When Kim said she was missing our walks and asked if we could do some more, I was quite surprised. I thought she’d be glad to see the back of me now the Clarendon Marathon was over. Of course, I was more than happy to go for a walk with her. My chest was slowly getting better and her legs had more or less recovered from the marathon so we arranged to meet outside WestQuay this morning for a short but interesting recovery walk.
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
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
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
With all the wind and rain we had in early February 2014 I got a bit behind with the February miles so I was hoping to fit a few in on my Job Centre jaunt. There was even a plan. After the Job Centre I thought I’d walk a winding route through the parks and wooded areas of the city centre and back home over Cobden Bridge with a little look at Riverside on the way. Another night of heavy rain plus morning news full of floods and weather warnings told me that might not be the best of plans. It was looking like my walking one hundred miles a month challenge might be doomed for February. Continue reading Blue sky, floods and the Job Centre – first published 8 February 2014
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
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