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The Neville Crest at Newport Minster

QUEST TWENTYFOUR: MARCH 2018. It was a very cold and wintery day as we journeyed over to the Isle of Wight on Quest 24. Amazingly though, and i guess because most folks were house bound and heeding the weather warnings, the journey was swift and without incident. with even the ferry ride being calm. However upon landing on the island the weather set in and snow and ice gave a serene beauty to the already stunning countryside.


Leaving Plymouth and arriving on the snow-bound Isle of Wight

DAY ONE AND TWO: Timeless snowscenes at Newport Minster, Carisbrooke Priory, St Mary the Virgin Church, Carrisbrooke, the slopes of Carrisbrooke Castle and the United Reformed Church, Shanklin. Today was a day of simply enjoying the stunning views and taking photos; most churches being shut and folks staying wisely at home. We slithered and slipped our way though the day, braving a few very slippery slopes and icy roads but certainly made the most of it!

Reading on through this quest; some churches were kindly opened to us for a second visit and for that we thank all concerned; more detailed accounts are to be found by scrolling through. However those not opened to us are/were still very much a part of this quest and the reason we are doing them. All churches are part of a metaphysical/physical sacred alignment, all are ‘perfect points in time’: all tell a story of the past, present and future, all are a part of a whole truth and a part of the path we follow…


Newport Minster


Serene snow-covered views: Carisbrook Abbey, showing the Neville Sheild and sledging on Carisbrook Castle slopes <click on all images to enlarge>


The Parish and Priory Church of St Mary the Virgin, Carisbrook


The timelessness of a snow covered Carisbrook and an ‘orb’ just outside the church. <click to enlarge>


The United Reformed Church, Shanklin.

DAY THREE: St Mary the Virgin, Carisbrooke: So on our second visit to this church, which sits high on a hilltop with commanding views over the town, we were thankfully able to gain access. The parish of Carisbrooke is one of the largest on the island in both size and population and also one of the oldest. Carisbrooke Church is considered to be ‘the most important ecclesiastical building on the Isle of Wight’. The church is mentioned in the Domesday Book and the present nave of the church was built in 1070 as decreed by William Fitz-Osbert who was governor of the island. It was originally attached to the Priory of St Mary the Virgin, which was occupied by monks from the Abbey of Lyra (now Lire) in Normandy. The noble tower, the crowing glory of the church (photos seen above), was erected fifty five years after the dissolution of the monastry. Later still are the two large windows of the north wall which date from the sixteenth century when Bishop Fox  held the see of Winchester. His rebus, a fox is carved on one of the label stops. Much more on the history can be found by following the link below:-



Beautiful artworks within the church include a window showing ‘The Lamb of God’ pointing to a strong Templar influence, the Neville shield indicating the bloodline movement, the other two shields, when merged represent ‘Temperence’ and ‘Fortitude’. the statue of the madonna and child by John Skelton in 1969 and some very unusual carvings of a Sumerian nature…

The Bloodline links of interest here are:-

  • Penelope Fordham (1838-1879) Granddaughter of Edward King Fordam of Hertfordshire. She was born in Godshill and died in Godshill

All Saints Church, Godshill: The Church of the Lily Cross…. Where the Four Points Meet: Just as the name would suggest, this is an amazing church, set atop a sacred mound that rises above a very pretty and historic town. The earliest church at Godshill was built in the Saxon period, possible during the reign of Edward the Confessor, but the current church is is almost entirely 15th century and built by the monks of the Sheen Priory. The hill on which the church stands was the site of pagan worship long before christianity reached the Isle of Wight. All Saints is the largest medieval church on the island and one of the most visited and photographed, which is partly due to the treasure, found inside the church, of a 15th century wall painting of Christ crucified on a lily; a very Templar symbol.


The Lily Cross, or as it was formely known, ‘The Budding Cross’ is to be found painted on the east wall of the south transept and although this areas was locked up i did manage some shots through the bars. Although there are similar depictions in Europe, this is the only ‘Lily Cross’ in Britain and dates from the middle of the 15th century. Sadly during the Reformation the painting was white-washed several times; though we dont know if this was to preserve it or destroy it. t was only rediscovered in the 19th century and carefully cleaned and is now amazingly clear and brightly coloured


The Lily Cross’ and the entrance to where it is displayed <please click on images to enlarge>

I know that there is much more to the significance and meaning of The Lily Cross, yet it is very hard to find any indepth explanations but this below, together with a christian symbolism of the lily, is the nearest i could get to any thing that had a bite to it. So for the moment Godshill is keeping its secrets…


For a more detailed tour around the church with an explanation of the importance of the church, it’s symbolism and Templar connections please see our link to our youtube channel.

Godshill Church, the Isle of Wight

Always looking around with eagle-eyes, i was very pleased to see this significant symbol enscribed on the wall of the entrance porch of this ancient church, as it meant a lot to see it there, on The Church of the Lily Cross. Not as commonly thought, the Awen symbol, as significantly older with a deeper meaning; a footprint on the sands of time carved into the fabric of reality….



The above photos show the Knight Templar connection, the Judaic connection of two cherub statues, the ‘Gatekeeper’ statue, together with the mother and child that indicate a full Templar layout to the church (relating to Wisdom, Strength and Beauty). Our video explains much more… <click on photos to enlarge>



The Bloodline Connections here are:-

  • John Peter Fordham 1810 – 1846 (3 X Great Grand Uncle to our head researcher)
  • George Albert Neville 1914 – 1989 (Grand Uncle)
  • Penelope Amelia Fordham 1838 – 1879 (Grandaughter of Edward King Fordham of Hertfordshire)
  • Lily May Clarke 1905 – 1994 (Great Grand Aunt)
  • Frank Albert Bartram 1883 – 1962 (Great Great Uncle)

You can read much more about the church and its treasures by following the links below:-




St Lawrence, Vetnor: Being a pilgrim on the earthly plane is what a journey is all about; each step taken with intent and mindfulness, tuning into the physical and the metaphysical. As with our quests, very much of the metaphysical as well as the physical and being pilgrims in time treading the earthly plane…


A gorgeous and tiny, tiny ancient church, Parish of St Lawrence on the Isle of Wight, on a hilltop as per usual and overlooking a rugged landscape down to the sea.. Still used today and still visited by pilgrims as the two seeking refuge from the cold on this particular day. Small but with some very interesting treasures to be found inside with deep meanings….
I can imagine in days past, pilgrims making their way along a dirt track, with the cold wind blowing their cloaks around them; and this the only shelter for miles around….
Visiting these sites bring history and our past alive and one gets a true sense of walking with our ancestors. I dunno, just being there made me connect like a point on a circuit board and think of these things.


So tiny, yet very beautiful in a very simplistic yet spiritual way for centuries used by pilgrims and Templars alike; often one and the same…

St Lawrence, which is much older than Ventnor, is a village found on the south side of the Isle of Wight, west of Ventnor which many do consider to be a part of the town. St Lawrence is situated on the undercliff, where it is subject to frequent landslides. In the 19th century, St Lawrence was the subject of am ambitious plan to develope the village as a resort to rival Ventnor by a German developer named William Spindler, a man who had made his fortune as a chemist in Berlin and who lived on the island from 1881 to his ndeath 1889 amd subsequent burial at Whitwell. he did have enormous influence as a developer but most of his projects have now fallen prey to the ravages of time.

The small St Lawrences Church at Ventnor, dates from the 12th century and is one of three churches in St Lawrence and is easily missed and not the church that the tourists make a bee-line for with the Pre-Raphalite windows. This infact is the church that really matters; it is tiny and simple yet exudes it’s history, with some of the artifacts being very special indeed. Before the addition of a chancel in 1830, it was only 25 feet long and 11 feet wide and was considered the smallest church in England. It has a 15th century baptismal font,  a stoup that is about 500 years old and a series of 18th century hat pegs. The piscina niche is almost the same age as the church. The ‘Jesus’ is shown in beautiful red robes and wearing the garnet stone; the significance of which, within various ‘inner’ Craft circles, goes deep and powerful.


The ‘Jesus’ wearing the significant garnet stone around his neck, the open bible, the Neville shield, the list of past ‘bloodline’ rectors and the ancient wooden carving <click to enlarge>

Bloodline connections here are:

  • Lily May Clarke 1905 – 1994 (Great Grand Aunt)
  • Brent R. R. Neville; a rector here in 1902 (ancestor of our head researcher)
  • Edward S. Bartrum; a rector here in 1912 (ancestor of our head researcher)

For a full tour around this wonderful little church in Ventnor and to catch up on a snowy scene from outside Carrisbrooke church, please se our link:-

Carrisbrooke & Ventor on the Isle of Wight




St Andrew, Chale: It had turned into a wet and rainy day, yet the journey was very worth it as this church proved to be a treasure trove of surprises.This medievil church is in the parish of Chale on the Isle of Wight and was founded by Hugh Gendon in 1114 when it was dedicated to St Andrew, though the present day church dates from the 14th century. Originally it was a Catholic church, but on the reformation it became part of the Church of England where for 900 years services have been held in St Andrew’s and in those years the church has been extended many times, with the tower being added in the 15th century. Read more about the church below:-



The church’s dedication to St Andrew has been explained in three ways. Firstly, St Andrew was a fisherman and fishing played an important part in this coastal community. Secondly, it could have been named after the man who paid to have it built. Another explanation is that the closest saint’s day to that on which it was dedicated is St Andrew’s. There is no evidence to give any of these explanations greater probability.  St. Andrew’s, although high above the sea, is exposed to the wind. The stonework is dotted with lichens; these are evidence of the purity of the air, which is damp enough to cover some stones very thickly.


Inside the church are some beautiful artifacts and windows that tell a tale or two of a history not generally know to the public. <click on an image to enlarge>


The ‘Angelic’ beings around the altar are interesting (all being slightly different) and relating to the ‘four pillars’ A more detail explanation can be found in the video below…


The stained-glass windows show symbols with meanings that go beyond what is percieved as a ‘christian’ church, especially the window depicting ‘The Scribes’ with the full Enochian symbolism in view, which will once again cause one to pause, to consider the true roots/routes of what we know as ‘christianity….  <click to enlarge>


The Bloodline Connections:

  • John Wright Neville, 1845 – 1878


Christ Church, Totland, Alum Bay: This church is in the Isle of Wight Deanery and the Diocese of Portsmouth. It is the western most parish in the Diocese and includes the tourist attractions of Colwell Bay, The Needles, Alum Bay and Tennyson Down.  Although the church is located at the geographical centre of the parish, the heart of the village is nearly half a mile down the hill at the site of the church hall.  It is situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the church itself has a beautiful and tranquil burial ground in a very natural and peaceful setting.

The parish of Totland Bay was formed in 1875 out of the parish of Freshwater and includes the famous Needles Rocks and Lighthouse. That the legal formalities were carried through satisfactorily was mainly due to the Revd Christopher Bowen, MA, a resident who most generously gave the land necessary for the church, churchyard, vicarage house and school. To him and his friends we are also indebted for “their energy and patient efforts” in connection with “the building and consecration” of the church. In recent years the vicars of Totland Bay have also acted as honorary chaplains to the keepers of the lighthouse. In 1869 a temporary church of wood was erected opposite the present parish church where it stood until the latter, begun in 1874, was finished a year later. It was then re-erected on the beach and for a time served as the village reading room and library. It now belongs to the Totland Bay Hotel and Pier Co, and serves as annexe to the hotel.

Inside, the church is fairly and surpringly spacious, though to be honest, many of the original artifacts are no longer there and sadly the church has lost much of its original ‘energies‘. It does however have some very nice stained glass windows, and on the outside wall before the main entrance, a rather lovely and prominent carving of ‘The Lamb of God‘ (the Agnus Dei)

<click on all images to view and enlarge>

Follow the link below to see more photos and to read much more on the history of Christ Church: http://christchurchtotland.org.uk/about-us/

The Bloodline Connections:

  • James Fordham 1857 – 1881; great grandson of Edward King Fordham of Herfordshire (connected to Godshill)

March 2018 ‘The Keeper of Scrolls’ on behalf of The Priory

email ‘moon.willow@ntlworld.com