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Another legend associated with The Priory is that there is an underground passage leading from The Old Priory to the Farmhouse.  It is supposed to contain treasure, hidden by the monks when the order was threatened by the monarchy. As no one has ever traced this underground passage, no comment can be made as to whether there is a fabulous fortune hidden underground! Rumour suggests that Lady St George had the treasure moved to The Priory in the 1930’s by two trusted aides. Sworn to secrecy, they refused all attempts by locals and treasure hunters to get them to reveal its location, and took the secret to their graves, as they swore to their Lady that they would.

The Church
The history of the church is interesting. In the Island Room there is a picture of the tower in an alcove.  As already stated, there were no remains of The Priory as presumably the buildings formed a handy quarry for local people to help themselves to stone to build their own houses and farms. The church, however, remained in use for many centuries as the Parish Church.  It was subject to two Royal Commissions of Enquiry as to the manner in which it had been neglected.  The first enquiry was in the reign of Elizabeth I and the second during Cromwell’s rule, when the Commissioner’s Report described grave neglect and went on to say that no person had been appointed to the living and that local people “were feign to marry and bury themselves”. Affairs were put right but, in the end, the sea won the battle and some 150 years ago the church was abandoned and the one on top of the hill was built.
The tower has been repaired on various occasions, as it is still useful as a navigation aid from which ships can take a bearing.

Brading Harbour
Along the coast towards Bembridge we have Brading Harbour, which is now some two miles inland. At one time, Brading was the most important town on the Island having direct access to the sea and a thriving sea trade. Ships visiting the harbour collected stone from the old church ruin because it had abrasive properties and was used to clean the wooden decks. It is said that the term “holy stoning” of ships decks came from this practice.

Nab Tower
Looking further out to sea there is the famous Nab Tower lighthouse which was erected in 1920. The other towers are forts, built over 150 years ago to defend the Solent during the Napoleonic Wars.  It is said that each fort is built over a fresh water spring so that the garrison could draw direct supplies.