Rebuilt in the Victorian era, The Holy Cross Church in Binstead, east of Ryde, was founded in the Middle Ages, although the church has Norman foundations. William the Conqueror granted these lands to Walkelyn, one of the first Norman bishops, and they may have built this church for the local population. 

Image credit: John Salmon (


Nearby land was granted to the bishops for the quarrying of stone for Winchester Cathedral, and Binstead was a thriving community serving the limestone quarries. The original Quarr Abbey was built from this stone by Baldwin de Redvers in around 1132.

The stone was exhausted by the late 13th century and after the dissolution of the Abbey in 1536 the church was little used. In 1843/4 the Norman nave was demolished and a new nave, south porch and vestry built. In 1875 the north wall of the nave was given a four-bay arcade, the north aisle was built under a lean-to roof, and the present bell cote replaced the Victorian one.

The herringbone masonry of the chancel walls is Norman and the pointed windows in the south and east walls of the chancel are early 14th century. Carvings on the keystones of the west windows of the nave including a griffon, the insignia of Baldwin de Redvers, may have come from the ruined Abbey.

In 1969 the nave was damaged by fire. A Lawrence Lee stained glass window in the nave and two in high west windows, including a design of a phoenix rising from the ashes, commemorate the church’s recovery.

Holy Cross Church Address: Elm Close, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 3SY