We use cookies to improve your experience, some are essential for the operation of this site.

St Edmund, Wootton, Isle of Wight

(50°43′49″N, 1°14′0″W)
SZ 542 926
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales) Hampshire
now Isle of Wight
medieval St Edmund
now St Edmund
  • John Margham
1 June 2016

Please use this link to cite this page - https://www.crsbi.ac.uk/view-item?i=4894.

Find out how to cite the CRSBI website here.


St Edmund’s church is situated alongside a farm to the W of Wotton Creek which flows to the island’s NE coast into the Solent. There is much recent residential development to the S of the church site. Wootton church consists of a nave and chancel with no architectural division between the two. The round headed S doorway with chevron ornament indicates a 12th-c date for the fabric of the W end of the nave. The church would appear to have been extended towards E in the 13thc, with some change in the fabric of the S wall and the presence of pairs of lancet windows lighting the chancel from the N and S. The elevation of the N wall of the church published by Stone shows the ‘entrance from St Edmund’s Chapel now blocked up’ almost half way along the elevation from the W, as well as the scar of the former E wall of this structure (Stone 1891, plate XXXVIII). This chapel was rebuilt in 1893 along with an organ chamber and the wide archway leading to it unblocked and restored (Lloyd and Pevsner 2006, 302). The scallop capitals of this archway are of a 12th-c type. The Romanesque features are the S doorway and the responds of the opening from the nave into the N chapel.


There is a tradition, reported by Richard Worsley, that the first church at Wootton was destroyed by fire and that the present church was built on the same site (Worsley 1781, 227). Worsley also wrote that Wootton parish was taken out of Whippingham during the reign of Henry III [1216-1272] when Walter de Insula built the chapel and endowed it with lands and tithes (ibid.). However, a more plausible account is that ‘According to Sir John Oglander ....the church was built by Walter de Insula, in the reign of William Rufus [1087-1100], as a private chapel for the ease of himself and his tenants, and was endowed with lands in Chillerton, near Gatcombe’ (Stone 1891, I,49).


Exterior Features


Interior Features


Nave arches

The N doorway of the nave may have been contemporary with the S doorway. It is now a round headed doorway of plain form but in the external N elevation published by Stone the doorway was blocked, with the W jamb defined by ashlar blocks (Stone 1891, plate XXXVIII). The arch defining the opening into the N chapel may date from the 13thc but could be contemporary with the responds and their capitals, the latter being of a 12th-c type. A reading of Stone’s N elevation of the church published in 1891 may suggest that that the responds, the capitals and the arch all date from the reconstruction of the N chapel in 1893.


D. Lloyd and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England: Isle of Wight, Yale 2006

P.G. Stone, The Architectural Antiquities of the Isle of Wight, vol. 1: The East Medine, privately published, 1891.

R. Worsley, The History of the Isle of Wight, Hamilton, London 1781.