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St Olave’s Church, Gatcombe

This pretty little 13th Century church nestles in the valley adjacent to Gatcombe Park. It was originally designed as the chapel to Gatcombe House.

Now it is a well loved and cared for parish church. It is light and airy, having only a small amount of stained glass, but what is there is remarkable. One window, by the south door, is reputedly the oldest on the Island. It depicts an unusual feathered angel standing on a wheel on a chequered board, symbolizing life and its vagaries. The beautiful windows in the chancel are the work of William Morris and his Pre-Raphaelite group.

On the north side of the chancel is the oaken effigy of a crusader. This enigmatic figure may well be a memorial to one of the members of an ancient local family. It has lately become the centrepiece of a modern legend – that of Lucy Lightfoot, who, spellbound by the effigy, travelled in time to be with the knight in a Crusade.

The church is surrounded by a peaceful churchyard which is well maintained. Part of it overlooks the delightful lake of Gatcombe Park.

Many people who have connections with Gatcombe come back to be married here even though they no longer necessarily live in Gatcombe, Chillerton or Rookley. However, in order to be legally married at Gatcombe, you must either live in the parish, or worship regularly with us for a period of six months at least, before your wedding.

For further details, please contact:
Rev Marcus Bagg, The Vicarage, 56 Castle Road, Newport 01983 718908



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