IsleOfWightBRIGHSTONEStMary(garyknightCC-BY-SA2.0)1 GaryKnight

St Mary

Open daily, offering an atmosphere of quiet reflection to all visitors, St Mary's is an ancient place of worship dating back to at least 1190.

Brighstone, Isle of Wight

Opening times

Every day 9am to 6pm.


Main Road
Isle of Wight
PO30 4AQ

The church is the hub of the community and has been for over 900 years.

For historians, the architecture and interior make St Mary’s well worth a visit. Its impressive four Norman arches date back to 1190. Most of the west end of the Church, including the base of the tower was built in the 14th and 15th century of locally quarried Island Stone. The unusual 15th century hexagonal font, Jacobean pulpit and stained glass windows are worthy of note. The church served as a centre of defence for the village against any French invasion; parish records mention arrows and pikes kept in the church and in 1543 a brass gun housed in a gun house. The present spire dates from 1720, with initials of the then Churchwardens on a beam to prove it. The church bells have long called people to worship. In 1536 there were three bells, with more added in subsequent years. In 2018 the last two bells to be cast at the famous bell foundry in Whitechapel, London were installed in the tower bring the total to eight.

The Three Bishops, the local pub is named after three former Rectors who went onto become Bishops. Thomas Ken, a famous hymn writer (Awake My Soul), Samuel Wilberforce the son of anti slavery campaigner William Wilberforce. And, George Moberly, the first Bishop to hold a Diocesan Synod. Pioneering palaeontologist William Fox was a former curate at Brighstone. St Mary’s, like the parish it serves has a strong connection to the sea. The old decorated beams, which span part of the roof are believed to have come from a shipwreck.

The churchyard contains the graves of three small children who drowned picking winkles, and lifeboat men Moses Munt and Thomas Cotton. There is also a memorial to Lt George Cairns VC. In spring the crocuses and snowdrops are renowned to give a spectacular display.

St Mary’s offers a warm welcome every day of the year.

  • Wildlife haven

  • Spectacular stained glass

  • Social heritage stories

  • National heritage here

  • Magnificent memorials

  • Glorious furnishings

  • Fascinating churchyard

  • Famous connections

  • Enchanting atmosphere

  • Captivating architecture

  • Wifi

  • Walkers & cyclists welcome

  • Ramp or level access available on request

  • Parking within 250m

  • Level access to the main areas

  • Level access throughout

  • Dog friendly

  • Church shop or souvenirs

  • Café within 500m

  • Bus stop within 100m

  • Accessible toilets nearby

  • Church of England

  • Cornerstone Grant, £15,000, 2019

  • Our Cornerstone Grants fund urgent repairs and essential community facilities such as toilets and kitchens to help keep churches open.

Contact information

Other nearby churches

All Saints

Calbourne (Isle of Wight), Isle of Wight

St Andrew

Chale, Isle of Wight

A 900 year old church with sweeping sea views, with a small but faithful congregation dedicated to maintaining regular worship in a lovingly looked after building full of beauty and history.