26 October 2017
With our coffee and cakes finished we bade a last sad farewell to the Costa in Portswood and walked on towards Highfield. Like most of the city, outside the centre, this was once a rural area and the name, at least according to old maps, originated from a bastardisation of Hayfield. That there were fields is in no doubt and, as the road rises up towards the Common, they were undoubtedly high fields too so the name is quite apt. Today Highfield is home to the main University Campus, built on an old brickfield. This was not what we’d come to see though. Continue reading Highfield church
25 February 2016
Winchester has been the focus of many walks. From the rush of elation when I saw my turning point at the cathedral on my final Moonwalk training walk, to the lure of coffee at the end of the Itchen Navigation it has drawn me. Many times I’ve looked in awe at the massive Gothic cathedral, one of the largest in England and the longest in Europe, but I’d never been inside. An intriguing photograph on the Winchester Heritage Facebook page made me realise a visit was long overdue. The rattle of car keys alerted CJ and, when he heard what I was going to see, there was no putting him off.
Continue reading Winchester, a flooded crypt, sensory overload and a robin
28 January 2016
There was a time when I passed St Mary’s Church in Southampton every day at least once but I’d never seen it with the doors open before so I’d never been inside. Today I had a couple of appointments in town and the plan was to have a wander along St Mary’s Street and take photos for a post about this interesting area of the city in between. When I saw the open door though, I couldn’t pass up the chance to have a look inside the mother church of Southampton. Continue reading St Mary’s church Southampton, survival against the odds
5 January 2016
With a feeling of disappointment, CJ and I turned to leave St Edward the Confessor church. We’d expected to see stones from Netley Abbey at the base of the tower but there were none. I’d hoped to find a longer footpath but I hadn’t. We were heading back to the path and the gates when I saw what I thought were gargoyles at the base of the arch of one of the doors. A closer look, showed there was no pipe for water to come out so technically they were chimeras or bosses, used to frighten evil spirits. They were quite badly weathered but I took a picture of the best one anyway. This was when I noticed the door was open. It felt like my lucky day after all.
Continue reading One door closes, another opens
18 November 2015
This morning there was a break in the rain and a hint of sun between the dark clouds. It seemed too good an opportunity to miss so I grabbed the car keys and my walking boots. CJ who doesn’t like to miss an opportunity to get out, especially if it might mean conning me out of a coffee, tagged along for the ride. Over breakfast I’d worked out a route and even found a couple of likely parking places and somewhere to stop for that coffee. It all looked suspiciously like a plan. Continue reading Footpaths, stained glass and a thousand year old tree
1 June 2015
After the Norman Conquest, when the French came to live in Southampton, they worshiped in a church dedicated to the patron saint of Normandy, St Michael. That church still stands today. At the point where French Street becomes Castle Way there is an alleyway leading to Bugle Street and St Michael’s Square. To me this always feels like the place when today meets yesterday with a modern building on one side and the stone wall of the church on the other. CJ and I walked down this alley heading for coffee and, at the other end, it was like walking back in time. Continue reading St Michael’s Square, walking back in time