holiday cottage isle of wight
holiday cottage isle of wight, bed breakfast, cowes, east, guest house, accommodation, hampshire, race, coast, week
Its coast is beautiful with chines cut by busy little streams, but is dangerous to shipping, and not once or twice but many times have seafarers owed their lives to the courageous men of Brook, hazarding their own lives in their lifeboat. When the tide is low here it leaves behind on the beach what looks like a mass of rock, jumbled up and covered with seaweed. They are not, however, rocks; they are pine trees from a forest of the days before history, and are known as the Pine Raft. After the Pine Raft even the green mound on Brook Down 500 feet up does not seem very old, and the battered 13th century archway of the tower of the little church, rebuilt last century on the hill above the village, seems like a thing of yesterday.
The church (in which the only old possessions are a blocked arch in the tower and a stone carving of a lion) stands at the top of a steep God's Acre with the graves in front of it and in due season a glorious mass of rhododendrons behind, with Brook House as if in the sky beyond. The house is the old home of the Seelys, whose graves lie in a simple group on the slope of the hill, shaded by a great pine. In the shade of the tree is the grave of Henry George Gore Brown, VC, "a soldier who tried to do his duty," and more than tried, for he did it. He was a great grandson of Arthur Browne in whose arms Wolfe is said to have died at Quebec. He won his VC at the siege of Lucknow by rushing into a battery and spiking two heavy guns. With him here sleeps his grandson who, we read, at fifteen gave his young life for England.
Brook House set high above the island was owned in Tudor days by Dame Joan Bowerman who here entertained Henry VI. He left her his drinking-horn and the promise of a buck every year from Carisbrook forest which the good Joan apparently deserved, for she founded a chantry in which a priest was to sing for her, her husband, her father, and her mother and all Christian people.
The island has few more comely villages. It has a green and a group of great elms, delightful cottages, an old stone house in a wooded park, an ancient church, and Winklestreet, entrancing Winklestreet-a row of small houses watching the busy stream tumbling over its tiny falls on its way to the meadows.
Most of the church is as the builders left it 700 years ago when they refashioned the work of the Normans, but the tower was heightened in the i8th century, when the builders left on the wall an old tablet saying "I am risen from ye ruins of near 70 year." On an outer wall is an ancient mass dial and on one of the inner walls of the tower is a doorway nine feet from the ground, and near it is a deeply splayed window which once enabled the schoolmaster to keep an eye on the children sitting in what was the choir gallery. The font is 13th century. The east windows are lovely and unusual, two slender lancets wide apart with a trefoil in a ring between them. On the chancel walls is a brass to Daniel Evance who was rector here in Cromwell's day. It has a verse, the figure of Time with a scythe and hourglass, a skeleton armed with an arrow, and an anagram on his name, I can deal even.
There is a brass portrait of a knight in armour, his feet resting on a dog, his hands folded in prayer, who may be William Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, a i4th century Governor of the island.