printer icon


Gazetteer 1878

Benestede 1086 Domesday book; Benstede 1225; Bienstede 1291; Binsted 1538. The place where beans are grown. OE bean + stede.1

BINSTEAD, Situated 6 miles north-east of Newport, 1 mile west of Ryde, the living is a rectory, under the patronage of the bishop of Winchester. Rev. Philip Hewett B.A., rector; gross income £80. A small parish of 1,206 acres, including in 1905 299½ acres of arable land, 476¼ acres of permanent grass, and 253 acres of wood,2 extends from Ryde to Wootton Creek. It is separated from the modern parish of Ryde by the small stream flowing into the Solent east of Binstead Church. The village consists of a line of cottages and small houses on either side of the Ryde to Wootton road. The better inhabited part lies to the north, where many superior villas have been built overlooking the Solent. The ruins of the Cistercian abbey of Quarr lie within the parish, as also the ancient quarries from which it took its name. The position of these latter is clearly indicated by the irregular ground between the high road and the lane to Quarr. The stone, a tough, hard, shelly limestone, used as far back as the Roman occupation,3 has practically ceased to be quarried, though a small seam has lately been opened in the copse to the west of the church.

There is a small hamlet at the mouth of the creek, consisting of the coastguard station and a few small villas and cottages, which doubtless represents the place called Fishbourn or Fishhouse, upon the coast, which the Abbot of Quarr in 1365–6 had licence to inclose with a wall of stone and crenellate. He was also permitted to build castles and fortalices there.4 A messuage called 'le Fysshehouse' was granted in 1544 to John and George Mill.5 Near Wootton Bridge is the 17th-century house called Kite Hill belonging to the Fleming estate, the residence in the 18th century of James Perry, whose daughter married John Popham and lived on there with her husband. It has been somewhat modernized, but retains its original plan of a central block with projecting wings.

Samuel Woodford (1636–1700), the divine and poet, lived at Binstead 'in a married and secular condition.'6 The Church of the Holy Cross has been restored in the early English style with nave, chancel and bell turret. The parish are out of the remains of Quarr Abbey founded in 1132 by Baldwin de Redvers afterwards Earl of Devonshire. Population in 1851 was 317.

The first school was built on a site given by J. Fleming, whose family once owned most of Binstead and is remembered in the name of the inn, the Fleming Arms. Together with a house for the headmaster the cost in 1854 was £525. There were about sixty pupils. The present school (1974) on the outskirts of the village has 225 pupils; they still crown the May Queen each year with the ceremony and maypole dances.[27]


At the time of Domesday BINSTEAD, which Tovi, the king's thegn, had held as a free manor of the Confessor, belonged to William son of Stur.7 It would appear that Binstead must afterwards have passed to the Crown, as it is probably to be identified with half a hide in the Isle of Wight, whence stone might be quarried for the cathedral church of Winchester, granted by William the Conqueror to Walkelin, Bishop of Winchester.8 This grant William Rufus extended by leave to dig for stone throughout the Island where quarries existed,9 and Henry I in a precept to Richard de Redvers bade him, somewhat peremptorily, allow the monks of St. Swithun's to take their due.10 Indeed, some friction must have arisen between the new lord of the Island and the bishop, as the precept concluded with the significant words, 'Quod si non fecis, Alveraldus de Lincoln faciat ecclesiae et episcopo habere,' and a further command was sent him to allow the monks to hold their land, increased to a hide, peaceably and to quarry stone without let or hindrance.11

Binstead, as a member of the episcopal manor of Swainstone,12 remained with the see of Winchester till the surrender of that manor to Edward I in 1284. In 1292–3 it was found that the king's quarry at Binstead could supply stone for the fabric of the abbey church of Quarr as well as for any work the Crown might wish to undertake in the Island, so the abbot was to be allowed to dig and remove what stone he required, paying at the customary rate of 40d. a 'millena.'1 The history of the manor is identical with that of Swainstone (q.v.) till the attainder of the Countess of Salisbury in 1541.14 It was granted in 1544 to Sir William Berkeley,15 who sold it in the same year to John Mill of Southampton.16 It then passed with Nursling to Sir Richard Mill, by whom it was sold in 1609–10 to Sir Thomas Fleming.17 The manor has since followed the same descent as North Stoneham 18(q.v.) and now belongs to Mr. John Edward Arthur Willis-Fleming, the present representative of the family, who has a residence at Binstead House around 1926 living there until the property was sold in 1933 and then they moved to Southampton.

It seems probable that the abbey of Quarr was built on the manor of NEWNHAM, for in the taxation of the abbey lands in 1291 no land at Quarr is mentioned, while the land at Newnham heads the list of the abbey's possessions in the Isle of Wight.19 Further, in the valuation of the possessions of the abbey in 1536 under the heading 'Quarr' is included the manor of Newnham with the site of the abbey.20 The manor, therefore, probably belonged to the abbey from its foundation in 1131. The abbot and convent obtained a grant of free warren in all their lands including this manor in 1284.21 The possessions of the abbey at Newnham in 1291 were valued at £10,22 and in 1536 the manor with the site of the monastery was worth £11 19s. 4d.23 The site of the abbey and the grange of Newnham were leased in 1537 for twenty-one years to John Mill of Southampton,24 and this estate with the manor of Quarr was granted in 1544 to John and George Mill.25 The manor of Newnham, the site of the abbey, and the southern portion of the manor of Quarr from that time followed the descent of Binstead Manor, and now belong to Mr. John E. A. Willis-Fleming, but the northern part of the manor of Quarr called the Quarr House estate was sold about 1858 to Admiral Sir Thomas Cochrane. His son sold the house and grounds in 1907 to the Benedictine community from Solesmes, who have recently erected conventual buildings on the site.

Newnham Farm is of the 17th century, but has been added to in the 18th century, and a series of initialled dates cut in the brickwork over the east door refer to a family of Young, tenants of the manor in 1774.25 There is a tradition that the tenant of Newnham Farm is entitled to grass in Monkton meadow as long as he preserves in the house the stone bust of a monk supposed to have been an Abbot of Quarr.26

The areas within the parish are Kite hill, Rosewell, Ashlake, Newnham and Fishbourne.

1. A D Mills Place Names of the Isle of Wight. Paul Watkins, 1996 also Kokeritz.
2. Statistics from Bd. of Agric. (1905).
3. The Roman altar found at Bitterne near Southampton in 1804 is of this stone and the base of the seaward walls of Portchester Castle is mainly of Binstead stone; the stone is also said to have been used in ancient Sussex churches.
4. Pat. 39 Edw. III, pt. ii, m. 23.
5. and P. Hen. VIII, xix (2), g. 340 (43).
6. Dict. Nat. Biog. lxii.
7. V.C.H. Hants, i, 520.
8. Worsley, Hist. of Isle of Wight, App. no. iii.
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid. App. no. iv.
11. Ibid. App. no. v.
12. Ct. R. (Gen. Ser.), portf. 202, no. 50.
13. Inq. a.q.d. file 18, no. 8.
14. Ct. R. (Gen. Ser.), portf. 202, no. 50.
15. and P. Hen. VIII, xix (1), g. 812 (94).
16. Ibid. g. 1035 (159).
17. Feet of F. Hants, East. 7 Jas. I.
18. W. and L. Inq. p.m. xlix, 226; xcii, 97; Chan. Inq. p.m. (Ser. 2), dlxxxvi, 118.
19. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 214.
20. Dugdale, Mon. Angl. v, 320.
21. Cal. Chart. R. 1257–1300, p. 272. Again in this grant no mention is made of any land at Quarr.
22. Pope Nich. Tax. (Rec. Com.), 214.
23. Dugdale, loc. cit.
24. Aug. Off. Misc. Bks. ccix, fol. 44.
25. L. and P. Hen. VIII, xix (2), g. 340 (43).
27. IWFWI. Isle of Wight Village Book. IWCP, Newport (1974)

Link: 26. White, Gazetteer of Hants, (1878). From: 'Parishes: Binstead', A History of the County of Hampshire: Volume 5 (1912), pp. 151-155. External link image

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:21

This Site is Sponsored by:


Help To Support Us

Wootton Bridge Historical is run as a not for profit organisation, if you have found this site useful please help to keep it running by donating a small amount.

Donate »

Another Way To Support Us

If you are looking for fast reliable web hosting you can do no better than Vidahost. We receive a small commission for each sale which helps us to keep Wootton Bridge Historical running.

Sign up »

Wootton Bridge Walks

Wootton Walk leaflet

If you are visiting the Isle of Wight you may be interested in our Wootton Walks leaflets which include a large scale route map.

These leaflets enable you, in a series of five walks, to explore some of our village’s history and beautiful surroundings. Enjoy your walk.

Continue Reading »