Photo 101 – Solitude

St Catherine's Oratory

St Catherine’s Oratory

1 [MASS NOUN] The state or situation of being alone:
she savoured her few hours of freedom and solitude
More example sentences Synonyms
2A lonely or uninhabited place:
the battle to preserve beloved solitudes flared up all over the country

The Isle of Wight is dotted with curious landmarks with stories to tell. This octagonal stone tower stands proud and firm, high above the cliffs at Chale close to the Island’s wild, uninhabited, southern most point.

Known locally as “The Pepperpot”, the tower, completed in 1328 was built by a local landowner as a penance – some say for stealing casks of wine from a ship wrecked in the bay below, others that he made a local servant girl pregnant.Threatened with excommunication by the church, he was given the task of constructing an “Oratory”- a small church, at the top of the steep hill above the village of Chale. The tower which is the only part that remains was used as a lighthouse until the mid 1600’s with it’s single priest living the life of a hermit tending to the light and saying masses for the souls lost at sea.





7 thoughts on “Photo 101 – Solitude

    1. It’s a wonderful place, I’m lucky to be surrounded by such incredible landscapes – I have a dog who looks very much like a long legged version of your’s Robin, who bounded up the hill in front of me and then proceeded to get in the way while I fiddled around trying to put the rule of thirds into practice!


    1. Thanks Dookes – I still don’t have vast confidence in my technical photographic abilities although I’m learning! so it’s especially good to hear that the photo “works” from that point of view – have you been up to The Pepperpot?


  1. Another striking image, Hannah. I’m equally as compelled, if not more so, by the story the image inspires. Remnant of a life lived in solitude. A solitary artifact. A landowner, forced to pay penance and build his own (dare I say it) fortress of solitude. I can’t imagine how humiliating that must have been, being forced to build what was essentially a monument to the crime one committed, and the punishment one endured for such a crime.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s incredible that it has endured for so long in such an exposed and desolate spot. After the priests left in the 1600’s it continued to be used as a lookout for approaching ships – The Isle of Wight sits just off the Southern Coast of the UK and has therefore played an important part in it’s protection over the centuries.
    It’s said that the unhappy lord had to carry the stones for it’s construction one by one up the hill ….


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