Carisbrooke Photograph by Jen Churchill

Carisbrooke, Priory Church of St. Mary

Photo by Jen Churchill

Visiting the area

Overlooked by the remains of famous Carisbrooke Castle, St Mary’s has a ring of 10 bells. The church has a long association with the Royal Family, Queen Victoria using nearby Osborne House as the family  Island retreat until her death there in January 1901.

Princess Beatrice regularly used the Private Apartments of the Castle until her death in 1944 and would often be seen attending services and special events at St Mary’s.

She, along with her husband Prince Henry of Battenberg, are buried at St Mildred’s Church, Whippingham, at nearby East Cowes. From their union the Spanish Royal Family are today descended.

King Charles I was also imprisoned in the Castle during the early days of the Civil War, and attempted escape from here but was recaptured near Brading before being taken back to London to his eventual execution.

The construction of the Parish and Priory Church of St Mary the Virgin started in 1070 and the tower was completed 1470. In 1770 a new ring of bells was installed by Pack and Chapman of London, tenor weight 20cwt 9lbs

The first peal was rung on 26th December, 1777. There is a stone tablet commemorating the peal which is headed “The Art is Great The Music Sweet”

By 1912 bells had become unringable.

Princess Beatrice, 9th child of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, the Governor of the Isle of Wight, allowed the private grounds at Carisbrooke Castle to be used for a grand bazaar which raised £626/17s/3½d towards the restoration costs.  The bells were cast by Gillett and Johnston in Croydon on 23rd April, 1921.

Whitechapel Foundry cast 2 new trebles on Gillett and Johnson profiles in 2002 to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.

The 10 bells were rung for the first time on 18th May 2002.

A car park with toilet facilities will be found on entering the village from Newport on the left. This is currently free but parking meters have been installed and may in the future be payable so check notices before leaving your car and walking up to the church nearby.

Carisbrooke, Priory Church of St. Mary - 10 Bells, Tenor 20-1cwt

Postcode: PO30 5JZ

Carisbrooke Ringing Times

Sundays: 9.00am
Practice: Friday 7.30pm

See Also

Visit Dove tower Page for Peals, Grid Reference and Bell Weights

Tower News

Click to see the tower archive

Winchester and Portsmouth Diocesan Guild of Church Bell Ringers