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Holy Trinity Church


No one can know more of a Church than its Vicar. He has the key to the locked away registers; he is shown in the course of his parish visiting treasured photographs and pamphlets; and, if he lives in a house comparable with the one in which I live, he has a glorious view of the Church from the Vicarage.

But rarely does the Vicar have the opportunity of sharing his knowledge. If he is to collate the available material into a form which is concise, presentable and interesting, he has to be possessed of considerable skill, patience and time. And there is one secret of a Church that neither its Vicar nor anyone else given all the necessary skill, patience and time, can impart, and that is its atmosphere. This is that which can only be absorbed by entering into the prayer life and worship enshrined in the building; but once absorbed, it is rarely lost.

It was for these reasons that I was deeply grateful to Mr. Wheeler for accepting our invitation to write a guide/history of our Church. I readily confess that much of what he has revealed is new to me, and he has revealed it in such a readable and detailed manner that what in the first place was intended to be a short guide to the Church, has turned out to be a worthy history of it. So I am still more grateful to him for the finished product; it is such that the main points in the history of our Church and parish can easily be appreciated by all who come, and that we can all have a better opportunity of entering into that prayer life and worship of Almighty God established here well over a hundred years ago.

J. R. SHAW Holy Trinity Vicarage,
March, 1968.


No accounts of the building of Holy Trinity Church have survived. Of the events that took place in the early years, there are but the briefest details, for the old records, and minute books down to the twenties, have also perished.

Fortunately, Parish Magazines. dated 1885 and 1901 still exist, and I have drawn upon them for some of the interesting accounts they contain.

The names of Churchwardens and their years of office remain incomplete, and of the early organists only the years they are known to have held the appointment are given in the appropriate list.

It has been, therefore, difficult to construct the story of Holy Trinity, but in the long quest for information, I was greatly assisted by the Isle of Wight Times, who most kindly gave me every facility to search their files, and I wish to express my appreciation of their invaluable help. To them and to the following my thanks are due: the Rev. C. P. Bryan; Mr. E. S. Sheppard; Messrs. Mears and Stainbank, Whitechapel Bell-Foundry, London; and Mr. A. Holland, for kindly loaning his photographs of the spire when under repair.

Isle of Wight.
March, 1968.

Silver trowel used by Mrs. E. Lind, 14th October 1841
Silver trowel used by Mrs. E. Lind, 14th October 1841


Two small hamlets separated by a field expanded until they met and became one unit. Such was the beginning of the modern holiday resort of Ryde, situated some six miles from its parish church at Newchurch. There were, however, two proprietary chapels of the Established Church in the town, St. James's, erected in 1829 but not consecrated, and St. Thomas's, consecrated in 1719 and rebuilt on a larger scale in 1827, which was a chapel of ease to the Mother Church at Newchurch. It was the responsibility of the Vicar of Newchurch to provide services at St. Thomas's Chapel. Ryde soon became a popular watering place whose increasing population the Church desired to accommodate, and it was from the nineteenth century that the town's ecclesiastical history began.

The first step taken to meet the spiritual needs of the population followed the appointment of the Rev. W. Spencer Phillips. B.D. in 1839 to the vicarage of Newchurch. The new vicar chose to live permanently in the growing town of Ryde, and he soon realised the need of additional accommodation for public worship. A man of action, he lost no time in appointing a committee to assist him in building a new church in the town, the population of which had grown from 1,601 in 1811 to 5,840 in 1841.

Nothing is known of the committee's activities, but within about two years of the vicar's arrival all was ready for building the proposed church. to which, on completion, was assigned a district that became the first of the Ryde parishes to be carved out of Newchurch Parish.

On 14th October, 1841, the first stone of the new church of the Holy Trinity was laid by Mrs. Elizabeth Lind, on a plot of land which she, together with her son and daughters, gave in Upper Dover Street. They also generously contributed £1,500 to the building fund.

Unfortunately, when the new church had risen from the foundations to street level, certain legal difficulties arose, the result of which brought about the cessation of further building for approximately one year.

At this juncture, a most generous friend came to the rescue. He was the Hon. Lindsay Burrell, then residing temporarily in Ryde while his yacht was being built. Having ascertained the cause of suspension of work on the new church, lie made himself responsible for the cash security required, and building operations were resumed immediately, continuing without further interruption.

Eventually, all was ready for the Consecration, which was performed by the Rt. Rev. Charles Sumner, D.D., Bishop of Winchester, on Sts. Simon and Jude's Day, 28th October, 1845. At this time the church was without transepts, and the spire, although commenced was not finished until the following year, when the Rev A. J. Wade, M.A., Curate in charge, placed the final stone, the capstone, in position. The church had cost £5,806, and accommodated 800 persons. Of the total number of sittings, "500 are set apart as free sittings for ever, the remaining 300 ... being intended to be let ... for the purpose of providing a yearly stipend for the spiritual person serving the church for the time being". There are now, however, no pew rents, and all seats are free.

It is interesting to reflect upon the appearance of Holy Trinity as it stood when completed, save for the transepts, clean and sharp Of outline, perfect in detail, fresh from the builders' hands, and set, to all intents and purposes, in a field. Recalling the scene some years later, the vicar, the Rev. A. J. Wade, wrote:— "On the first Sunday in November, 1845, I took the morning duty at Holy Trinity Church and preached the first sermon there. At that time Upper Dover Street in which the Church stands was but partially formed, there was no thoroughfare to Star Street, the ground opposite the Church where now are gardens belonging to each house, was still fields with hedgerows—no house thereon—cattle were feeding there quietly as wont—the Congregation, variously composed, was assembling, and as I entered the reading desk and was commencing the service, the west door being open, I observed one of the cows cease her grazing, raise her head, and for a little while stand gazing towards the church as if wondering what we were all doing, then gently fall on bended knees on nature's grassy cushion as in sympathy with us, and with instinctive reverence of our great Creator and Lord of the Sabbath."

By Order in Council, announced in the London Gazette, 26th May, 1846, a district was assigned to the new Church, and it was called "the Chapelry District of the Holy Trinity, Ryde," the first incumbent entitled priest-in-charge. The newly created Chapelry District was still in the Parish of Newchurch, and so remained until the death of the Vicar, the Rev. W. S. Phillips, B.D., on 13th May, 1863, when, under the provisions of the New Parishes' Act, 1856, it became the Parish of Holy Trinity, Ryde, and its incumbent, the first Vicar.

To sum up then, " for the first eighteen years of its existence, Holy Trinity Church was the "District Church" and since 1863 has been the Parish Church of the Parish of Holy Trinity, Ryde, for all ecclesiastical and spiritual purposes."

An early engraving circa 1846
An early engraving circa 1846


Holy Trinity was erected to the design of Thomas Hellyer, architect, of Ryde, and the contractors engaged upon the building were local firms. Messrs. Langdon and Denham carried out the work up to road level and Thomas Dashwood was responsible for the remainder, including the tower and spire.

The style Hellyer chose was Early English, that flourished in the 13th century. This, his largest church in the Island, was never completed in accordance with the original plan, for the large Sanctuary Hellyer had designed was abandoned in favour of an apse, on a scale far too small for the building it terminated. One can only conclude that the decision to revise the plan was based solely on grounds of cost. After the Great War (1914 - 18), the removal of the apse and completing the Church according to the original plan, was considered as a memorial to the Fallen, but as it seemed unlikely that sufficient money would be available, the scheme was, unfortunately, abandoned.

At the Consecration in 1845, there were no transepts, and the church did not begin to assume its present cruciform plan until 1848, when the south transept was erected, followed by its fellow on the north some twelve years later*. The cost of these additions was £1,300. Davenport Adams' "History, Topography, and Antiquities of the Isle of Wight" (1856) states that the transept (i.e. the south) was erected at the expense of the Rev. A. J. Wade, M.A.

To accommodate the organ, a special chamber was erected in 1871 at a cost of £286, to the design of Francis Newman, a Ryde architect. The instrument occupied this chamber until 1927.

Happily, the incongruous details found in many churches of this date, that are so obviously Victorian Gothic do not appear at Holy Trinity. Apart from the tower, the introduction of traditional details is mainly confined to the west door, where conventional, or, stiff-leaved foliage is to be found on the capitals on either side of the doorway, and dog-tooth ornament in the moulding of the arch, which latter feature also appears on the North Porch. These are, in the main, the only ornamentations on an otherwise plain exterior.

Fenestration throughout the Church consists of simple lancets without mouldings, varying from a triplet over the West Door, arranged in pairs as in the aisles, to single lights in the sidewalls of the transepts. In the gable wall of the north transept is a pair of lancets with a quatrefoil above, typical of the earliest form of tracery called plate tracery.

But it is the tower with its slender spire rising to a height of 134 ft. 8 in. that gives the church so much quiet dignity. Hellyer's spire is the second highest in Ryde. Unlike its taller neighbour at All Saints', which rises behind a parapet, the spire of Holy Trinity springs from the tower walls, and is known as a broach spire. It possesses two noteworthy features. Instead of four spire-lights, i.e. one on each of the cardinal sides of the spire, there is one on each side, totalling eight. Corner pinnacles are not always to be found on early broach spires, but Hellyer introduced them here with good effect, and the whole presented a most graceful composition until 1963, when they were removed. Today, unhappily, the spire appears to sit very awkwardly upon the tower, owing to the absence of the pinnacles, and emphasizes the need for their speedy replacement.

As a result of damage in a gale towards the end of December, 1900, the top fourteen feet of the spire had to be rebuilt mostly in new stone. The corner pinnacles, upon close examination, were found to be in a dangerous condition and had to be entirely rebuilt. These works, including the restoration of the tower, were carried out by Messrs. J. W. Gray of London, at a cost of £430. Messrs. Holland, Monumental Masons, Ryde, were responsible for the stonework.

In 1963, the condition of the spire again gave rise to some anxiety, when, during the progress of repairs, the corner pinnacles were found to be insecure, and were removed. The cost of these works amounted to £1,462 10s. 0d. and were carried out by Messrs. Larkin, of London.

An appeal for the sum of £5,000 has been launched for the restoration of the exterior of the church. The first section to be undertaken was the south side, which was carried out by New Stone and Restoration Ltd., at a cost of £1,287. The Parochial Church Council ask for the generous support of the public in their endeavour to save the church from further decay.

Holy Trinity is included in the list of buildings of special architectural or historic interest under Section 30 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 1947.

* Dedicated 28th October. 1860.

Repairs to spire, 1900
Repairs to spire, December 1900
Top of Spire, Capstone and Weather-cock - December 1900
Top of Spire, Capstone and Weather-cock - December 1900


Holy Trinity, being of the Victorian era, may be supposed to have little of special interest in its fabric. The visitor who spares no more than a cursory glance at the seven bays of the Nave will miss the differences of detail that add so much interest to the church.

But he who seeks shall find. A close examination will reveal the variations in arches, piers, and bases, some of which occur in positions where uniformity of design might have been expected.

There are three distinct types of bases to the piers, arranged in pairs. The most noticeable difference occurs in the first pair from the west, where the deep hollow moulding, so prominent in the others, has been omitted. But there is only a slight difference between the mouldings of the second and third pairs.

Not so varied are the piers. All follow the same design except the pair nearest the east end. The difference is easily recognised. The capitals, however, were designed for the piers below them, and it will be seen that the first pair from the east end are unlike the others in each arcade.

Terminating the arcades at the east end, the responds, consisting of half-piers, are not repeated at the west end of the Nave, where the last arch on either side is supported on a bracket having stiff-leaved foliage, in the centre of which is a crowned head. Could they be (left) Albert, the Prince Consort, and (right) Queen Victoria?

The west end of the Nave is remarkable for its little enrichment. Nothing could be plainer than the west door—the principal entrance to the church. Looking upwards, the tower arch has double chamfers instead of mouldings, and is supported on large brackets having stiff-leaved foliage.

It is a matter of regret that the Sanctuary is so small, especially when it is considered in relation to the scale of the Nave and Transepts. The change of plan from a spacious Sanctuary to a small apse resulted in a considerable loss of dignity to the church, and deprived it of generous space which tradition required for the setting of the High Altar.

Architecturally, there is nothing remarkable about the Transepts. The South Transept (1848) has an unfortunate record, for its lack of stability has given rise to anxiety on several occasions, incurring considerable expenditure on its repair.

In 1886 an extensive renovation scheme was put in hand at a cost of £6,000. The church was closed from 11th July until 15th August, and upon completion of the work, it presented an appearance that has changed but little since.

The small galleries for children at the west end of the aisles referred to in Hills "Historical Directory," 1871, were swept away and so effectively that no trace of them remains. Aesthetically, this was a distinct gain.

The Chancel floor was raised to its present level and paved with encaustic tiles, which were also laid in the Nave and West Porch. A new pulpit was erected, and new oak choir stalls provided at a cost of £800. The choir, formerly accommodated in the tower gallery, had already been transferred to the Chancel. Unfortunately, there is no existing record of the previous arrangements in this part of the Church.

A further improvement, and one of great importance, was the removal of the small seats that are now attached to the ends of the pews. They formerly occupied the centre of the present alley of the Nave, leaving a narrow passage on each side between them and the pews.

Some extensions to the heating arrangements in the North Transept were also carried out, but no details exist. It is possible that the painting of the stone piers and arches of the arcades together with other internal stonework dates from this time. Well-intended it may have been, but a great mistake nevertheless.

Commemorating the foregoing works, stained glass was inserted in the centre light of the tower gallery window. This and the inscription "Erected at the Renovation, 1886" were destroyed by enemy action, on Good Friday, 1941.


Signifying that by Baptism we are admitted to the Family of the Church, the Font is placed near the (west) door. It is octagonal and of Caen stone, with much carving upon its sides, and is supported on a cluster of short stone columns. It was given by the Yard family.

Around the bowl is the following inscription in Roman lettering:-- - D:O:M PATRI: FILIO: SPIRITUI: SANCTO: PROPTER: FILIUM: EX: AQUA: SERVATUM: DUM: DUOS: IPSE: COMITES: SUBMERSOS: SERVARET: D: D: GRATUS: CUM: LIBERIS: PATER. Which may be translated as follows:- "To God the Father, greatest and best, the Son and the Holy Ghost: A grateful father and his children gave this to God for the preservation of his son from the sea while he himself was saving two companions who were drowning."

The inscription is by the famous John Keble, born 1792, priest, the writer of many well-known hymns, among which are " Sun of my soul " and " When God of old". He preached the famous sermon in St. Mary's, Oxford, in 1833 that started the Oxford Movement, became Vicar of Hursley, Hants, in 1836 and died in 1866.

Keble College, Oxford was erected to his memory.

Unfortunately, little of the brass ornamentation of the cover now remains. Of polished oak, the cover was given in memory of Alfred Ernest Purnell, who died in 1905.

The brass ewer was given to the memory of Lt. Edmund Henry Jellicoe, R.N., who died in 1904.

Nave looking east before 1912
Nave looking east before 1912


The Pulpit of oak, was given, as we have seen, during the renovation of 1886. It is to the memory of Mr. Barry, husband of Emma Barry. Unfortunately it has no inscription.

The brass Pulpit Desk bears the following:
In Memory of William Hancock Gray who Died 1883
and Gertrude Marianne his wife who Died 1888

Opposite the Pulpit stands the very fine brass Lectern, having figures of the four Evangelists around its massive base.

It is in memory of Maj.-Gen. W. Nassau Lees who died in 1889, and was the gift of Mary Lees, his niece.

A brass on the top step to the Chancel records the gift of the gates that were erected by the Misses Barry to the memory of Emma Barry, 1899.

The oak Reredos, designed by Cox, Buckley & Co., of London, and given by Robert Richardson in memory of his sister and niece was dedicated on 27th May, 1888. Paintings on the three large panels depict (left) The Annunciation; (centre) The Gift of the Holy Ghost; (right) The Visit of the Shepherds. Figures of the four archangels, Uriel, Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael appear on the small panels.

Dedicated in August, 1894, the High Altar, of oak, was executed by Jones and Willis. A small brass on the south side bears the inscription "To the Glory of God, and in loving memory of John Edgar Barry and Annie Kathleen his wife, this Altar was given by E. Barry and her daughters E. M. and A. M. Barry, August 1894."

In 1913, the old Victorian glass that filled the lancets of the apse was removed and the present stained glass, by Powell, inserted.

It was the munificent gift of Mrs. Le Marchant. The subjects are as follows:—(left) St. Michael, Archangel; (centre) Our Lord in Majesty. His right hand raised in Blessing and in His left hand is the orb; (right) St. Gabriel, Archangel. The windows were dedicated by Bishop Cameron (vicar 1893 - 1906).

The Bishop's Chair was given in memory of William Sylvester Hawkins, a sidesman of Holy Trinity, who died on 14th November, 1940.


Is the Parish's memorial to those who fell in the First World War (1914 - 18).

The Reredos was unveiled by Maj.-Gen. The Rt. Hon. J. E. B. Seeley, C.B., D.S.O., Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, and dedicated by the Rev. J. E. Eddis, M.A. (Vicar 1907 - 19), assisted by the Vicar of Holy Trinity, the Rev. The Hon. I. H. J. Twisleton-Wykeham Fiennes on 29th June, 1922. It is a beautiful work resplendent in gold and colour.

Beneath traceried and gilded canopies, the following carved subjects are arranged as follows, viewing from left to right:-

  • (1) St. Martin divides his cloak to share with a beggar.
  • (2) St. Michael, Archangel, fighting the Devil. Centre. The Crucifixion of our Lord, with Mary His Mother, and St. John.
  • (3) St. Christopher crosses the waters bearing the Christ Child upon his shoulder.
  • (4) St. George, Patron Saint of England, slaying the dragon.

Above, in an elegant niche with a tall crocketed spire is the figure of the Risen Lord.

The Altar, of oak, has a brass bearing the following inscription:—

To the Glory of God and in loving memory of Henrietta Mary Maclean this Altar is given by her daughters Florence Maclean and Nora Scott Hewitt June 29, 1922.

The names of those who lost their lives in the war are inscribed on the panelling beneath the windows.

In 1966, the stained glass now in the two light window above the Reredos, was inserted through the generosity of a member of the congregation. It is the only modern glass in the Church and was designed by Francis Skeat, of Harpenden. Depicting the martyrdom of two well-known saints, the window is well suited to the position it occupies.

St. Alban, in full armour, proto-martyr of Britain, is on the left. He was beheaded (see roundel below) in A.D. 303 - 4 on the site according to tradition, occupied by the north transept of the great Cathedral and Abbey Church that bears his name.

On the right is St. Stephen, proto-martyr, wearing the deacon-wise stole and dalmatic, and carrying a thurible in his left hand, whose martyrdom at Jerusalem, A.D. 33, is recorded in Acts 7.

The manner of his death (v.59) is symbolized in the roundel beneath.

The cushion on which each saint kneels represents the Isle of Wight with its green fields and white cliffs, and the upholding fountain, the sea surrounding us.

Above the lights is a sexfoil portraying in traditional style, the lamb (Book of Revelation). The book, however, is omitted, and in its place is another representation of the Isle of Wight.

The trefoil high in the gable contains the only surviving glass that once filled the windows in this part of the Church.

The Union Jack was flown in H.M.S. Iron Duke, flagship of Admiral of the Fleet Sir John (later Earl) Jellicoe, who commanded the Grand Fleet at the Battle of Jutland, 31st May, 1916. The flag was presented by the Admiral's sister, Miss Edith Lucy Jellicoe, who resided in this parish and was closely associated with Holy Trinity. Earl Jellicoe died on 20th November, 1935, and was buried in St. Paul's Cathedral, where he lies alongside Nelson and Collingwood.


The Jellicoe family were long connected with Holy Trinity, but there is evidence of an older naval association of interest which may be found in the North Aisle, where a tablet bearing the following inscription can be seen:
Erected by her children
to the memory of
Elizabeth Davies
(wife of Commander Arthur Davies, R.N.,
and niece of Lord Nelson)
who departed this life at Ryde
on 17th November 1851


It is not known when the original naked gas-jets were superseded by incandescent lighting, but this in turn gave place to electricity in 1924. The cost of the installation was met out of a generous gift of £200 from the late Madam Pocklet.


Little can be said of the glass in the Nave and North Transept.

These windows are typical examples of the Nineteenth Century and may be recognised by their heavy colouring. Probably the latest is in the second bay of the South Aisle, for its treatment illustrates the progress then being made in the art of glass painting.

From this window to those in the apse, and, later, to the modern glass in St. Martin's Chapel is a long step, but these examples show that artists have succeeded in producing colourful windows without excluding daylight.


Whether there was an organ in the Church at the time of the Consecration in 1845 will never be known, but it would seem unlikely that one was not provided.

The earliest reference to an organ, dated April, 1863, concerns the dedication of a new instrument, which was erected in the gallery of the Tower. Built by a firm whose identity cannot now be established, the organ consisted of three manuals and pedals, having a total of 30 speaking stops and five couplers. It was the largest organ in the Island at that time and cost £600. The pipe frontage to the Nave consisted of 23 gilded pipes, all of which were "speaking", and in order to accommodate the longest pipes, the bell was raised to the position it now occupies at the base of the spire.

At the dedication service on 23rd April, 1863, the preacher was the Very Rev. W. F. Hook, D.D., Dean of Chichester, a well known figure in the Church at that time.

The organ remained in the gallery until 1871, when it was removed to the new chamber provided for it at the east end of the north aisle.

During the years that followed, certain tonal alterations were made, and sundry repairs carried out from time to time, in the process of which the builder's name-plate, together with any special marks by which the instrument might be identified, were lost.

By 1927, the organ, quite worn out, was rebuilt and enlarged by Messrs. Morgan and Smith, of Hove, Sussex, at a cost of £1,202.

All of the old pipework was re-voiced, several new stops were added, a new console, complete with keys, drawstops, pistons and couplers fitted, together with a modern pedal board, and entirely new pneumatic action throughout the instrument. Wisely, it was decided to east end of the North Aisle.

On Thursday, 24th March, 1927, the rebuilt organ was dedicated by the Rev. Hugh Le Fleming, R.D., Vicar of All Saints', Ryde, followed by the opening recital given by E. Stanley Roper, B.A., Mus.Bac., F.R.C.O., Organist and Composer at H.M. Chapels Royal.


Not only has the Church had two organs, but it has also had two bells in the course of its history. The first bell hung in the tower from 1846 until 1852, when the unfortunate circumstance to be related, closed its short life. It was replaced by the present bell, cast in 1854 by George Mears, of the Whitechapel Bell-Foundry, London, which remained in the bell chamber until 1863, when, as we have seen, it was raised to its present unusual position at the base of the spire.

But, to return to the first bell, whose untimely end was made public by the following announcement in the Isle of Wight Observer, dated 13th November, 1852: "At a meeting of the I.W. Philosophical and Scientific Society held on 1st November, the Rev. A. J. Wade stated that on the previous evening without any apparent cause, the bell of Trinity Church cracked whilst ringing for service, without any unusual violence being employed."

In the following week's issue of the paper, appeared this letter addressed to the Editor:—

Belfry, Trinity Church, Ryde.
November 18, 1852

I hear that my honoured master, the Rev. A. J. Wade, has kindly brought the subject of my misfortune before the Isle of Wight Philosophical Society, who seem to have been mightily puzzled thereat.

Please to tell him with my humble duty, that I die of a broken heart, brought on by hearing myself outdone by the silvery tones from a neighbouring steeple. The fact is, I was never fit for the place; and all the reparation I can make is to warn my successor by the expiring groans of

Your humble servant,

The people of Holy Trinity quickly set about making amends, and opened a subscription list for a ring of bells, but this proposal seems to have been abandoned following a meeting of friends at Sir James Caldwell's residence in support of an eight day clock and large bell for the church tower. The use of the word "large" would suggest that the cracked bell was small, which is also implied in the foregoing letter.

In less than one month £90 had been subscribed. It was then suggested that quarter bells should also be provided, but, again, this did not materialise. By the end of April upwards of £120 had been contributed, and in June, 1853, a meeting of subscribers was held when it was resolved to call a public meeting to appoint a committee authorised to "complete the undertaking."

The meeting was duly held in the Town Hall early in July and in August of the following year, 1854, the new bell, cast by George Mears, of the Whitechapel Bell-Foundry, London, arrived and was hoisted into the bell-chamber of the tower. The cost was as follows:— Bell £87 3s. Od.; clapper £1 2s. Od.; supporting iron-work £1 10s. Od.; making a total outlay of £89 15s. 0d. The bell weighs 10 cwts. 1 qr. 14 lbs. and is 3 ft. 3 in. in diameter. Today, it would cost no less than £700!

So far only part of the scheme had been carried out, for there was, as yet, no clock. In May 1855 a new committee was appointed to complete the scheme, and at that time about £200 had been subscribed towards the £250 required.

But this country was then at war in the Crimea and the question of erecting the church clock was left in abeyance. The situation was reported by the Isle of Wight Observer on 26th May, 1855 as follows:— "It (the Clock & Bell Scheme) was warmly taken up, a meeting was called, a committee appointed, funds were subscribed and everything appeared favourable to the realisation of the scheme. Its cost, compared to the advantages, appeared trifling, viz. £250, of which about £200 were at once subscribed; but then the all absorbing topic of war and the demands upon public benevolence made by the Great Patriotic Fund and other such things, stopped all local considerations, and so the clock has never yet been erected."

Eventually, the committee appointed in May 1855, made a second attempt to raise the £50 required, and at length their efforts were successful. It was then decided (February 1856) that the clock should have a second dial. This was fixed on the north side of the tower (to face Melville Street) at an additional cost of £30.

The clock, made by Messrs. John Moore & Son, of Clerkenwell, Londonn — a firm that enjoyed a reputation for the excellence of their work - was installed by them in April, 1856.

But the dials, each seven feet in diameter, and the striking, did not satisfy everybody. Some complained that "the gold figures and hands could not be well seen against the stone walls of the tower". Others claimed that "the striking was not so loud as has been hoped".

In 1924, the gilded metalwork of the dials had become the worse for wear. A subscription list was opened to meet the cost cleaning cleanin and re-gilding which was carried out for the sum of £18. The length of metal in the framework and hands of both dials (i.e. excluding the numerals) is 63 feet.


Among the members of the Building Committee in 1845 was the Rev. Philemon Pownall Bastard. Little is known of him beyond the fact that he was to have been the first incumbent. Owing to ill health, he was unable to undertake the duties of the cure. He died in May, 1846, and was the first to be interred in the vaults.

At that time the Rev. A. J. Wade was curate of Newchurch-with-Ryde and officiated with the Vicar at St. Thomas' Chapel.

On 29th October, 1845, Mr. Wade was appointed priest in charge, anti so began a ministry that lasted forty-eight years.

  • Arthur John Wade, M.A. 1845-93 (Priest in charge 1845-63)
  • William Mouat Cameron, M.A. 1893-1906 (Became Coadjutor Bishop of Capetown)
  • John Elwin Eddis, M.A. 1907-19
  • The Hon. Ivo Henry John Twisleton-Wykeham Fiennes 1920-23
  • Noel Howard Stubbs, M.A. 1923-31
  • Sidney Addison Marsh 1931-35
  • Leonard Noel St. Alphonse, A.K.C. 1935-46
  • Oliver Edward Gittins, M.A. 1946-49
  • David Ford, M.A. 1950-55
  • Henry Edward Gibson, M.A. 1956-63
  • John Ramsden Shaw, A.K.C. 1963-


The organ of 1863.

Great Organ
Open Diapason (large)   8 ft.	Twelfth	2 2/3ft.
Open Diapason (small)   8 ft.	Fifteenth	2 ft.
Stopped Diapason, bass  8 ft.	Sesquialtera	3 rks
Stopped Diapason treble 8 ft.	Trumpet	8 ft.
Principal	        4 ft.
Swell Organ
Double Diapason	       16 ft.	Fifteenth	2 ft.
Open Diapason	        8 ft.	Sesquialtera	3 rks
Stopped Diapason	8 ft.	Cornopean	8 ft.
Dulciana	        8 ft.	Oboe	        8 ft.
Clarabella	        8 ft.	Clarion         4 ft.
Principal	        4 ft.
Choir Organ
Open Diapason	        8 ft.	Principal	4 ft.
Stopped Diapason, bass  8 ft.	Flute	        4 ft.
Stopped Diapason treble 8 ft.	Fifteenth	2 ft.
Viol de Gambe	        8 ft.	Cremona	         8 ft.
Pedal Organ
Open Diapason	        16 ft.	Bourdon	        16 ft.
Swell to Great          	Choir to Pedal 
Swell to Choir                  Great to Pedal
Choir to Great	
Compass of Manuals CC to F      54 notes 
Compass of Pedals CCC to E	29 notes
The organ as rebuilt and enlarged by Messrs. Morgan & Smith, 1927
Great Organ
Double Open Diapason  Principal 4 ft.
(new) 16 ft. Twelfth 2 2/3ft.
Open Diapason (No. 1) 8 ft. Fifteenth 2 ft.
Open Diapason (No. 2) 8 ft. Trumpet 8ft
(new bass octave)  (new, voiced on heavy wind)
Hohl Flute 8 ft. 
(new tenor octave of open 

Swell Organ
Double Diapason	16 ft. Principal 4 ft.
Open Diapason	8 ft.  Fifteenth 2 ft.
Stop Diapason	8 ft.  Harmonics 3 rks
Viola da Gamba	8 ft.  Cornopean 8 ft.
(from Cor Anglais revoiced)  Oboe 8 ft. 
Voix Celeste	8 ft.  Tremulant

Choir Organ
Dulciana 8 ft. Wald Flute 4 ft.
Gamba (new bass oct.) 8 ft. Flautina 2 ft.
Lieblich Gedact	8 ft. Clarinet	8 ft. 
Principal	4 ft. Tremulant -

Pedal Organ
Open Diapason	16 ft.  Bourdon (new) 16 ft.
Violone (new)	16 ft.  Violincello	8 ft.
Swell Octave  Swell to Pedal 
Swell Sub-Octave Great to Pedal 
Swell to Great Choir to Pedal
Swell to Choir Great & Pedal Pistons coupled
Choir to Great

4 Combination Thumb Pistons to Great Organ
4 Combination Thumb Pistons to Swell Organ
3 Combination Thumb Pistons to Choir Organ
4 Combination Pedal Pistons to Pedal Organ
1 Pedal Piston controlling Great to Pedal Coupler 
Balanced Swell Crescendo Pedal
Balanced Choir Crescendo Pedal
Compass of manuals CC to G     56 notes
Compass of pedals  CCC to F    30 notes


  • J. Trekell 1863
  • S. M. Lake 1875
  • F. J. W. Williams 1885
  • A. Percy James 1890-1937
  • P. J. Monk 1937-1946
  • J. W. Millgate 1947-1957
  • E. W. Matthews 1957-


  • A. J. Locke, E. J. Wheeler 1924-26
  • Major J. N. Meares, J. B. Coombes 1927-28
  • A. J. Locke, G. Janaway 1929-33
  • R. E. Waller, G. Janaway 1934-37
  • R. E. Waller, M. L. Harman 1938-39
  • R. E. Waller, J. H. Hutchings 1940-43
  • R. E. Waller, J. H. Russell 1944-46
  • L. S. Long, J. H. Russell 1947
  • L. S. Long, R. Pritty 1948
  • L. S. Long, J. H. Russel 1949-50
  • Mrs. M. White, W. G. Clarke 1951-53
  • Mrs. M. White, J. R. Grace 1954
  • Mrs. J. G. Matthews, J. R. Grace 1955-57
  • G. F. Mew, J. R. Grace 1958-64
  • G. F. Mew, W. G. Clarke 1965-66
  • W. G. Clarke, R. F. Young 1967-

Church Magazine 1880's

PDF icon Some of the Church magazine records from the 1880's have been republished for research purposes. You may download a copy by clicking the icon.

Holy Trinity Church Centenary 1845 - 1945

PDF icon This was published in 1945 to mark the centenary of the church. You may download a copy by clicking the icon.


The church was officially closed in January 2014.

Font at Holy Trinity Church Ryde
Font at Holy Trinity Church Ryde
Alter at Holy Trinity Church Ryde
Alter at Holy Trinity Church Ryde
Interior of Holy Trinity Church Ryde
Interior of Holy Trinity Church Ryde
View of the interior of Holy Trinity Church Ryde
View of the interior of Holy Trinity Church Ryde
The Alter Holy Trinity Church Ryde
The Alter, Holy Trinity Church Ryde
Holy Trinity
Stained glass window Holy Trinity Church Ryde
Stained glass window Holy Trinity Church Ryde

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

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