Whitwell church – St Mary & St Radegund
Unusually the church in Whitwell is dedicated to St. Mary and St. Radegund, as at one time it was two separate chapels that have long since been combined. It is located on high ground towards the south of Whitwell on the junction of the High Street and Kemming Road. Parts of the church date back to different centuries, being mainly constructed in the 12th, 13th 15th and 16th centuries. Some aspects are more modern with the bells and clock installed after the death of William Spindler who passed them on to the church, and is now buried in its graveyard. All the bells have the inscription “Cast by John Warner and Sons London 1889” and were refurbished by Whitechapel Bell Foundry in 2009. You can read about some other features of Whitwell church here.
In April 2007, the village’s post office was relocated inside the church’s bell tower. It is the first of its kind to actually be located inside the church and is open on Monday and Friday mornings. The church consists of a nave which has a south aisle of three bays, a chancel with south aisle in alignment with the east wall, a western tower and a south porch. Looking at the church, it is evident that the original church did not have aisles, and had a narrow chancel, divided by an arch. A narrow south aisle was added in the 13th century which was later widened in the 16th century.
Niton church – St John the Baptist
The church was founded by William FitzOsbern and given to an abbey in Normandy. In the Victorian era it was extensively restored and rebuilt. The nave may be 11th century, as may be the Norman font. A north aisle was added at the end of the 12th century and a south aisle shortly afterwards. In the 14th century the chancel was rebuilt and the south porch was added. In the 15th century a chapel was added south of the chancel and east of the south aisle, and a four-centred arch was inserted in the south wall of the chancel to link it with the chapel. The north aisle was demolished, its arcade filled in and two-light Perpendicular Gothic windows inserted in each of the filled-in arches.
The Perpendicular Gothic west tower was added towards the end of the 15th century. The square-headed windows in the south aisle were inserted in the 16th century and the spire was added to the tower probably early in the 17th century. On the wall can be found a memorial portrait by John Flaxman, showing a woman holding pelicans in her hand in relief. Near the Celtic cross a marble monument marks the grave of Edward Edwards, (1812–1886) the pioneer of the public library movement. The churchyard also contains four Commonwealth war graves of service personnel, three from World War I and one from World War II.