Up on the roof

25 November 2017

The final part of our tour of God’s House took us into the tower itself. Built in 1417, at the same time as the gallery we’d just left, the tower was one of the earliest forts built specifically to carry cannon. It had eight gunports and rooftop firing points. The gallery and tower jut out from the town walls and would have spanned the town moat, meaning the town gunner had the perfect vantage point to protect the water mill and the gate. Where the gallery was far larger than I’d expected, the inside of the tower seemed smaller. In the eighteenth century, when it was used as the debtors prison, it must have been terribly cramped. Continue reading Up on the roof

Frost on the Common and sun on the walls

25 November 2017

Today there was a cold and frosty start as we crunched our way across a frozen Common to parkrun. The sparkling grass and the flaming trees under a brilliant blue sky were all very pretty but I don’t mind admitting my teeth were chattering as I waited around for the run to start. The blue sky was a definite bonus for the adventure I had planned later in the morning though.  Continue reading Frost on the Common and sun on the walls

Hidden surprises in the medieval walls – first published 9 June 2014

Early June 2014 and I’d crossed the Itchen Bridge and walked along the seafront to God’s House Tower. There had been some vague notion of walking up towards West Quay when I started out but nothing you could actually call a plan. I stood, looking at the tower, partly marvelling at the way it had stood the test of time and changes, partly wondering where to go next. What I didn’t realise as I stood there, was that these old walls I’ve lived with all my life and grown to love could surprise me with things I’d never noticed before. Continue reading Hidden surprises in the medieval walls – first published 9 June 2014

Chaos in Southampton City Centre – first published 9 June 2014

What I’d planned to do for my second weekend walk of June 2014 was check out the Hamble Rail Trail I stumbled upon last November but didn’t have time to explore. When I say planned, I mean thought about briefly without getting any concrete information or working out distances. In truth it was a vague whim rather than a real plan and it all fell apart as soon as I began trying to find out more. This may have been because I left it until breakfast time on the morning of the walk. For a start I couldn’t find a decent map of it and, as I found the start of it by accident, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to again. Then I worked out it would mean a lot more miles than I thought. The torrential rain of the previous couple of days didn’t exactly fill me with confidence either. Continue reading Chaos in Southampton City Centre – first published 9 June 2014

The Walk The Walls zebras

image

19 July 2016

Our first zebra hunt was going well, despite the heat and we’d found almost all the zebras within the old town walls. The app on my phone told me there was another at the bottom of Blue Anchor Lane on Western Esplanade. When we walked through the arch though we were shocked to find an empty plinth criss crossed with red and white tape. Snappy, the Deplan zebra had been vandalised. Continue reading The Walk The Walls zebras

Ancient stones, builders and getting distracted

image

5 April 2016

The building work was almost finished. There was a shed base at the end of the garden, the wall was built and the boring repointing was all done. We were still waiting for a skip to be delivered and the potting shed hadn’t even been ordered never mind built but still, patience is a virtue, right? Anyhow, all that is another post altogether. With no builder and no skip due today I could get out for a walk. It was sorely needed. Unfortunately, as I had an appointment in town, it wasn’t going to be a very exciting one but you can’t have everything eh? Anyway, it was probably time I checked out what was happening with the repairs to the Bargate. Continue reading Ancient stones, builders and getting distracted

A bridge, a boat show and some old walls

image

13 September 2013

For reasons I will reveal later I didn’t want to tax myself too much on Sunday and, even though I knew there would be precious little time for walking on Monday and maybe Tuesday, I decided on a shortish Sunday walk. The Boat Show was in town so I decided to do the old two bridge challenge and see what all the fuss was about. It was an overcast day with a good chance of rain when I set out towards the green and I detected more than a hint of yellow in the leaves along the woodland path. At the top of the slope the open space was filled with grass and wildflowers going to seed. Autumn is in the air for sure. Continue reading A bridge, a boat show and some old walls

Walking the walls – first published 16 February 2013

Gods House Tower
Gods House Tower

After my historical wanderings last weekend it was a touch ironic that the next post from my deceased blog’s archives should be a walk of the medieval Southampton walls. Back in mid February 2013 the history of this city was something I half took for granted. Yes I knew about it, I couldn’t help it as I walked past so much of it every day, but it had been many years since I took the wall walk… Continue reading Walking the walls – first published 16 February 2013

Frost, ice crystals, sun and ships

What a difference a day makes
What a difference a day makes

21 – 23 January 2015

Wednesday morning couldn’t have been more different to the day before if it tried. The cold was still there but the beautiful skies I’d seen on my early morning walk were now grey and brooding and the sparkling frost was nowhere to be seen. Seven cygnets were foraging around in the mud by the slipway and, as I passed by, their parents came rushing over to see if there was bread to be had. There wasn’t.

Continue reading Frost, ice crystals, sun and ships

Southampton’s medieval walls, Western Esplanade to Friars Gate

Part two
Part two

26 October 2014

On a whim I decided to descend the Forty Steps to Western Esplande, leaving the medieval town. At street level the height of The walls and towers can be truly appreciated. Behind, the tower of WestQuay echoes them. Looking up, I see the machicolations where stones or boiling oil could be dropped on would be invaders and ivy leaved toadflax has made a home between the stones. Continue reading Southampton’s medieval walls, Western Esplanade to Friars Gate