BINSTEAD, is a small village of quite antiquity, finding mention as “Benestite” in Domesday Book. The parish is bounded by Newchurch on the east; it is seperated from the parishes of Wootton and Arreton on the west, by Fishborn creek; and is bounded by the Channel on the north. This small parish seems to have originated from the grants of William the Conqueror, and William Rufus, of half a hide of land to Walkeline, Bishop of Winchester, for the digging of stone to repair the cathedral. The first grant expresses – nec folum autem ibi, fed per totam terram mean in eadem infula,”not only there, but throughout all my land in that island; which might have afforded the Bishops of Winchester opportunity to extend their limits beyond the first expressed quantity; at the time of this grant the whole island was in the Crown, by the forfeiture of Earl Roger, the son of William Fitz-Osborn. It is also found in the register of Winchester, that when William of Wykeham rebuilt the body of that cathedral, he dug the stone in the Isle of Wight, and commissioned the Abbot of Quarr to provide cariages to convey it to the sea; the pits from whence the stone was taken, is still visible.1
Binstead church, was probably built by one of the Bishops of Winchester, having always belonged to that fee, and paid an annual pension of two shillings to the facrist of the Monastey there: it is subjected to the Rector of Calborn, who formerly claimed archidiaconal jurisdiction over Binstead, and Brixton. The church is a small plain building, having nothing remarkable about it, but a rude and very ancient piece of seulpture over the key=stone of the north door, representing a human figure, fitting with the feet on a kind of pedestal, resembling a ram’s head; the whole is about two feet and a half high; it is vulgarly called the Idol, but probably was one of those strange figures, which the Saxon and Norman architects commonly placed on key-stones and frizes. It is reported that upon the church being repaired some few years ago, this figure was removed; but the inhabitants were displeased at it, and procured its restoration.1
Binstead village was in the early 19th century, it was a small rural community, with farmhouses adjoining the main road, and a hamlet comprising a cluster of houses and cottages at Binstead Pits. After the Fleming’s Estate Act and the construction of the new road in the mid 1800s, the landscape was reconfigured and a new village, effectively, grew up along the main road.
Binstead Cottage, once a villa sited southwest of Binstead Church, which later became Binstead Parsonage. Binstead Lodge, a new villa built around 1808, north of Binstead Church, replacing the former Cottage after 1835. Also from 1860 it was known as Binstead House. Binstead House was a mansion house built in 1851 on the site of the original Binstead Lodge. It was the island home of the Willis Fleming family. It probably became known as Binstead House during the tenancy of Sir Charles Locock from 1864. An abstraction of a lease with plan of Binstead Cottage (Binstead Lodge, House, with land and cottages) formely occupied by Lord Downes, to Sir Charles Locock (surrendered 27 Jan 1883). Binstead House was the Dower House of the Willis Fleming family. Richard Hugh Willis Fleming was born there on 20 Jan 1921. The house was sold in 1925. 2