"The first object to be encountered at Bonchurch approached in this direction is

Bonchurch old Church


This old church, now not used, was built about the year 1,070, on the site of a former church. Its ceiling is circular, and the building contains a nave and chancel. The interior contains a black oak cross, which was brought from the continent, as well as remains of mural paintings. The churchyard is interesting to visitors from the fact that it contains the grave and remains of the Rev. V. Adams, formerly rector of Bonchurch, and author of the excellent book, “The Shadow of the Cross.” The stone over his grave, placed horizontally, is surmounted by an iron cross’ lying about two inches above the stone, so that its shadow may be said to always rest there. A short distance from this sacred embowered retreat is the new Church of Bonchurch, built by subscription in 1846. It is of stone, and in the Norman style of architecture. It contains nave, transepts, chancel, south porch, and western turret with one bell. It can seat 400 worshippers.

The Pulpit Rock is a landmark to be seen from a great distance, being about 400 feet above the level of the sea. It is surmounted by a rude cross, and in the grounds surrounding it are to be found several caves, the exploration of which would provide interesting occupation for hours.

On the East Dene estate, now in the possession and occupation of Mr. J. Snowdon-Henry, J.P., have been  discovered the remains of a Roman camp, and in 1865 were found in the vicinity of this camp human bones, Supposed to be those of men who lived in the days of the Roman occupation. Just below Mr. Henry’s residence, in Monks’ Bay, where it is believed the first Christian monks landed in 755 from the Norman Abbey of Lire.

Bonchurch is divided into two villages—one upper and the other lower. The upper portion of the village is reached more directly from Shanklin way by the main road, which passes by Shanklin Old Church, up the Cowlease shute, leaving Luccombe in the valley on the left, and entering Bonchurch on the higher level. Both levels are on the side of St. Boniface Down, which towers far above the higher road, and past, downwards, the lower road to the sea.  The two levels are reached by road (very steep for horses) and by a flight of stone steps (very steep and trying for pedestrians) called Jacobs Ladder - with an earthly Paradise at each end. On the side of the lower high road is to be observed Bonchurch Pond, a charming spot to be seen to be appreciated. We give a very good illustration. Near the pond is a drinking fountain, erected to the memory of the late Captain Huish.

Letters are received through Ventnor Post Office for delivery at 8.30 a.m., 12.0 noon , and 7.30 p.m. ; and dispatched at 8.30 and 10.0 a.m.,12.0 noon, 2.0, 4.0, 5.30, and 6.45 p.m. Boxes cleared: Hotel at 7.50, 9.55, and 11.45 a.m., and 6.40 p.m.; Sundays,6.30 p.m. Wall box, Upper Bonchurch, 8.15 and 11.35 a.m.,  and 6.30 p.m. ; Sundays, 6.20 p.m." {Ventnor}

Bonchurch Pond


The Minerva Isle of Wight Pictorial and Guide - circa 1900