A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1912.
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Godshill contains 6,407 acres, of which in 1905 138½ acres were woodland, the rest of the parish being nearly equally divided between arable and grass land. (fn. 1) The soil is mostly greensand and affords good pasturage on the downs which comprise the eastern part of the parish. Building stone is quarried at Gatcliff (fn. 2) and gravel is dug on Bleakdown. Cridmoor and the Wilderness, both hunting grounds of the early lords of the Island, (fn. 3) lie within the parish. The village is one of the prettiest in the Island, with its winding street of thatch-roofed cottages culminating in the sandrock hill on which the church of All Saints stands.
At the east end of the village is the Griffin Inn, built by Lord Yarborough in the first half of the 19th century, and higher up the street on the north side is a thatched cottage residence worthy of notice. The vicarage-house, owned by the Ratcliffe family, holders of the advowson, lies about half-way up the village to the south and was originally the chantry priest's house. (fn. 4) At the turning of the road to the south of the church is a buttressed stone building apparently of the 15th or 16th century. On the summit of the down, 685 ft. above the sea level, are the remains of a granite obelisk erected by Sir Richard Worsley to the memory of his grandfather Sir Robert. Originally 70 ft. high, it was shattered by lightning in 1831.
At the west end of the village is a quaint old stone house with 70 acres of land attached to it called Scotland, (fn. 5) where the courts of the manor are said to have been formerly held. At Harts is a stone-built house of the 17th century with an initialled beam, W.R. 1654.
The school, now a council school, was originally a grammar school attached to the chantry of St. Stephen. Dame Anne Worsley (fn. 6) by her will gave 20 marks for erecting a free grammar school at Godshill. Apparently this schoolhouse was never built, the old chantry priest's house being used as before, as in 1615 Sir Richard Worsley increased the endowment (fn. 7) and granted to trustees the Chantry House in which the free school was then kept. The principal inhabitants of Godshill purchased an annuity of £5 for the use of an usher (fn. 8) and in 1617 Richard Gard of Princelet left £1 10s. for the same purpose. (fn. 9) In 1824 the school was rebuilt on its present site by Lord Yarborough (fn. 10) and enlarged in 1881. (fn. 11) The schoolhouse is now leased by the trustees to the Isle of Wight Education Committee.
The only residence of any importance besides Appuldurcombe is Godshill Park, now the residence of Capt. S. Davenport, a small estate taken out of the manor and called Park Farm in the 18th century. Built about 1850 the house has been recently enlarged by the owner, Mr. Cockburn. Henry Cole, Dean of St. Paul's 1556–9, was a native of Godshill. (fn. 12)
The manor of GODSHILL is not mentioned by name in the Domesday Survey, but is probably included in the unnamed manors held by the abbey of Lire. (fn. 13) It was evidently granted with the church by William Fitz Osbern to the abbey of Lire (fn. 14) and held by the priory of Carisbrooke as part of its endowment. (fn. 15) It followed the descent of Carisbrooke Priory (q.v.) until 1762, (fn. 16) when it belonged to Sir John Miller. (fn. 17) Of his son Sir Thomas the manor was purchased about 1781 by Sir Richard Worsley. (fn. 18) Before the beginning of the 19th century it was divided into two parts, North Godshill and South Godshill. (fn. 19) Both passed with Appuldurcombe (fn. 20) until about 1860, when North Godshill was purchased by Mr. William Hatcher Barton, and South Godshill by Mr. Robert Vaughan Wynne Williams. (fn. 21) Mr. Reginald Freke Williams now owns South Godshill, and North Godshill belongs to Mr. John Harvey, who succeeded Mr. Frank Barton in 1908.
APPULDURCOMBE (Appildrecombe, xv cent.; Apledrecombe, xvi cent.) is, or was, the most considerable manor in the parish. It is not mentioned in Domesday, but probably formed part of the manor of Wroxall, belonging to Earl Godwin and held in 1086 by the king. (fn. 22) The manor was given by Richard de Redvers in 1090 to the abbey of Montebourg, and a cell of that abbey was founded there in 1100, the manor forming part of its endowment. (fn. 23) The manor passed with the priory to the nuns minoresses without Aldgate. (fn. 24)
In 1505 it was held, under a lease from the nuns, dated Michaelmas 1498, by Sir John Leigh and Agnes his wife and John Fry son of Agnes, (fn. 25) and their status in the manor was confirmed by a royal grant in that year. (fn. 26) Anne daughter of Sir John Leigh married Sir James Worsley, to whom in 1527 the abbess leased the manor. (fn. 27) It is evident from this grant that the former tenants had added to the priory buildings and that Sir James and his wife intended to do still more. Sir James died in 1538, (fn. 28) and Henry VIII, attended by Thomas Cromwell, then constable of Carisbrooke Castle, is said to have visited his son Richard Worsley at Appuldurcombe in that year, (fn. 29) so that by that time the house was substantially as it appears in the illustration in Worsley's History. (fn. 30)
Richard Worsley died in 1565 and his two sons John and George were both killed in an explosion of gunpowder at Appuldurcombe in 1567. (fn. 31) They were succeeded by their uncle John Worsley, who died in 1580, leaving a son Thomas his heir. (fn. 32) On the death of Thomas in 1604 the manor passed to his son Sir Richard Worsley, (fn. 33) who was created a baronet of Appuldurcombe in 1611. (fn. 34) He held the manor until his death in 1621, (fn. 35) when his son Sir Henry succeeded. Sir Robert Worsley, grandson of Sir Henry, died without male issue in 1747 (fn. 36) and Appuldurcombe passed to his cousin and heir male Sir James Worsley of Pilewell, co. Hants. (fn. 37) On the death of Sir Richard Worsley, grandson of James, without issue in 1805 Appuldurcombe passed to his niece Henrietta Anna Maria Charlotte, wife of Charles Anderson Pelham first Baron Yarborough. (fn. 38) She died in 1813, (fn. 39) and in 1855 Appuldurcombe, with a large part of the museum of 'objets d'art' collected by Sir Richard Worsley, was sold by auction by her son Charles Anderson, then Earl of Yarborough, and bought by Robert Vaughan Wynne Williams, father of Mr. Reginald Freke Williams, D.L., the present owner. (fn. 40)
The house is an imposing classic structure, foursquare, built of freestone with Portland stone dressings. Begun by Sir Robert, it was completed by Sir Richard Worsley, who made it the home of the well-known Museum Worsleianum. It was latterly occupied as a school and afterwards by Benedictine monks from St. Peter's Abbey, Solesmes, but has been vacant since 1909.
APPLEFORD (Apleford, Apledeforde, xi cent.; Appeltreford, xiii cent.; Appulderford, xiv cent.) was divided as it is now into East (or Upper) and West Appleford so far back as the time of the Great Survey, when Robert held 1 hide of William son of Stur (fn. 41) and Edwi, the king's thegn, held the other estate. (fn. 42) The part held under William son of Stur appears to have been West Appleford, and was held of William's descendants at the end of the 13th century. (fn. 43)
Under the lords of Gatcombe the estate was held by the lords of Whitefield, whose mesne lordship was recognized at least as late as the middle of the 14th century. (fn. 44) Land at West Appleford was conveyed by Oliver de Lisle to Gilbert de Oskrewell (Coskevile) in 1271–2, (fn. 45) but the chief estate at West Appleford was probably the 55 solidates of land granted in the following year by William de Tracy, lord of Whitefield, to Thomas de Godshill and John de Lisle. (fn. 46) John de Lisle was in possession in 1299, (fn. 47) and the estate from that time seems to have followed the same descent as the more important holding of East Appleford. (fn. 48)
East Appleford was conveyed in 1275–6 by Simon Everard to Richard Ammys, (fn. 49) but it passed shortly afterwards to John de Lisle. (fn. 50) It was held of the honour of Carisbrooke, (fn. 51) and followed the same descent as Wootton (q.v.) until the beginning of the 17th century. (fn. 52) Sir William Lisle, kt., granted the 'site of the manor of Appleford' in 1631 to John Fitchett, (fn. 53) the manor itself having previously been disposed of to the Worsley family and settled in 1610 on the issue of the marriage of Sir Richard Worsley, bart., with Frances daughter of Sir Henry Neville. (fn. 54) It passed with Appuldurcombe until the middle of the 18th century, when it was purchased by Mr. William Pike, (fn. 55) from whom it descended with Luccombe to the Bonham, Carter, and Atherley families. (fn. 56) Both Upper and Lower Appleford were held by Sir John Carter in the early part of the 19th century, and are now owned by Mr. John G. Harvey.
BAGWICH (Abaginge, xi cent.; Bagwich, xiv cent.) was held before and after the Conquest as an alod by Alsi, the king's thegn. (fn. 57) It probably afterwards passed to the lords of the Isle of Wight, for it was granted by one of the Redvers family to the priory of Christchurch Twyneham, and confirmed to it by Richard I, by William Earl of Devon, and by Edward II in 1313. (fn. 58) It is not mentioned among the priory lands at the Dissolution. It may possibly have become annexed to the manor of Apse in Newchurch, which was also held by the priory, for in 1603 a tenement in Bagwich was held of the manor of Apse, and in 1709 the manor of Bagwich belonged to Thomas Rice, whose ancestors had held Apse. He conveyed it in that year to Thomas Macham, (fn. 59) and it afterwards passed to the Millers. In 1723 it was conveyed by Sir Thomas Miller, bart., who seems to have inherited the manor from his grandfather Thomas, to Joachim Peterson. (fn. 60) In 1780 Thomas Dickenson paid a fee-farm rent to the Crown for Bagwich. (fn. 61) James Whitewood held it in 1827, (fn. 62) and it is at present held by the rector of Wootton as part of the glebe.
BATHINGBOURNE (Beaddingaburn, x cent.; Bedingeborne, xi cent.; Baddingebourne, xiii cent.; Bathyngbourne, xiv cent.; Bangborne, Bathingburne, xvi cent.) was granted by King Edwig (955–9), as five mansae, to his thegn Ethelgeard. (fn. 63) The boundaries in this grant are interesting as being traceable at the present day. (fn. 64) There is an earlier charter of King Edred (946–55) dealing with this land, but the boundaries differ from those given in the previous document. (fn. 65) In 1086 Bathingbourne was held with Ladone (fn. 66) by the king, Oda having held them as an alod from King Edward. (fn. 67) The manor seems to have been held of the manor of Knighton, as at the end of the 13th century Richard Cordray held it as half a knight's fee of Elena de Gorges, (fn. 68) and shortly after it was held of Ralph de Gorges by Robert de Cordray. (fn. 69) Richard Cordray conveyed certain land in Bathingbourne to Robert Selyman, (fn. 70) but the manor seems to have passed before 1343 to John Lisle 'of Bathyngborn.' (fn. 71) Though it is not numbered among the possessions of Bartholomew de Lisle at his death in 1345, it was held by his widow Elizabeth in the following year. (fn. 72) The manor then descended with West Court in Shorwell until the death of Mary Lisle in 1539. (fn. 73) Bathingbourne was assigned to John Sambourne, one of Mary's co-heirs, (fn. 74) by whom it was sold in 1571 to John Baskett, (fn. 75) who sold it in 1583 to John Rice. (fn. 76) Rice died at Bathingbourne in 1610 and his son Thomas received a confirmatory grant from Richard Baskett in 1613. (fn. 77) In 1641 Thomas Rice sold Bathingbourne to Henry Knolles, (fn. 78) and in 1690 it was in the possession of John Champneys and his wife Margaret. (fn. 79)
Anne Palmer alias King, Nicholas Outing and John Dale were dealing with the manor in 1733, (fn. 80) and in 1747 Josiah Baker conveyed it to John Dale. (fn. 81) William Farr, M.D., and Catherine Hicks, widow, were in possession in 1790, (fn. 82) and from them it passed to William Dale Farr, the owner, in 1837.
BRIDGE COURT (Brigge, xiii-xiv cent.; Briggecourte, xv-xvi cent.) and BRIDGE, to the southwest of the village of Godshill, formed a manor held under the lords of Gatcombe. (fn. 83) It was held in 1279 under the name of la Brigge by John de la Brigge for the service of a quarter of a knight's fee. (fn. 84) In 1292 John settled it upon himself for life with remainder to his daughter Juliane, wife of Hugh de Chikenhull or Chikvill, with reversion after her death to Jordan son of William de Kingston, who had evidently married another daughter of John de la Brigge. (fn. 85) Juliane outlived Jordan, and on her death in 1311 the estate passed to her nephew John, son of Jordan de Kingston. (fn. 86) The manor then passed with Kingston to Lewis Meux and his wife Alice, (fn. 87) who with Robert Dineley and his wife Alice and John Taillour sold it in 1424 to John Rys. (fn. 88) It is difficult to account for an entry in 1428 that John Lisle was holding this estate, (fn. 89) for three years later it was held by John Rys, (fn. 90) and in 1438–9 John Jackson of Sutton, his kinsman and heir, sold it to William Anna. (fn. 91) In 1465 and 1466 Sir Geoffrey Gate acquired all right in the manor from John de Vanne (perhaps a descendant of William Anna), William Gere, and Richard Lamplew. (fn. 92) Sir Geoffrey demised the manor to Thomas Meux, from whom it descended to his son Sir William, who held it in 1490. (fn. 93) The manor having thus again returned to the owners of Kingston descended with that manor until the death of Sir William Meux in 1638. (fn. 94) Its further history is not known, but Bridge Court is at present owned by Mr. Frank Barton.
KENNERLY (Kyneleye, xiv cent.), though now but a small holding, appears as a manor in the early part of the 14th century, (fn. 95) when John de Kennerly was allowed to retain land held of the manor of Kennerly then in the king's hands by forfeiture of Edmund Earl of Arundel. (fn. 96) It was owned in the reign of Elizabeth by Peter Gard, (fn. 97) and John Casford of Kennerly was a trustee in 1616 of the Godshill Grammar School. (fn. 98) It was divided probably in the 16th century and the small holding and house in the low ground called Little Kennerly still remain. The buildings of Kennerly proper, long since pulled down, lay in the field adjoining the road from Merston to Bohemia. Kennerly is now the property of Mr. F. A. Joyce.
LESSLAND (Litesland, Liscelande, xi cent.; Lucelond, Lescelond, xiii cent.; Lucelond, xv cent.) was held as five manors by five freemen (fn. 99) of the Confessor and in 1086 was in the king's hands. A second estate there was held by William son of Azor. (fn. 100) The overlordship passed before the end of the 13th century to the Lisles of Wootton, but in 1305–6 the manor was held in two parts, one of John de Lisle and the other of the manor of Whitefield. (fn. 101) From John de la Brigge, who held the estate in 1279, (fn. 102) it passed to his son-in-law Jordan de Kingston, who died seised of it in 1305–6, leaving a son John. (fn. 103) It evidently followed the same descent as Bridge Court, being held in 1431 by Robert Dineley and John Taillour, (fn. 104) who were parties to the conveyance of Bridge Court in 1424. No further deeds have been found relating to Lessland, which is now owned by Mr. J. C. Tompkins.
REW (Rewe, xiii cent.) may have formed part of Wroxall (fn. 105) at the time of Domesday, but it is first mentioned in the Testa de Nevill as one of the manors belonging to John de Lisle of Wootton, held of the honour of Carisbrooke. (fn. 106) From that time it followed the same descent as South Shorwell until 1765 or later, being divided between the families of Popham and Hill. (fn. 107) Of them it must have been purchased by the Worsleys, as Sir Richard paid a fee-farm rent for it in 1780. (fn. 108) It then passed with Appuldurcombe until it was sold by Lord Yarborough in 1854 to Mr. A. Hamborough. It is now owned by Mr. J. C. Tompkins.
ROUD (Rode, xi cent.; Rowde, xiii cent.) was held by Alnod as a free manor of King Edward and in 1086 by Gozelin son of Azor, Azor, Sawin and Nigel holding small estates in the manor. (fn. 109) Before the end of the 13th century it had passed to the Lisles of Wootton, who held of the honour of Carisbrooke. (fn. 110) It then passed with Wootton until the death of Sir John Lisle in 1523. (fn. 111) After this time deeds relating to the manor are wanting, but as Sir Richard Worsley states that it belonged to the Pikes and Bonhams (fn. 112) it seems probable that its descent was identical with that of Appleford (q.v.). When the latter was sold to Mr. Harvey, Roud was evidently retained, as it was sold in 1910 by Mr. Arthur Atherley for small holdings to the Isle of Wight County Council.
SANDFORD (Sanford, xi cent.) was held with Week at the time of Domesday by the king. (fn. 113) Both were granted to the abbey of Montebourg. Sandford must have been given before the middle of the 12th century, as it is mentioned as belonging to the abbey in a bull of Pope Adrian (1154–9). (fn. 114) Between the 14th century, (fn. 115) when it belonged to the abbey of Montebourg, and the beginning of the 19th century deeds relating to Sandford have not been found, but it has probably always followed the same descent as Appuldurcombe, being in 1808–9 in the possession of Charles Anderson Pelham. (fn. 116) It was sold in 1872 by Lord Yarborough to Mr. Michael Spartali, who still owns it.
SPAN (la Spaund, xiii cent.), originally belonging to the de Aula family, (fn. 117) was held towards the end of the 13th century by John Rivers of William Russell, lord of Yaverland, (fn. 118) but it had passed before 1279–80 to Richard Russell. (fn. 119) He may have granted it to the oratory of Barton, as the 'arch-priest' was in possession in 1316 (fn. 120) and still held it in 1428. (fn. 121) Three years later it was in the hands of John Roucle or Rookley 'et socii' (fn. 122)—probably by lease from the community. When the Worsley family acquired Span is uncertain, but it was sold by Lord Yarborough in 1854 to Mr. W. J. Lyle, who disposed of it to its present owner, Mr. Reginald Freke Williams.
STENBURY (Staneberie, xi cent.; Stevenbir, xiii cent.; la Stenybury, xiv cent.) was held by Cheping of King Edward as a free manor and in 1086 belonged to the king. (fn. 123) It is said by Worsley to have belonged to the de Aula family, (fn. 124) but was held at the end of the century by John de Heyno of the honour of Carisbrooke. (fn. 125) John died in 1295, leaving a son and heir William. (fn. 126) Peter de Heyno was lord of Stenbury in the reign of Edward III (fn. 127) and John de Heyno died in 1349 seised of the manor. (fn. 128) William de Heyno, son of John, died in 1375, (fn. 129) leaving a son and heir Guy, on whose death in 1405 his lands were granted to Anthony Ricz during the minority of his heir. (fn. 130) This heir was evidently John de Heyno, who was in possession in 1428 and 1431. (fn. 131) Thomas Heyno, who was pardoned for treason in 1451, died in 1505, leaving five daughters. (fn. 132) The youngest, Grace, was an idiot, (fn. 133) and the manor of Stenbury was divided among the other four sisters. The eldest, Mary, married William Pound, and her son Anthony died in 1547, leaving a son Richard, (fn. 134) on whose death without issue his share seems to have passed to his sister Honora wife of Henry Radclyffe Earl of Sussex, and was sold by her son Robert (fn. 135) to Thomas Worsley. (fn. 136)
Elizabeth, another of the daughters of Thomas Heyno, married William Stour and afterwards apparently Richard Dowce, as Richard and Elizabeth in 1533–4 conveyed their quarter to John Welbeck and others, (fn. 137) who may perhaps have been trustees for Sir James Worsley. Agnes, the second daughter of Thomas Heyno, married Thomas Wyker or Wyer, and her share was sold in 1565 to John Worsley by Stephen Garrat, who had married the granddaughter of Thomas Wyer. (fn. 138) The fourth co-heiress Katherine married John Pound and secondly William Leek. Her share also probably passed to the Worsleys.
Richard Worsley at his death in 1565 held messuages and land in Stenbury and a tenement called Saindon, parcel of the manor, (fn. 139) and his brother John Worsley held three quarters of the manor at the time of his death in 1580. (fn. 140) The remaining quarter was acquired as stated above by Thomas Worsley son of John and the manor then descended with Appuldurcombe (fn. 141) until it was sold by Lord Yarborough in the middle of the 19th century. It is now owned by Mr. John C. Tompkins.
WEEK (Wica, xi cent.) was held by the king in 1086. (fn. 142) It was given by Richard de Redvers, early in the 12th century, to the Benedictine abbey of Montebourg. (fn. 143) It followed the descent of Appuldurcombe (fn. 144) (q.v.) until the latter was sold in 1855. Week was retained by the Earl of Yarborough and passed to his second son Evelyn Cornwallis AndersonPelham, (fn. 145) whose son Major Cecil Henry AndersonPelham is the present owner.
BLEAKDOWN (Blikesdun, Blakedon, xiii cent.), which lies to the west of Godshill, belonged in the 13th century to the de Insula or Lisle family, whose representative Walter granted in 1202 to Philip de Blackpan pasture extending from the hill of 'Blikesdun' next Druce as far as the waste of 'Benewardle.' (fn. 146) At the end of the century it was held of John de Lisle by Everard le Thein. (fn. 147) In 1313 'La Blakedon' belonged to the priory of Christchurch Twyneham, (fn. 148) and remained with that house until the Dissolution. (fn. 149) A messuage called Blackdown, a late possession of Christchurch Priory, was granted in 1624–5 to Edward Ramsay and others. (fn. 150) In 1780 William Thatcher paid a fee-farm rent to the Crown for Bleakdown, (fn. 151) which is now owned by Mr. Arthur Atherley.
MUNSLEY (Mollesleghe, xiii cent.; Moleslee, Mellesley, xiv cent.; Mollesleyhill, Moldesleyhill, xv cent.; Munnesleigh, xvi cent.), sometimes called Munsley Hill, was part of Bridge Court Manor, and John de la Brigge, the holder of Bridge and Lessland, held it at the end of the 13th century as one-eighth of a fee of the honour of Carisbrooke Castle. (fn. 152) It then followed the descent of Bridge Court (fn. 153) until 1472, when Alice Meux died seised of 'certain lands called Munnesleigh,' (fn. 154) which establishes the identity of the present holding with that in the Testa de Nevill. From this time no further trace of the estate has been found, and it may have become merged in Bridge Court.
A mill was appurtenant to the manor of Bridge Court in the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. (fn. 155) There was also a water mill at Appleford in the 14th century, (fn. 156) and in 1086 there were two mills worth 70d. in the manor of Sandford and Week. (fn. 157)
Of the early church of ALL SAINTS —beyond the western portion of the north wall—not a vestige remains, (fn. 158) the whole of the present structure, dating from the early part of the 15th century, being the work of the Sheen monks. The church is divided its entire length by an arcade of six bays, and there is no distinguishing arch between nave and chancel. On the east and west faces of all the columns are traces of the former existence of what must have been a continuous screen. The south transept, having a good barrel ribbed roof with carved bosses and springers (fn. 159) and a tempera painting of a budding cross on the east wall, (fn. 160) was added about the middle of the century. This transept probably contained the altar of St. Stephen, and may be the chantry founded by Sir John Leigh in the reign of Henry VII. Outside, in the apex of the east wall, is a rough stone bellcote, in which hangs a small bell. (fn. 161) The north transept, added about 1550, (fn. 162) was practically rebuilt in 1741. It may have formed the chantry of the lords of Stenbury, as the south transept is said to have been the chantry of the Frys of Appuldurcombe. The way to the rood-loft, which probably stretched right across the church, (fn. 163) is visible in the north wall of the south transept. The westernmost windows in the north and south walls are evidently later additions, dating from the latter part of the 16th century. In the 18th century there appears to have been a general renovation, (fn. 164) and at the time the north transept was rebuilt the porch seems to have been refaced. The south door is worthy of notice, (fn. 165) with its solid framing and curious lock. The strap hinges on the wicket gate end in the letters R.G., presumably the initials of Richard Gard, who is buried beneath the floor of the porch. (fn. 166) The church at one time must have been fully polychromed, as there are traces of colour on all the walls where the ancient plastering has been allowed to stand. Over the north door—from time immemorial known as 'the corpse door'—was formerly a tempera painting of the Last Judgement, which was unfortunately destroyed in the early part of the last century. On the north wall, just to the east of the north transept, there are many indications of coloured decoration, notably the badge of Arthur Prince of Wales (fn. 167) and a subject in a rough panel, subsequently obliterated by texts from the Old Testament. On the east wall are remains of a superior colour decoration of the 15th century. The upper stage of the tower, so often struck by lightning, has been practically rebuilt in the 16th, 18th and beginning of the present century. (fn. 168) In the churchyard is the base of a cross, converted to the use of a sundial in the 18th century, also a table monument to Richard Gard, 1593, and his wife Anne, 1592.
The memorials (fn. 169) in the church are many and interesting, the oldest (fn. 170) being a fine canopied altar tomb of Caen stone, between the chancel and south chapel, to the memory of Sir John Leigh, who, with his wife Agnes, lies in effigy beneath. The figures are in alabaster, with a boar at Sir John's feet, which are supported by two cowled 'weepers.' Angels support the lady's head, and her robe is powdered with the Haket badges. The whole is surmounted by an embattled cornice, on the south side of which are three angels, each bearing a shield severally inscribed with the words 'Jesu.' 'Mercie.' 'Amen.' On the north side is a single angel with a shield bearing the words 'SS. Michael and all Angels.' Over it hangs a funeral helmet. (fn. 171) On the north chancel wall is the monument to Sir James Worsley and his wife Anne Leigh, (fn. 172) represented kneeling at prie-dieu on which appear the arms of Leigh and Worsley impaling Leigh; on the south chancel wall that to his son Richard, Captain of the Wight, (fn. 173) over which hang the funeral helm and gauntlets. The next notable memorials are those to the 18th-century holders of Appuldurcombe. In the north transept, taking up the entire north wall, is the fine classic monument to Sir Robert Worsley (fn. 174) and his brother Henry, (fn. 175) whose busts stand on a raised ledge. On either side of it hang the colours of the Isle of Wight East Medine Volunteers, presented in 1806 and consecrated with great ceremony at the altar of the church. In the south transept stood, till 1904, when it was removed to a better position at the west end, the pretentious monument to Sir Richard Worsley, who died in 1805, and on the walls are six hatchments of good execution. (fn. 176) There is a good Jacobean altar table inscribed 'Lancelot Colman and Edward Brittwell, Churchwardens, Anno Domini 1631,' and oak altar rails of the same period. A 17th-century oak register chest with its three locks stands in the church. Between the two chancels hangs a painted Decalogue of the Restoration period, 1662, in which Moses and Aaron are represented holding the tables of the Law. An oil-painting of 'Daniel in the Lions' Den'—a Rubens replica from the Appuldurcombe collection—is at present used as an altarpiece in the south chancel; while in the north chancel hangs a 'Madonna and Child' by Tiorelli, presented by the Duke de Moro in 1897.
The church is rich in plate, which consists of two chalices with covers, 8½ in. high, date 1641–2, inscribed on cover T[HE]+CVP+OF+CODS+HIL · PAR[IS]H+ and round the base 'Provided by Ri Legg and Tho Norrice churchwardens wth the consent of Th Crosfeild Vicar and the rest of ye parishioners of Goddeshull An. Dom. 1642'; silver tankard with cover, 10 in. high, dated 1685 or 1694, inscribed 'gift of Sir Robert Worsley, Bart., to the Church of Godshill, April 1705'; silver tankard with cover, 12½ in. high, dated 1739–40, and inscribed 'The gift of Charles Worsley (fn. 177) Esq. to the Parish Church of Godshill in the Isle of Wight,' I.H.S. and Worsley arms; silver paten, 7 in. in diameter, 2 in. high, same date as tankard and same donor. Worsley arms in centre; silver almsdish, 11¼ in. in diameter, same date and donor; silver chalice, 10¾ in. high, same date and donor, and a modern cup, dated 1874, presented by Col. Malden.
The registers date from 1678, and are contained in four volumes, one in duplicate: (i) baptisms, marriages, burials from 1678 to 1800; (ii) marriages 1754 to 1791; (iii) marriages 1791 to 1812; (iv) baptisms, burials, 1801 to 1812.
The church was given to the abbey of Lire in Eure, Normandy, (fn. 178) presumably by William Fitz Osbern, and was held by the Prior of Carisbrooke under that abbey till the suppression of the alien houses in the reign of Henry V, when it was granted to the Charterhouse at Sheen. (fn. 179) The church was appropriated to the abbey in 1312. (fn. 180) In 1538 Thomas Wriothesley made a suit to Cromwell for the advowson and rectory of Godshill, (fn. 181) but it does not appear that he ever obtained them, for in 1549 they were granted to George Mill, (fn. 182) to be taken from him in the next reign and granted to John White, Bishop of Winchester, (fn. 183) who was deprived by Elizabeth, when his property returned to the Crown. Various grants of the advowson and rectory were made during the reigns of Elizabeth and James I, (fn. 184) and finally in 1626, at the suit of the queen, Charles I granted the advowson to Queen's College, Oxford, (fn. 185) with which it remained until 1867, (fn. 186) when on the separation of the livings of Niton, Whitwell and Godshill (fn. 187) the advowsons were sold separately, that of Godshill passing to Rev. Thomas Ratcliffe, whose family still hold it.
A chapel at Appleford is first mentioned in 1305. (fn. 188) The advowson belonged to the lords of Appleford. (fn. 189) The chapel, which was founded by the Lisles, is called 'the free chapel of Halydon' in 1536. (fn. 190) In the chantry certificate of Edward VI it is, however, called 'Mawdlyns.' (fn. 191) Under this name it was leased in 1550 to Thomas Reve, and in 1570–1 to Henry Radcliff, and granted in 1609 to Francis Morrice and Francis Phelips. As the chapel of Halidon it was granted in 1619–20 to John Buck and others. (fn. 192) In 1780 Mr. Fallick paid a fee-farm rent for Maudlin's chapel. (fn. 193)
There was a chantry within the parish church 'at St. Stephen's altar,' founded by Sir John Leigh in 1520. (fn. 194) The incumbent, who had a life pension of £6 issuing from Hales Monastery, 'teachithe there gramer to many yong children.' (fn. 195) There was a house for the chantry priest, which was afterwards used as a school. This was granted by the Crown in 1549 to Edward Pese and William Winlow, (fn. 196) and next year to William Winlow and Richard Feld. (fn. 197) The chantry, with the exception of the house, was granted in 1549 to George Mill, who died seised of it in 1567–8. (fn. 198)
The school, formerly the Free Grammar School, founded by will of Lady Anne Worsley (date not stated), and further endowed by Sir Richard Worsley by deed, 1615, and by Philip Andrews, deed, 1604, is regulated by scheme of the Charity Commissioners 25 April 1899. It is endowed, in addition to the school buildings, with a yearly rent-charge of £27, and the official trustees hold a sum of £215 18s. 6d. consols, producing £5 7s. 8d. a year, arising from the investment of £200 received from Lord Yarborough by way of equality of exchange. (fn. 199)
There are also schools in the hamlet of Rookley, founded in 1863 by John Woodward. The official trustees also hold a sum of £200 11s. 7d. India 3½ per cent. stock, part of a legacy of £400 bequeathed by the founder by a codicil to his will, dated 7 April 1870, the balance having been expended from time to time on improvements to the school buildings. (fn. 200)
In 1617 Richard Gard by his will (among other charitable gifts) devised an annuity of £1 10s. for the poor of this parish, issuing out of an estate in Brading, formerly called Blackpan, but now called Merry Gardens.