various   appointments   of   Rector   and   Clerk,   although   in   1519   the   Rector   was   instituted   on   the   same   day   but   separately   to Bonchurch and Shanklin, and in 1558 the chapel is referred to as "the free chapel of St. Blaze with the parish of Brading". There   is,   however,   no   record   of   annexation   to   either   Bonchurch   or   Brading   and   the   next   institutions   to   Bonchurch   omit   St.   Blasius,   until in   1570   the   Clerk,   Richard   Cook,   was   instituted   to   the   Parish   Church   of   Bonchurch   and   Shanklin.   When   he   died   in   1604,   the   next presentation   was   to   the   Rectory   of   Bonchurch   with   the   chapel   of   Shanklin.   The   inhabitants   of   Shanklin   were   buried   at   Brading   "as   of right"   until   the   first   interment   in   the   churchyard   in   1857.   Ministers   continued   to   be   buried   at   Brading   until   the   mid-18th   century.   Before that only the Lords of the Manor and their families were buried at Shanklin. It   is   in   the   eighteenth   century   that   the   parish   registers   record   the   first   baptism,   the   first   marriage   and   the   first   recorded   burial   of   a rector: 1724            William, son of David and Elizabeth Proctor was baptised on Christmas Eve. 1754            John Robin of the parish of Shorwell was married to Mary Weeks of Shanklin on May 1st. 1766            Reverend Cornelius Norwood, Rector 1763 - 6 was buried on January 16th. In 1788, the chapel is recorded as still maintained by the patrons, William Hill and Sarah Popham. The   Tomkins   engraving   dates   from   the   late   eighteenth   century   (1794   or   1796)   and   shows   the   simple   chapel   with   the   bellcote   at   the west end, with entry through the south wall porch. It   seem   that   the   Dissolution   of   the   Monasteries,   the   Civil   War,   Protectorate   and   Restoration,   the   1688   revolution   and   other   major upheavals   in   national   affairs   had   only   incidental   effects   on   the   Shanklin   Chapel,   though   the   arrival   of   the   Silksted   chest   may   have   been a   result   of   the   Civil   War,   and   tradition   says   that   Charles   I,   whilst   a   prisoner   at   Carisbrooke   Castle,   was   allowed   to   ride   under   escort   to visit the Manor and chapel where he received Communion in the church porch.
The early nineteenth century: changes become necessary In   the   early   years   of   the   nineteenth   century,   the   Shanklin   chapel   proceeded   much   as   it   had   done   for   most   of   its   existence,   though   the recorded   baptisms   and   marriages   were   more   frequent.   In   1831,   Shanklin   was   a   small   coastal   settlement   of   355   people:   so   far,   even   the well-documented    visits    of    John    Keats    had    made    little    difference    to    the    place.    The    church    baptism    registers    record    children    of fishermen,   coastguards   and   customs   officers.   It   is   probable   that   the   fishermen   had   other,   less   legitimate,   occupations,   which   accounts for   the   Preventative   men.   The   invasion   fears   of   the   time   of   the   Napoleonic   Wars   had   gone   and   a   resident   of   Shanklin   in   earlier centuries would have noticed few changes had he been able to return. However,   the   need   for   definitions   became   pressing   as   is   shown   by   the   record   of   disagreements   between   the   incumbent   (the   Reverend Justly Hill) and the patrons (his cousins). In   1816   -   "the   present   incumbent   about   seven   years   after   his   appointment   adopted   measures   to   set   up   a   Rectory   (parish)   at Shanklin   took   virtual   possession   of   the   freehold   by   locking   up   the   key   after   Divine   service   and   carrying   it   away   to   his   own   house demanded   parochial   Rights   and   the   Appointment   of   a   churchwarden   failing   in   the   last   point   the   key   was   placed   in   neutral   Hands   for some   Years   and   accessible,   for   repairs   by   the   Patron   who   also   buried   and   placed   a   Hatchment   in   the   interior   "   (Original   punctuation retained) In   1836   -   "Alterations   for   increase   of   accommodation   having   been   made   which   did   not   please   the   incumbent   from   that   date.   He   has assumed   the   sole   possession   of   the   Chapel   put   a   Door   to   the   porch   and   kept   it   locked   so   as   to   exclude   the   Patron,   from   internal repairs   needful   to   an   ancient   and   dilapidated   building.   He   has   also   procured   a   Sermon   to   be   preached   -   by   a   colonial   Bishop   to raise   money   for   improved   accommodations   and   has   signified   to   the   Agent   of   the   Patron   /who   has   been   very   anxious   and   is   still willing   to   effect   them   at   his   own   charge/   that   he   intends   to   rearrange   a   lot   out   the   old   chapel   under   sanction   of   the   ordinary   for whom he is preparing a proposal for this interference.” There followed a request for clarification: "Is the benefice of Shanklin Chapel or a Rectorial Parish Church. Has   it   by   frequent   though   desultory   insertion   in   the   same   presentation   with   the   Rectory   of   Bonchurch,   where   there   is   a   separate church   and   Distinct   Parish,   become   presentative   and   so   amassed/   although   by   no   formal   deed   or   arrangement/   as   to   demand union   therewith   in   future   presentations   or   may   it   be   separately   disposed   by   Donation.   If   presentative   or   otherwise   in   whom   is   the freehold? If   in   the   Patron   how   is   this   right   to   be   resumed   in   course   of   the   Law?   How   exercised,   and   maintained   against   the   usurpation   of   the Incumbent   or   Ordinary.   By   whom   if   a   free   chapel   as   admitted   by   Bishop   Waynflete   when   instituting   on   lapses   by   whom   is   the   chapel visitable if process to enforce repairs become needful - the Lord Chancellor or the Ordinary?” It is clear that the easygoing ways, when no one seemed particularly concerned about areas of power, were becoming insufficient! The mid-nineteenth century Signs   of   changes   to   come   began   to   appear   (rather   like   the   spring   flowers,   first   just   one   bloom,   then   a   few,   and   more   -   until   everything seems   to   bloom   at   once).   An   early   indicator   from   the   Church   records   was   the   baptism   in   1838   of   John   Daish,   Hotel   Keeper.   The gathering   momentum   of   the   changes   is   confirmed   by   two   other   entries:   1864   records   the   baptism   of   the   child   of   a   railway   worker   and 1865 that of a child of the stationmaster. The   railway   came   in   1864,   the   result   of   the   growing   popularity   of   Shanklin   and   a   cause   of   further   growth   of   the   town.   By   then   the transformation   of   the   church   had   happened,   the   work   starting   in   1852.   The   original,   probably   aisle   less,   chapel   had   been   lengthened westward,   the   north   and   south   transepts   were   added   and,   with   the   roof   being   raised   some   five   to   six   feet,   a   bell   turret   constructed   at the   intersection.   The   date,   1859,   can   be   seen   carved   on   one   of   the   cross   beams   of   the   octagonal   tower,   if   you   stand   by   the   Rector's stall   and   look   upward.   The   Reverend   George   Southouse   guided   the   enlargement.   Fittingly,   the   window   of   Christ   with   the   twelve apostles   is   a   memorial   to   him,   and   at   the   west   end   of   the   nave   is   the   organ   loft,   added   in   his   time,   the   organ   replacing   the   flute   and clarinet   accompaniment   of   earlier   years. In   Thomas   Hardy's   "Under   the   Greenwood   Tree",   we   are   given   a   wonderful   picture   of   church music when organs were rare, except for major churches. Much   of   the   church   as   we   now   see   it   dates   from   this   time   of   major   rebuilding.   The   baptistery   was   built   then,   retaining   the   original south   door   (way)   with   its   worn   steps   showing   that   people   had   gone   down   into   the   old   church.   Two   symmetrical   pointed   arches separate   the   baptistery   from   the   south   transept   and   until   1997,   the   font   was   in   this   room.   Perhaps   the   most   important   recognition   of the   change   in   church   and   village   was   that,   under   the   patronal   name   of   John   the   Baptist,   the   church   became   a   parish   church   in   its   own right in 1853. Shortly afterwards the first person was interred in the churchyard.
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
Some Other Mysteries Features of the Church Interior Church & Manor: An Outline History The Church From Outside An Incomplete List of Incumbents and Patrons

Church and Manor: An Outline History

The chapel of St. Blasé (Blays, Blasius) or St. John at Shenklyn Inception and the early centuries: 11th to 15th Pre-conquest,   there   are   no   records   to   help us,   but   the   Domesday   survey   in   1086   gives the     first     mention     of     Shanklin,     held     by Joscelin   FitzAzor.   It   is   a   fact   that   a   church,   at neither   Brading   nor   St.   Helens,   finds   a   place in the return made to the Conqueror. The   first   chapel   was   built   here   in   the   twelfth century   by   Geoffrey   de   Lisle   for   the   use   of his   family   and   tenants   at   Shanklin   and   for the     tenants     of     Ralph     de     Glamorgan     in Landguard   and   Sandown.   Several   writers   state   that   one   of   the   Lisle   family,   who   then   held   the   Manor, built it in the reign of King Stephen (1135 - 54). An   agreement   in   Latin,   dated   about   1160   (translated   by   Sir   John   Oglander   of   Nunwell   in   1632)   was made   under   the   authority   of   Cardinal   Beaufort,   Bishop   of   Winchester,   and   brother   of   King   Stephen. This   agreement   was   between   Simon   of   Beverley,   parson   of   Brading,   Geoffrey   of   the   Isle   (de   Insula) and   William   Stower   and   concerned   the   establishment   and   endowment   of   a   chapel   in   Shanklin, owing   fealty   to   Brading   as   the   mother   church.   The   agreement   is   signed   by   Ralph,   Archdeacon   of Winton;    Roger,    Archdeacon    of    Surrey;    Robert    de    Lyra,    William    Russell    and    Ralph    Bearne.    The dedication   was   to   St.   John   the   Baptist;   though   in   1367   it   is   referred   to   in   the   Bishops'   Registers   as "The Chapel of St. Blays of Shanklyng". On   this   evidence,   it   is   safe   to   say   that   the   church   of   St.   Blasius   (or   St.   John   the   Baptist)   dates   from   the twelfth   century.   From   the   very   beginning,   the   alternative   dedications   were   recorded,   and   through the centuries that followed the connections with Brading and Bonchurch were also to vary. Throughout   the   Hundred   Years   War   (1337   -   1453),   the   Island   was   subject   to   French   incursions   and frequent   alarms.   At   this   time,   the   "Church   at   Shentlyn"   furnished   one   archer,   for   the   defence   of   the Island.   However,   in   quieter   times,   Cardinal   Beaufort's   "Valor,   Beneficium   in   Insula   Vecta"   deemed   the Chapel of St. John of Sentling to have no value on account of its insignificance. By   the   fourteenth   century,   the   records   (Calendar   of   Patent   Rolls)   indicate   that   St.   Blaise   was   the   saint of   the   Lisle   family   sanctuary   within   the   church.   When   the   chapel   was   first   presented   for   institution, the King (Edward III) as custodian of the land had the living in his gift. Through   these   centuries,   and   later,   the   chapel   may   have   looked   very   much   like   the   Old   Church   at Bonchurch.   It   was   entered   by   what   is   now   the   door   between   the   Parish   Room   (old   Baptistery)   and the   nave,   the   hollowed   steps   testifying   to   the   years   of   use.   On   the   jamb   of   the   door   can   still   faintly be   seen,   with   the   scratched   outlines   of   simple   crosses,   a   crusader's   cross.   Was   it   carved   there   by   the follower    of    Richard    the    Lionheart    who    brought    the    dedication    of    St.    Blasius    back    with    him    to Shanklin? Perhaps... The chapel from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries In   the   intervening   centuries,   the   chapel   of   St.   Blasius   remained   under   the   patronage   of   the   Lords   of the   Manor.   It   was   connected   to   Bonchurch   by   various   appointments   of   Rector   and   Clerk,   although   in 1519   the   Rector   was   instituted   on   the   same   day   but   separately   to   Bonchurch   and   Shanklin,   and   in 1558 the chapel is referred to as "the free chapel of St. Blaze with the parish of Brading". There   is,   however,   no   record   of   annexation   to   either   Bonchurch   or   Brading   and   the   next   institutions to   Bonchurch   omit   St.   Blasius,   until   in   1570   the   Clerk,   Richard   Cook,   was   instituted   to   the   Parish Church   of   Bonchurch   and   Shanklin.   When   he   died   in   1604,   the   next   presentation   was   to   the   Rectory of   Bonchurch   with   the   chapel   of   Shanklin.   The   inhabitants   of   Shanklin   were   buried   at   Brading   "as   of right"   until   the   first   interment   in   the   churchyard   in   1857.   Ministers   continued   to   be   buried   at   Brading until   the   mid-18th   century.   Before   that   only   the   Lords   of   the   Manor   and   their   families   were   buried   at Shanklin. It   is   in   the   eighteenth   century   that   the   parish   registers   record   the   first   baptism,   the   first   marriage and the first recorded burial of a rector: 1724            William, son of David and Elizabeth Proctor was baptised on Christmas Eve. 1754            John   Robin   of   the   parish   of   Shorwell   was   married   to   Mary   Weeks   of   Shanklin on May 1st. 1766            Reverend Cornelius Norwood, Rector 1763 - 6 was buried on January 16th. In   1788,   the   chapel   is   recorded   as   still   maintained   by   the   patrons,   William   Hill   and   Sarah Popham. The   Tomkins   engraving   dates   from   the   late   eighteenth   century   (1794   or   1796)   and   shows   the   simple chapel with the bellcote at the west end, with entry through the south wall porch. It   seem   that   the   Dissolution   of   the   Monasteries,   the   Civil   War,   Protectorate   and   Restoration,   the   1688 revolution   and   other   major   upheavals   in   national   affairs   had   only   incidental   effects   on   the   Shanklin Chapel,   though   the   arrival   of   the   Silksted   chest   may   have   been   a   result   of   the   Civil   War,   and   tradition says   that   Charles   I,   whilst   a   prisoner   at   Carisbrooke   Castle,   was   allowed   to   ride   under   escort   to   visit the Manor and chapel where he received Communion in the church porch.
The early nineteenth century: changes become necessary In   the   early   years   of   the   nineteenth   century,   the   Shanklin   chapel   proceeded   much   as   it   had   done   for most   of   its   existence,   though   the   recorded   baptisms   and   marriages   were   more   frequent.   In   1831, Shanklin   was   a   small   coastal   settlement   of   355   people:   so   far,   even   the   well-documented   visits   of John   Keats   had   made   little   difference   to   the   place.   The   church   baptism   registers   record   children   of fishermen,   coastguards   and   customs   officers.   It   is   probable   that   the   fishermen   had   other,   less legitimate,   occupations,   which   accounts   for   the   Preventative   men.   The   invasion   fears   of   the   time   of the   Napoleonic   Wars   had   gone   and   a   resident   of   Shanklin   in   earlier   centuries   would   have   noticed few changes had he been able to return. However,   the   need   for   definitions   became   pressing   as   is   shown   by   the   record   of   disagreements between the incumbent (the Reverend Justly Hill) and the patrons (his cousins). In   1816   -   "the   present   incumbent   about   seven   years   after   his   appointment   adopted   measures to   set   up   a   Rectory   (parish)   at   Shanklin   took   virtual   possession   of   the   freehold   by   locking   up   the key   after   Divine   service   and   carrying   it   away   to   his   own   house   demanded   parochial   Rights   and the   Appointment   of   a   churchwarden   failing   in   the   last   point   the   key   was   placed   in   neutral Hands   for   some   Years   and   accessible,   for   repairs   by   the   Patron   who   also   buried   and   placed   a Hatchment in the interior " (Original punctuation retained) In   1836   -   "Alterations   for   increase   of   accommodation   having   been   made   which   did   not   please the   incumbent   from   that   date.   He   has   assumed   the   sole   possession   of   the   Chapel   put   a   Door   to the   porch   and   kept   it   locked   so   as   to   exclude   the   Patron,   from   internal   repairs   needful   to   an ancient   and   dilapidated   building.   He   has   also   procured   a   Sermon   to   be   preached   -   by   a   colonial Bishop   to   raise   money   for   improved   accommodations   and   has   signified   to   the   Agent   of   the Patron   /who   has   been   very   anxious   and   is   still   willing   to   effect   them   at   his   own   charge/   that   he intends   to   rearrange   a   lot   out   the   old   chapel   under   sanction   of   the   ordinary   for   whom   he   is preparing a proposal for this interference.” There followed a request for clarification: "Is the benefice of Shanklin Chapel or a Rectorial Parish Church. Has   it   by   frequent   though   desultory   insertion   in   the   same   presentation   with   the   Rectory   of Bonchurch,   where   there   is   a   separate   church   and   Distinct   Parish,   become   presentative   and   so amassed/   although   by   no   formal   deed   or   arrangement/   as   to   demand   union   therewith   in   future presentations   or   may   it   be   separately   disposed   by   Donation.   If   presentative   or   otherwise   in whom is the freehold? If   in   the   Patron   how   is   this   right   to   be   resumed   in   course   of   the   Law?   How   exercised,   and maintained   against   the   usurpation   of   the   Incumbent   or   Ordinary.   By   whom   if   a   free   chapel   as admitted   by   Bishop   Waynflete   when   instituting   on   lapses   by   whom   is   the   chapel   visitable   if process to enforce repairs become needful - the Lord Chancellor or the Ordinary?” It   is   clear   that   the   easygoing   ways,   when   no   one   seemed   particularly   concerned   about   areas   of power, were becoming insufficient! The mid-nineteenth century Signs   of   changes   to   come   began   to   appear   (rather   like   the   spring   flowers,   first   just   one   bloom,   then a   few,   and   more   -   until   everything   seems   to   bloom   at   once).   An   early   indicator   from   the   Church records   was   the   baptism   in   1838   of   John   Daish,   Hotel   Keeper.   The   gathering   momentum   of   the changes   is   confirmed   by   two   other   entries:   1864   records   the   baptism   of   the   child   of   a   railway   worker and 1865 that of a child of the stationmaster. The   railway   came   in   1864,   the   result   of   the   growing   popularity   of   Shanklin   and   a   cause   of   further growth   of   the   town.   By   then   the   transformation   of   the   church   had   happened,   the   work   starting   in 1852.   The   original,   probably   aisle   less,   chapel   had   been   lengthened   westward,   the   north   and   south transepts   were   added   and,   with   the   roof   being   raised   some   five   to   six   feet,   a   bell   turret   constructed at   the   intersection.   The   date,   1859,   can   be   seen   carved   on   one   of   the   cross   beams   of   the   octagonal tower,   if   you   stand   by   the   Rector's   stall   and   look   upward.   The   Reverend   George   Southouse   guided the   enlargement.   Fittingly,   the   window   of   Christ   with   the   twelve   apostles   is   a   memorial   to   him,   and at   the   west   end   of   the   nave   is   the   organ   loft,   added   in   his   time,   the   organ   replacing   the   flute   and clarinet   accompaniment   of   earlier   years. In   Thomas   Hardy's   "Under   the   Greenwood   Tree",   we   are given a wonderful picture of church music when organs were rare, except for major churches. Much   of   the   church   as   we   now   see   it   dates   from   this   time   of   major   rebuilding.   The   baptistery   was built   then,   retaining   the   original   south   door   (way)   with   its   worn   steps   showing   that   people   had   gone down   into   the   old   church.   Two   symmetrical   pointed   arches   separate   the   baptistery   from   the   south transept   and   until   1997,   the   font   was   in   this   room.   Perhaps   the   most   important   recognition   of   the change   in   church   and   village   was   that,   under   the   patronal   name   of   John   the   Baptist,   the   church became   a   parish   church   in   its   own   right   in   1853.   Shortly   afterwards   the   first   person   was   interred   in the churchyard.
Some Other Mysteries Features of the Church Interior Church & Manor: An Outline History The Church From Outside An Incomplete List of Incumbents and Patrons
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