Bonchurch, the Landslip and Luccombe

Isle of Wight

Old postcards are sometimes poorly produced and grainy, I've done my best to scan them. Please click thumbnails for full size picture. Dates are from the card or my estimate (where possible). The manufacturer of the card is shown in brackets (where available).

"BONCHURCH (population, 564. Hotel: Ribband’s) abounds in the most delightful scenery and most enchanting walks. It is a combination of wood and water, of rock and dell, of lawny slopes and blossoming gardens, of Italian skies and sunny seas, with, over all, the majestic shadow of lofty downs, upon which the dullest eye cannot gaze unsatisfied. Its climate enjoys so much genial warmth that the myrtle and the fuchsia, the verbena and the clianthus, grow in the open air, stalwart and vigorous, and demand from the gardener but little attention. In all sorts of odd nooks, either reposing against the mighty wall of the Undercliff, or hiding away in leafy hollows, are perched its picturesque cottages and handsome villas."

Black's Guide to the Isle of Wight 1870

Bonchurch pond Bonchurch shore 1912

Bonchurch Pond, from about 1910. (National)

Bonchurch Shore, 1912. (Hartmann)

Bonchurch from the sea Bonchurch from the east
Bonchurch from the sea, around 1910. (Ideal)

Bonchurch beach from the east, undated but certainly pre 1915. (Frith)

Shadow of the Cross, Bonchurch Bonchurch Churchyard

Undated card, Bonchurch Old Church, see below.

The churchyard, Bonchurch Old Church, undated.

"Turning to the left we descend to the OLD CHURCH, a picturesque, leaf-shrouded Norman building, founded about 1070. Remark the chancel-arch and the south doorway. Some traces of a rude fresco were discovered on the north wall in 1849. In the quiet churchyard, within hearing of the restless sea, and in the shadow of many an ancient elm, lie the Rev. William Adams, his tomb distinguished by a cross of iron, in allusion to his pathetic volume “The Shadow of the Cross;“

Black's Guide to the Isle of Wight 1870 

The view that his volume was a pathetic volume in not shared, elsewhere it is described as a beautiful allegory. The card is actually titled 'The Shadow of the Cross', as an iron cross casts its shadow across the grave when the sun is shining. The church itself was replaced by a new church (St Boniface) in 1848. The 'old church' is still used for the occasional service. 

Tea tent, Bonchurch landslip Stone seat, Landslip

The tea tent, Bonchurch Landslip around 1910. (Welch)

The Stone Seat, Bonchurch Landslip, probably around 1910. (Ideal)

In the Landslip Jacob's Ladder Bonchurch
A view in the Landslip, again about 1910. (Ideal)

This Card, from 1918, is said to be Jacob's Ladder, Bonchurch. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any information about it. (Frith)

"Ascending the steep SHUTE at the extreme end of Bonchurch, we turn into the wild romantic scenery of “the Landslip,” and make our way through its masses of gray rock and its murmurous copses to LUCCOMBE CHINE, from whence we may continue our walk to Shanklin along the cliff, or descending the chine, speed merrily along the firm and sandy beach. LUCCOMBE FARM lies about hall a mile inland, at the foot of SHANKLIN DOWN (771 feet). The CHINE is a deep fissure in the ferruginous sandstone caused by the constant action of a small rivulet; one side is utterly bare and nude, the other is clothed with masses of hanging foliage. From the shore its aspect is very fine. The glorious view of the white cliffs of the Culvers, of the rolling crests of the verdurous Downs, of the sweet copses of Shanklin, and the lovely bay of Sandown, which, as the traveller passes along the cliff from Luccombe, bursts at once upon his enraptured gaze, is a thing not to be easily forgotten."

Black's Guide to the Isle of Wight 1870 

Path across Luccombe Common Luccombe Common looking across Sandown Bay

Pathway across Luccombe Common, undated

Luccombe Common looking across Sandown Bay,

from Nanson Hill, Bonchurch

Luccombe chine Steps to Luccombe Beach
Luccombe chine and beach around 1910. Steps at the foot of Luccombe Chine to the beach (Nigh)



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5 November 2008