Mary Remnant’s father Eustace and Highcliffe Castle

Highcliffe Castle south front

Medieval music expert Dr Mary Remnant died last week at the age of 85.

Editor of The Tablet Brendan Walsh writes in this week’s issue: “Her mother was a music teacher and her father was an art historian and architect who designed Benedictine abbeys and chapels in France. Mary grew up surrounded by medieval bric-a-brac…”

Her father was Eustace A. Remnant who wrote an important study The Abbey of Jumieges and Highcliffe Castle long before there was much interest in the link.

In 1955 the British Archaeological Association awarded him the Reginald Taylor Prize Medal for his essay on The Problem of the Cloister of Jumieges which looks at the association with Highcliffe.

Pieces from the monastery include cloister bosses found at the castle’s grand entrance.

Mary always lit up at any mention of Highcliffe Castle.

Although she lived all her life in the same house in Chelsea she died whilst on the Isle of Wight having arrived just before the virus lockdown.

The island is of course framed in the view from the Castle and has strong historical links with Osborne.

Brendan added that Mary “made a unique contribution to British cultural life” as did her father.

The Isle of Wight’s Needles seen from the Castle’s garden door.

About Leigh Hatts

Leigh Hatts is an experienced walker and has known the local coastline since childhood. He is the author of many successful walking guides.
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