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Bonchurch Church 1878

REF NR: 1620

1: To the eastward, and immediately adjoining Ventnor, which has grown up to it, is the lovely hamlet of Bonchurch. In Monk's Bay, by which it lies, St. Boniface landed, in 755 AD. Bonchurch is said to be a corruption of Bonecerce - the Church of St. Boniface. There is a well, called after and dedicated to the saint by a certain bishop, who, on a dark night in the nights long ago, lost his way on the steep side of Boniface Down. His horse and in fact the whole of creation seemed slipping from under him as he sped down the declivity, when the horse's hoofs were caught in the cavity of the spring, which gave the bishop breathing time to vow an acre of ground to the saint if he would carry him safely to the bottom. The saint was so pleased to become a land-owner that he closed with the terms, and the bishop lived to keep his promise. The well, on the day of St. Boniface, was formerly resorted to by the village maidens, who hung garlands there. Divers superstitions and much love-making and junketing (all common features of holy wells) were also associated with this spot.



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