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Ward Lock 1926

Baldwin de Redvers, Earl of Devon and lord of the isle founded the original Abbey, of which a few ruins may still be seen, in 1132. Here he and his wife and son, and a number of other distinguished personages, including the Lady Cicely, second daughter of Edward IV and godmother of Henry VIII, were buried. The Cistercians tenanted the abbey and was the second house of the kind established in England. By careful management and successive endowments, the property shortly became the most valuable in the Island, and the Abbot was a person of so much consequence that he was appointed Warden or Lord of the Island. In 1340 special licence was obtained to fortify the place against the attacks of sea-rovers, and the remains of the stone wall, with sea gate a portcullis, then erected, may still be traced. At the Dissolution of the Monasteries the property passed into the possession of a prosaic merchant of Southampton, by name George Mills, who promptly razed most of the buildings to the ground for the sake of the material, and turned the land to agricultural uses.

The modern Quarr Abbey was designed by a French Benedictine monk Dom Paul Bellot. The Benedictine order of Solesmes started out in 1902, being at that time resident at Appuldurcombe, which is outside Wroxall on the Island. The community moved to Quarr in 1907 and he was commissioned to design their new monastery, which was completed in 1914. The design was for a building to house 100 monks. The material used was a hard durable brick imported from Belgium and Holland, the colours of which where to be warm, mostly made up of pink, light red and pale yellow. In 1922 they returned to France at the invitation of The French Government. They, however, left a colony here, open to British as well as to French recruits, keeping the same rule and life as the large community in France.

On the seaward side of the grounds of Quarr House is the Village of Fishbourne, which requires the tide to be in to show it to advantage. It is then a very pretty spot. The village is built round a pretty green near the entrance to Wootton Creek

Surrounding the area are farms and old ruins.

Source: Extracts from Ward Lock & Co. Illustrated Guide to the Isle of Wight for 1926

Link: Quarr Abbey Heritage External link image

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:45

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