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
The monument may lie within the boundary of more than one authority.
|Isle of Wight||Unitary Authority||Chale|
|Isle of Wight||Unitary Authority||Niton 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
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.
Legacy Record - This information may be included in the List Entry 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
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.
The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
- Book Reference - Author: Newbery, E - Title: St Catherine's Oratory a handbook for teachers - Date: 1987 - Page References: 2 - Type: DESC TEXT
- Book Reference - Author: Stone, P. G. - Title: Architectural Antiquities of the Isle of Wight - Date: 1891 - Page References: 27-9 - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: Pt. II
- Book Reference - Author: Stone, P. G. - Title: Architectural Antiquities of the Isle of Wight - Date: 1891 - Page References: 29 - Type: ILLUSTRATION - Description: 1566 sketch survey backing p.29
- Book Reference - Author: Stone, P. G. - Title: Architectural Antiquities of the Isle of Wight - Date: 1891 - Volume: Part II - Page References: 27-9 - Type: PLAN: SKETCH - Description: Plate LXXIX
- Article Reference - Author: Dunning, G. C. - Title: Proccedings of the Hampshire Field Club - Date: 1926 - Journal Title: Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club - Volume: 8 - Page References: 12ff - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: vol date is 1926-30
- Article Reference - Author: Dunning, G. C. - Title: Proccedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society - Date: 1951 - Journal Title: Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society - Page References: 201-2 - Type: DESC TEXT
- Article Reference - Author: Dunning, G. C. - Title: Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club - Date: 1926 - Journal Title: Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club - Volume: 8 - Page References: 12ff - Type: DESC TEXT - Description: 1926-30 plan photo
- Article Reference - Author: Dunning, G. C. - Title: Proceedings of the I.O.W. Nat History and Archaeological Society - Date: 1951 - Page References: 201-2 - Type: DESC TEXT
National Grid Reference: SZ 49362 77262
© Crown Copyright and database right 2012. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey Licence number 100019088.
© British Crown and SeaZone Solutions Limited 2012. All rights reserved. Licence number 102006.006.
The above map is for quick reference purposes only and may not be to scale. For a copy of the full scale map, please see the attached PDF - 1009389.pdf
This copy shows the entry on 13-Dec-2013 at 09:48:49.