List entry

List entry Summary

This monument is scheduled under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 as amended as it appears to the Secretary of State to be of national importance. This entry is a copy, the original is held by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

Name: Bowl barrow, lime kiln, and a medieval lighthouse forming the west tower of an oratory, all set within a medieval enclosure on St Catherine's Hill

List entry Number: 1009389

Location

The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.

County District District Type Parish
Isle of WightUnitary AuthorityChale
Isle of WightUnitary AuthorityNiton and Whitwell

National Park: Not applicable to this List entry.

Grade: Not applicable to this List entry.

Date first scheduled: 14-Dec-1925

Date of most recent amendment: 01-Nov-1994

Legacy System Information

The contents of this record have been generated from a legacy data system.

Legacy System: RSM

UID: 22014

Asset Groupings

This list entry does not comprise part of an Asset Grouping. Asset Groupings are not part of the official record but are added later for information.

List entry Description

Summary of Monument

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Reasons for Designation

The monument on St Catherine's Hill contains evidence for use in the Bronze Age and medieval periods. Evidence for Bronze Age activity is in the form of a bowl barrow, a burial monument dating to the period 2000-700BC. This example survives well and is known from partial excavation to contain evidence of Bronze Age burials as well as for the later reuse of the site as a lime kiln in the medieval period. Also of medieval date is the oratory, with its west tower serving as a lighthouse. It is likely that the lime kiln was used specifically for the construction of these features. The lighthouse component is of interest as it represents one of the earliest examples in Britain. It is also one of the finest examples of a medieval lanterned house to survive anywhere. The extent and plan of the oratory is known from partial excavation in 1891 and a 16th century survey. The excavation also demonstrated that buried archaeological remains still survive on the site, while the survey confirmed the full medieval extent of the monument, including that of the surrounding enclosure.

History

Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry Details.

Details

The monument includes a Bronze Age bowl barrow, later used as a lime kiln in the medieval period, a medieval lighthouse forming the west tower of an oratory, and the remains of the oratory, all set within a medieval enclosure on a hilltop on the south coast of the Isle of Wight. The lighthouse is visible from a considerable distance and forms the natural focus of the monument. It survives as a stone structure, octagonal on the outside and square within, originally consisting of four stories. Two windows in either side of the upper storey can be seen as single lights in the faces of the octagon viewed from the outside. The two entrances remaining in the lower stories are exactly over one another and would have been entered from the annexed oratory. The lighthouse, which formed the western tower of the oratory is all that remains standing of the original building. However, the remains of the walls, seen as grass covered banks, are visible and form three sides of a square with the lighthouse on the open, west, side. The traces of the oratory walls are c.12m apart and stand to c.1m high in places. Partial excavation of the oratory in 1891 revealed its plan and confirmed the survival of buried remains. The lighthouse was completed by 1328. It was built by Walter de Godeton, a local landowner, who was condemned by the Church for stealing casks of wine from a shipwreck which had occurred in 1314 off Chale Bay. The Church threatened de Godeton with excommunication unless he built a lighthouse above the scene of the shipwreck together with an adjoining oratory. The oratory was to be endowed to maintain a priest to tend the light and to say masses for souls lost at sea. The duties were apparently carried out until the Dissolution of the Monasteries. The tower is a Listed Building Grade II. Some 15m away from the southeast corner of the oratory is a bowl barrow representing the earliest evidence for human activity on the hilltop. This bowl barrow has a mound c.20m in diameter and c.2m high. Surrounding the mound is a ditch from which material was quarried during its construction. This can no longer be seen at ground level having become infilled over the years, but survives as a buried feature c.4m wide. The bowl barrow was partially excavated in 1925 when some human female bones, animal bones and flint tools were discovered. During the excavation evidence was found that the barrow was converted into a limekiln, most likely used to produce mortar for the construction of the oratory. Surrounding the lighthouse, oratory and bowl barrow on their north, west and south sides is an earth bank c.0.5m high and c.5m wide. This is shown on a survey of the oratory dated to 1566, and can be seen to form a precinct indicative of a churchyard. It is likely that the fourth side of this enclosure has since been levelled by cultivation. The post and wire fence which crosses the barrow, the metal English Heritage sign, the metal post and wire boundary fence, the wooden styles and stone coin box are excluded from the scheduling, but the ground beneath all these features is included.

MAP EXTRACT The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.

Selected Sources

Books and journals
Newbery, E, St Catherine's Oratory a handbook for teachers, (1987), 2
Stone, P G, Architectural Antiquities of the Isle of Wight, (1891), 27-9
Stone, P G, Architectural Antiquities of the Isle of Wight, (1891), 29
Stone, P G, Architectural Antiquities of the Isle of Wight, (1891), 27-9
Dunning, G C, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club, (1926), 12ff
Dunning, G C, 'Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club' in Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club, (1926), 12ff
Dunning, G C, 'Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society' in Proccedings of the I.O.W. Nat History And Archaeological Society, (1951), 201-2
Dunning, G C, 'The Isle Of Wight Natural History And Archaeological Society' in Proceedings of the Isle of Wight Natural History and Archaeological Society, (1951), 201-2

National Grid Reference: SZ 49362 77262

Map


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This copy shows the entry on 20-Dec-2014 at 12:59:38.