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Latitude: 50.5932 / 50°35'35"N
Longitude: -1.3039 / 1°18'14"W
OS Eastings: 449364
OS Northings: 77278
OS Grid: SZ493772
Mapcode National: GBR 8CP.M55
Mapcode Global: FRA 874H.RTH
Entry Name: Tower of St Catherine's Oratory
Listing Date: 22 November 1993
Source: Historic England
Source ID: 1218168
English Heritage Legacy ID: 392680
Location: Chale, Isle of Wight, PO38
County: Isle of Wight
Civil Parish: Chale
Traditional County: Hampshire
Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Isle of Wight
Church of England Parish: Chale St Andrew
Church of England Diocese: Portsmouth
SZ47NE ST CATHERINE'S HILL
1353-0/5/81 Tower of St Catherine's Oratory
Former lighthouse, now Ancient Monument. Early C14. Built as a
penance by the local landowner Walter de Godeton for disposing
of the cargo of Church wine belonging to the monastery of
Lives in Picardy, when the Saint Marie was wrecked on
Atherfield Ledge in the Parish of Shorwell in 1314. The tower
was built as a lighthouse to prevent further wrecks and there
was originally an oratory chapel with a monk whose job was to
trim the light and say masses for those lost at sea. After the
Reformation the church fell into ruins and had disappeared by
the C18, but buttresses were added to the tower then to keep
it standing as a seamark. Restored by P G Stone in 1891 and by
the then Ministry of Works in 1950. Built of ashlar. 4
storeys, octagonal without and square within with 4 buttresses
and a pyramidal stone roof, domed on the inside. Pointed
doorways on ground and first floors which originally
communicated with the Priest's dwelling and the Chapel
respectively, and loop lights on ground, first and second
floors. The top storey has 8 windows splayed outwards to emit
light from the brazier which formed the beacon. Stairs and
floors now missing. A rare survival of a medieval lighthouse.
Locally nicknamed "the Pepper Pot " because of its shape and
its conjunction with the remains of the C18 lighthouse to the
south east in the adjoining Parish of Niton which is known as
"the Salt Cellar". (see item ) Scheduled Ancient Monument.
Listing NGR: SZ4936477278
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