Isle of Wight Catholic History Society. Island Places - Contents. The Shrine of Our Lady of Caversham. Our Lady of Glastonbury.
Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of West Grinstead. Pilgrimage to the Cathedral of Our Lady and St. Philip Howard. Churches and Chapels in Ryde. Centenary of Quarr Abbey. Waverley Abbey, Surrey.
St. David's Church, East Cowes. St. Thomas of Canterbury Church, Newport. St. Mary's Church, Ryde. St. Saviour's Chapel, Weston Manor“Ryde to Rome” - Book Review.
Parish Pilgrimage to Rome from St. Dominic's Priory, Carisbrooke.
Architecture of the Island Catholic churches. In 2. 00. 3 the pilgrimage to this Marian shrine from the Island was one of the first to be organised by our society. The origins of the Shrine of Our Lady in Caversham are a mystery. We know that by the time of the Norman Conquest there was a shrine chapel beside the River Thames, containing a statue of Our Blessed Lady, and that pilgrims came there to pray. However the reasons why the shrine was there, and why people came on pilgrimage is unknown.
The first definite historical record is from the year 1. Duke Robert of Normandy presented to the shrine a relic of Christ's Passion which he had brought back from the first Crusade. In 1. 16. 2 the care of the shrine was entrusted to the Augustinian Canons of Nutley Abbey, near Aylesbury, one of whom was always resident at Caversham as the Warden of the Shrine. Although the great Reading Abbey was only a mile away across the Thames it never owned or controlled the shrine. However the Abbey did help build the first bridge over the river, with a chapel to the Holy Spirit on the Reading side and another dedicated to St. Anne on the Caversham side; there was also a holy well, known as St.
Anne's Well, still to be seen today at the top of Priest Hill, Caversham. Throughout the Middle Ages the fame of Our Lady’s of Caversham spread throughout the country and pilgrims came not only to pray, but also to present votive offerings to the shrine, so that by the 1.
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Isabella, Beauchamp, Countess of Warwick left 2. Kings and Queens of England travelled up river from Windsor to visit the shrine, the last being Queen Catherine of Aragon who came on July 1. Our Blessed Lady while Henry VIII pressured her for a divorce. Children appeared to have played aprominent part in the story of this shrine as they selected a girl from among them each year to crown the statue of Our Lady and the others picked flowers to place at the statue. Henry’s break with Rome meant the destruction of all religious houses and shrines, so on 1.
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September, 1. 53. Dr. John London, the government agent, arrived at Caversham and in a single day closed down the shrine, stripped it bare of all its religious property, even stripped the roof from the chapel and ended over five hundred years of religious devotion. The statue was sent up to Thomas Cromwell in London, where it was burnt, Henry VIII pocketed the wealth of the shrine.
So completely were the traces of the Old Religion obliterated that by the 1. Revival of devotion to Our Lady of Caversham began in 1. Our Lady and St. Anne and the same year as the restoration of the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham. Haskew, the parish priest, wrote the first account of the shrine in modern times, but mistook the shrine chapel for the chapel of St. Anne on Caversham Bridge. When a new bridge was built in the 1. At that time there was a fine white marble statue of Our Lady and Child given to the church to encourage devotion to Our Lady; it is now in he Cenacle.
William O’Malley, decided that a suitable shrine should be built. A stone chapel, in the Norman style was built, and a large oak statue of Our Lady and child, about 5.
Northern Europe, was purchased, (reputedly found in an antique shop in London). This lovely statue shows Mary nursing the infant Christ; her cloak is gilded, her dress, originally blue and silver, and her face are now dark with age, but her look of tender and dignified love is truly beautiful, inspiring and prayerful. The renewed shrine of Our Lady of Caversham was solemnly blessed and dedicated by Archbishop Francis Grimshaw of Birmingham in 1. The stone floor of the chapel is below the level of the church to allow for better viewing of the statue from the body of the church, and also so that passers by may kneel at an angled window outside the church, to see the statue without entering. To complete the link with the Medieval shrine, in 1. Pope John Paul II during a parish pilgrimage to Rome.
The statue was solemnly crowned by the Papal Nuncio, Archbishop Barbarito on 2. July 1. 99. 6. Today groups and individuals come regularly to pray to Our Blessed Mother at her shrine. During the Millennium Year the shrine was one of the recognised places to obtain the Holy Year Indulgence.(Written from a talk to the Io. W Catholic History Society by Dr. Tim Hopkinson Ball on 1.
April, 2. 01. 5). Legend says that Joseph of Arimathea came to England and built a wattle Church; true or not, it is still a historical fact that there was a very early Christian settlement here. When the Saxons reached Glastonbury in AD 6. The earliest reference to its dedication - to . Very soon afterwards, on the same holy ground; a stone Church was built and consecrated in 1. It was dedicated to Our Lady.
Thus the ancient shrine was continued, the old statue was venerated once again. During the Middle Ages, Glastonbury was an outstanding centre of pilgrimage, the great annual pilgrimage being on the 8th of September, Our Lady's birthday. In 1. 53. 9 the Abbey was dissolved and the statue lost and memory of the ancient Shrine of Our Lady of Glastonbury seemed to have disappeared for ever from England.
The last abbot, Richard Whiting was hung, drawn and quartered from Glastonbury Tor after a show trial. He was beatified by Pope Leo XIII in 1. The similarity of the Glastonbury seal with the depiction of Our Lady on the front of the (Pugin’s) Lady altar in St.
Mary’s, Ryde was evident. Both have three panels with Our Lady and the Child Jesus in the central panel, with adoring angels in the outer panels; further evidence that Pugin copied Marian depictions from Medieval seals and his desire to emphasise the historic association of England with Our Blessed Lady. Nearly 4. 00 after the dissolution, in 1. Church was built and in 1. Church were laid.
It would be dedicated to Our Lady, and consequently, would be a successor to the ancient Shrine of our Lady of Glastonbury. It stands just across the road from the old Abbey, and it was consecrated two years later by Bishop Lee of Clifton. In July 1. 95. 5, a huge crowd of thousands of Catholics witnessed a statue bearing the ancient title, Our Lady St. Mary of Glastonbury, being blessed by the then Apostolic Delegate, Most Rev. Gerald O'Hara, in the presence of Bishop Rudderham of Clifton. So with papal recognition the Shrine of Our Lady of Glastonbury was canonically restored.
Ten years later the statue was solemnly crowned by the then Apostolic Delegate, Most Rev. Igino Cardinale, and an enormous gathering and Mass was said by Bishop Rudderham in the Abbey ruins.
It was an historic moment; and the influence of Our Lady drawing all Christians to worship her Son together marks an epoch in the story of Glastonbury. The statue was designed by Mr. Philip Lindsey Clark, F. R. B. S. The crowned statue of Our Lady bearing the Holy Child on her left forearm has a flowering bush on her right.
This signifies Virgin Motherhood. The tapestry which is either side of the Statue was woven in 1. Glastonbury Martyrs (Blessed Richard Whiting, Blessed John Thorne, Blessed Roger James) with St.
Dunstan who was born at Baltonsborough, near Glastonbury and was an Abbot there and later became Archbishop of Canterbury. Also represented are St. Joseph of Arimathea, St. Patrick, St Brigid and Blessed Richard Bere. For centuries, Glastonbury Tor (a hill south east of the ancient abbey) has been one of the most spiritual places in the world. For many Christians, the Tor was a very important place of pilgrimage. People have always flocked here to soak up the history surrounding this special site.
There's evidence that monks were living on the Tor as far back as the 9th century. A stone church was built in the 1. After an earthquake in 1. In its place a much smaller and sturdier building was put up. St Michael’s Tower was added later.
Nice stories but dubious. Often these legends are promoted as truths in order to draw more tourists to Glasonbury. Let us simply be content that this ancient Marian Shrine furthers emphasises England’s unique position as the Dowry of Mary. Nearly everyone at the meeting showed interest in a pilgrimage from the Island to Glastonbury in 2. The Catholic History Society was pleased to welcome Dr. Hopkinson Ball to the Island for a few days. In addition to speaking to our society on the history of Marian devotion at Glastonbury, he visited by St.
Cecilia’s and Quarr Abbey; and the former Dominican Priory at Carisbrooke, which celebrates its 1. He also had a guided tour of St. Mary’s, Ryde and visited the private chapel of the foundress of the church, Elizabeth, Countess of Clare.
Hopkinson Ball is an authority on church relics and he was pleased to view the extensive collection of relics at St. Mary’s, belonging to Fr. Anthony Glaysher, parish priest. The Io. W Catholic History Society arranged a pilgrimage for the Year of Faith to the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation at West Grinstead and to Arundel Cathedral. It is particularly pleasing for our pilgrimage to be on this feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, 2. This day also marks the first anniversary of the installation of Bishop Philip Egan, as the 8th Bishop on Portsmouth.
We were delighted to have Fr. Jonathan and some members of the Ordinariate with us on the feast of their principal patron. If they are unable to go to Walsingham, this pilgrimage is, surely, a most appropriate substitute. West Grinstead was an important centre for the Church during penal times.
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