You enter St Mary the Virgin via its tower, which is unusually open on three sides, and to the left of the door are steep wooden steps to the bell chamber where there is a ring of eight bells. The oldest of these has been ringing since the reign of Queen Elizabeth I.

Image credt: Kevin Young,


A fairly large church that served the thriving port that Brading once was, a small window in the north aisle dates from around 1100 and other parts date from the 1200s and 1400s. The stained glass windows all date from the Victorian restoration of 1887.

In the North Aisle is a font dated 1631, and a beautiful marble memorial of baby Elizabeth Rollo stands near here. Two parish chests also date from the 1630s. At the far end of the north aisle is a font that dates from the 1200s and just beyond here is the DeAula chapel, in memory of an old island family.

Left of the south aisle is the Oglander chapel, named after the Oglander family who came to the island after William the Conqueror took Britain in 1066, and who still live at nearby Nunwell. The stone tomb on the right is of John Oglander who built the south chapel in the 1500s, his son Oliver is opposite and there’s a large ornate marble tomb to Henry Oglander who restored the church in 1887.

Two wooden carvings of knights represent Oliver’s sons William and John – who was a famous diarist and friend of Charles I.