musings while allatsea

Musings of a curious individual

Tag: Netley

Retrospective: Woolston and Weston

This is yet another of my retrospective posts about my time in Southampton. and it really encompasses the area I lump together as Woolston/Weston/Southampton Water and of course the River Itchen. I grew up in a landlocked city so never really had the opportunity watch the tide come in; Southampton has an unusual phenomenon known as “Double High Water” and frankly I am not qualified to explain how this works because there are so many factors that come into play. If you are really interested please go read up at the Associated British Ports website where it is explained in detail. The important thing to know is that it results in unusually prolonged periods of high water which makes things easier for large ships (of which there are quite a lot) calling in Southampton.

My exif data has 4 separate dates for the images I took in this area, so I am really going to lump them together as one.  To understand where the images occur you really need to see the River Itchen from the bridge. The area I am dealing with is on the left of the image just past the pier that juts out from the land.  Southampton is to the right of the image. 

The ship underway is the Arco Dee, and I did a whole series of images about her transiting the Itchen Bridge en route to Southampton Water.  Our story really starts at Woolston Station, which is below.

Actually I cheated by crossing the bridge and not using the train.

The line extends all the way to Fareham and onwards to Portsmouth.  I then took Victoria Street to get to my destination. Woolston is really a village and is rich in maritime and aviation history, but unfortunately the Vosper Thornycroft yards closed in  2004 and when I was in the area the site of the yards was being redeveloped. ​

 

The Woolston Millennium Garden  was completed in 2002. Its focal point is a 10-metre tall metal and recycled glass feather intended to signify Woolston’s history of flight and sail. The garden is divided into three areas, signifying the earth, the sky and the sea. Many of the crew of the Titanic came from Woolston and there are bricks in the pathway through the garden that are inscribed with their names. Unfortunately I did not realise that the bricks did have those names otherwise I would have photographed them too. Many of those who died on the Titanic are remembered on graves in Southampton Old Cemetery.

The church I associate with Woolston/Weston is the Holy Trinity Church. there is one Second World War casualty buried in it’s churchyard. There is also the grave of Ada Maria and Charles Valentine Clarke,  2nd Class Passengers on board the Titanic. Ada survived while Charles was lost.  
 

   
   
   

Eventually you will come to a sewerage plant. You will probably smell it first though. Carry on a bit further and  you will run out of land unless you start following the road to the left. It was here that I spent some time observing the tide and exploring the area. This is also the route I took to reach Royal Victoria Country Park in August 2013

The Domesday Book has the following to say about Woolston:

  • HundredMansbridge
  • CountyHampshire
  • Total population: 6 households (quite small).
  • Total tax assessed: 1 exemption units (very small).
  • Taxable units: Taxable value 1 exemption units. Taxed on 0.12.
  • Value: Value to lord in 1066 £0.5. Value to lord in 1086 £0.3.
  • Households: 3 villagers. 3 smallholders.
  • Ploughland: 1 men’s plough teams.
  • Lord in 1066Tovi.
  • Overlord in 1066King Edward.
  • Lord in 1086Reginald (Cnut).
  • Tenant-in-chief in 1086Reginald (Cnut).
  • Phillimore reference: 59,1

It was a hot day, the sun was strong and the sky blue, that water looked very inviting. Fortunately I am not one of those who dash into the water flinging clothing aside and then doing a swan dive into it. 

The ship at Ocean Terminal was Queen Mary 2, and this image I took on a different occasion. (1500×443)

That is the Itchen Bridge in the distance.  I found the water fascinating, and the yellow boat was on the slipway when I arrived and was afloat and heading out to sea when I left. I wonder where it eventually ended up?

The movement of the water really transforms the shingle beach, it creates a whole new submerged environment that is inhabited by numerous critters that depend on the tide and the ecosystem around it. Dogs however are not included in that equation, like me they are casual visitors.

And of course the comings and goings of cruise ships do not affect the dogs but they do sometimes cause people to shade their eyes and stare, wishing that they were on board and looking at the shore. This is Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth in Southampton Water (1500×707). 

If you continued to walk and follow the road through to Weston you would see the buildings that comprise a housing estate. These buildings sufferer some of the problems that are associated with this type of housing, but Hampton TowersHavre TowersOslo TowersCopenhagen TowersRotterdam Towers and Canberra Towers are a very distinctive landmarks when viewed from Southampton Water. Just imagine what the view must be like from there…. The recent fire in a tower block in London has thrown the spotlight on fire safety in buildings like this, and I suspect a lot of rethinks will be required to sort out any potential issues in these buildings.  

The final oddity I wanted to add in here is called “Fox’s Monument” and it may be found in Mayberry Park.

This memorial is a tall unadorned obelisk on a square base commemorating Whig politician Charles James Fox. It was erected in 1810 in the grounds of Mayfield House by his admirer and friend William Chamberlayne of Weston Grove. Charles Fox’s name does not appear on the memorial but there is an inscription that reads: “The Earth is the Lord’s, and the Fullness Thereof“. 

That concludes this disjointed diatribe, it did not quite turn out the way I would have liked, but I hope it does leave some sort of impression on what the opposite bank of the Itchen River looks like. I am hoping to do a similar sort of post about Northam, but not today. Bits and pieces will be added to as and when I get the urge. 

DRW © 2013-2018. (Domesday image and data available under the CC-BY-SA licence, with credit to Professor John Palmer and George Slater, (Opendomesday.org)

Updated: 13/04/2018 — 08:38

The Cross of Sacrifice

Visiting cemeteries looking for War Graves will mean that I will encounter the Cross of Sacrifice on a regular basis, and it is an easily recognisable and familiar object in many of the cemeteries that I visit. 
 
The first one I ever saw was at West Park Cemetery in Johannesburg, and this cemetery was really where my war grave photography started. I literally cut my teeth on war graves here, and while I have not been there in years I usually consider it a yardstick with which I compare other cemeteries to.
Cross of Sacrifice: West Park Cemetery, Johannesburg.

Cross of Sacrifice: West Park Cemetery, Johannesburg.

Designed in 1918 by Sir Reginald Blomfield for the Imperial War Graves Commission (now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission). It is present in Commonwealth war cemeteries containing 40 or more graves. The cross is an elongated Latin cross with Celtic dimensions whose shaft and crossarm are octagonal in shape and ranges in height from 18 to 24 feet (5.5 to 7.3 m). A bronze longsword, blade down, is affixed to the front of the cross (replaced in some cases by fibreglass replicas). It is usually mounted on an octagonal base.
Cross of Sacrifice: Brixton Cemetery, Johannesburg.

Cross of Sacrifice: Brixton Cemetery, Johannesburg.

Sadly the local vandals stole the sword from this cross as well as from the one in Brixton Cemetery, and this has been replaced. Sadly, when I first saw this Cross it was still in its vandalised state.  There are two crosses in Johannesburg, although there is no real dedicated war cemetery in the city. The closest war cemeteries are in Pretoria and of course my favourite is in Palmietkuil just outside Springs.
Cross of Sacrifice: Palmietkuil South War Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Palmietkuil South War Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Thaba Tswane New Military Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Thaba Tswane New Military Cemetery


Leaving South Africa I travelled east to Hong Kong where the Cross of Sacrifice stands at the bottom of the magnificent Sai Wan Military Cemetery.
 
Cross of Sacrifice: Sai Wan  Military Cemetery, Hong Kong

Cross of Sacrifice: Sai Wan Military Cemetery, Hong Kong


The Cross and headstones are of the white stone which is unlike the gray that we have in South Africa, and I would encounter that white stone when I moved to the United Kingdom.

In London there are a lot of these Monuments to our folly with warfare, and the first I encountered at Streatham Park Cemetery where it forms part of the war memorial. Unfortunately the weather on this day was gray and overcast, and at that point I did not really have a place where I could submit my images to any longer.

Cross of Sacrifice: Streatham Park Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Streatham Park Cemetery



The use of the Cross of Sacrifice as the centrepiece if the war memorial is quite a regular occurrence in the UK,
Cross of Sacrifice: Brockley/Motherwell Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Brockley/Motherwell Cemetery



The Cross of Sacrifice may also be found in four of the Magnificent Seven Victorian garden cemeteries in London.
Cross of Sacrifice:Highgate Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice:Highgate Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice:Abney Park Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice:Abney Park Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice: Kensall Green Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice: Kensall Green Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice:West Norwood Cemetery, London

Cross of Sacrifice:West Norwood Cemetery, London


Oddly enough not all of the Magnificent Seven have a Cross of Sacrifice, although one was erected in Chelsea near the station and forms part of the local war memorial. Brompton Cemetery is not too far from here.
Cross of Sacrifice: outside Chelsea Station, London

Cross of Sacrifice: outside Chelsea Station, London


Moving from London to Southampton brought new challenges and places to visit, and one of the first places I visited was Hollybrook Cemetery.  There are two Crosses of Sacrifice in Hollybrook. The first is at the memorial to those who lost their lives at sea.


Cross of Sacrifice: Memorial to the Missing. Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton

Cross of Sacrifice: Memorial to the Missing. Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton


And of course there is another Cross of Sacrifice at the World War Two plot in Hollybrook.
Cross of Sacrifice: World War Two Plot. Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton

Cross of Sacrifice: World War Two Plot. Hollybrook Cemetery, Southampton


Southampton is also home to Netley Military Cemetery, and it too has a Cross of Sacrifice.
Cross of Sacrifice: Netley Military Cemetery, Southampton

Cross of Sacrifice: Netley Military Cemetery, Southampton


Southampton Old Cemetery has a number of military burials within its walls and I spent many hours hunting them down. I also attended a wreath laying at the cemetery in 2013, and this grand old cemetery has a special place in my affections as a result.
Cross of Sacrifice: Southampton Old Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Southampton Old Cemetery


I only visited Winchester briefly and managed a visit to West Hill Cemetery which had a Cross of Sacrifice as part of the memorial within the cemetery.
Cross of Sacrifice: West Hill Cemetery, Winchester.

Cross of Sacrifice: West Hill Cemetery, Winchester.


I lived in Salisbury for just over a year and there was a Cross of Sacrifice in the London Road Cemetery, but none in Devizes Road Cemetery, although both of them had war graves in them.
Cross of Sacrifice: London Road Cemetery, Salisbury

Cross of Sacrifice: London Road Cemetery, Salisbury


Strangely enough, St Lawrence Church in Stratford Sub Castle had a small war graves plot presided over by a small Cross of Sacrifice. The graves were mostly of Australians from World War One.
Cross of Sacrifice: St Lawrence Churchyard, Stratford Sub Castle, Salisbury

Cross of Sacrifice: St Lawrence Churchyard, Stratford Sub Castle, Salisbury


My biggest war grave photography session was in Gosport, at Haslar Royal Navy Cemetery, and it was interesting because most of the pre World War Two graves had a different headstone to the standard CWGC one, but there was still a Cross of Sacrifice as a reminder of where you were.
Cross of Sacrifice: Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery, Gosport

Cross of Sacrifice: Haslar Royal Naval Cemetery, Gosport


I spent some time in Basingstoke and found that Worting Road Cemetery had a small CWGC plot with a Cross of Sacrifice in it.
Cross of Sacrifice: Worting Road Cemetery, Basingstoke.

Cross of Sacrifice: Worting Road Cemetery, Basingstoke.


And while I was in Basingstoke I managed to visit the magnificent military cemetery at Brookwood. There are two large Crosses of Sacrifice in this cemetery.

Cross of Sacrifice: Brookwood Military Cemetery.

Cross of Sacrifice: Brookwood Military Cemetery.

Cross of Sacrifice: Brookwood Military Cemetery.

I also visited the city of Bath which had a Cross incorporated into the town war memorial.

Cross of Sacrifice: Bath.

And the beautiful Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol has a Cross of Sacrifice at the “Sailors Corner”.

Cross of Sacrifice: Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol.

Cross of Sacrifice: Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol.


On a trip to Swindon I discovered a small Cross of Sacrifice in the Radnor Street Cemetery.
Cross of Sacrifice: Radnor Str Cemetery, Swindon

Cross of Sacrifice: Radnor Str Cemetery, Swindon


And on my visit to Reading I discovered the small Cross of Sacrifice in the local cemetery, keeping watch over the screen wall.
Cross of Sacrifice: Reading Cemetery.

Cross of Sacrifice: Reading Cemetery.


After Leaving Basingstoke I travelled North and ended up in Staffordshire, there I visited Cannock Chase Military Cemetery.
Cross of Sacrifice: Cannock Chase Military Cemetery

Cross of Sacrifice: Cannock Chase Military Cemetery


And I found another Cross of Sacrifice in Warstone Lane Cemetery in Birmingham.
Cross of Sacrifice: Warstone Lane Cemetery, Birmingham

Cross of Sacrifice: Warstone Lane Cemetery, Birmingham


and another in Ryecroft Cenetery in the town of Walsall.
Cross of Sacrifice: Ryecroft Cemetery, Walsall.

Cross of Sacrifice: Ryecroft Cemetery, Walsall.


I now live in Tewkesbury, and the first Cross of Sacrifice I have encountered around here is at the beautiful Prestbury Cemetery in Cheltenham.

The point I am making is that wherever there is a Cross of Sacrifice there is a reminder that many servicemen and women, as well as civilians and their families were lost in the two World Wars, and they remind us that we must never walk down that terrible path again, because who will be left to erect even more war memorials or Crosses of Sacrifice?

I am sure I have forgotten a few of the crosses that I have seen, as I wade through my pics I am bound to find more of them, and will continue to find them as I explore more around me. The Cross of Sacrifice is a simple yet effective memorial, but it is so tragic that we need something like this in the first place.

© DRW 2015-2018. Created  20/09/2015, images migrated 01/05/2016

Updated: 31/12/2017 — 16:25

Time to go.

I am now in my last month in Southampton; from next month I will be living in Salisbury, and to be honest I am not looking forward to leaving this city. I have been here since April and have made it my home from home. I have enjoyed looking at the ships and visiting the cemeteries. I have walked many kilometres, seen many things, and experienced “life at the seaside”. 
  
It is not a perfect place, if anything it is somewhat of a tired, worn out place. Full of old buildings, strange road layouts, and peculiar idiosyncrasies.
 
Somewhere in its history it tried to throw away the old and bring in the new, and in doing so lost a lot of its own heritage. World War 2 also caused a lot of havoc with the city, destroying a lot of the heritage with as much gusto as the politicians who made the decisions as to what to destroy and what to keep.  The harbour today is a mere shade of its former busy self, although it is still a working and effective harbour. Possibly it is a much more efficient harbour? 
 
I had a unique glimpse into what goes on inside it, and experienced the seemingly chaotic period between when a cruise ship arrives and when it sails.
 
I have been cold, wet, hot, sticky, and almost blown off the quayside by the wind. I have seen pigeons and seagulls, often in strange situations…..
 
I have seen people of all ages, races and persuasions.  I have walked where the Titanic sailed into history, 
 
and seen the effects of the disaster in the many monuments and plaques scattered around the city. I have often heard the soft echo of a church bell on a Sunday, and explored some of the interiors of these grand old places of worship, 
 
I have heard the noisy whine of the street sweeping machine, and the muted rumble of a ships engines, and the roar of aircraft flying overhead. All around me people have gone hither and thither, often caught up in the mindless pre-occupation of their cell phones. I have seen children laugh and  play and cry and sulk, with parents that are often indifferent to the small munchkins that are growing up in front of them. I have almost been run over by people on bicycles and mobility scooters. Cars have tried to run over me, and large trucks have almost bowled me over with their slipstream.
 
I have seen the season change from spring to summer, and the sun rising earlier in the morning, and setting later at night. 
  
And, as I prepare to leave the city that cycle is reversing and soon winter will be upon us and the glorious sunny days will be gone for another year. I have seen the women go from drab clothing to almost full on nudity, and I still shake my head at the fake tans and abundant tatoos. I have seen the after effects of a nights drinking in the park, and the detritus left behind after a festival. I have stood on the quayside till late at night, waiting for a ship to sail, watching the scudding clouds as they evolve and move onwards.
 
I have seen the tide come in, and watched the waves lap on the shore, in the timeless way that they always have.
 
I have stood where the mighty Itchen River meets the River Test, and seen the effect that these two rivers have on the city, and how important they are to commerce and leisure.
 
I have walked the ancient walls of the city and questioned myself as to what it must have been like so many centuries ago.
 
 
I have stood beneath the Bargate, once the gateway to the city, and today a mere ancient building with no function except as a landmark.
 
 
I have remembered those who died in wars at the cenotaph, 
 
 
and I have visited the old cemetery where Southampton buried it’s dead.
 
 
I have seen and done many things since April, and when I finally ride the train for the last time I will be closing off this period of my life and will be starting a new one. I have not had full time employment since May 2011, and on Monday I am starting my first new job since then. Its going to be hard to make that adjustment to my life once again.
 
 
So, if things do quieten down a bit on this blog, you will know why, and you will understand that I have left the city I always wanted to see and am now in another, and hopefully will find much there to interest me, just as I did in Southampton.
 
Many of the places I visited were with my landlord, he was a true friend who helped me at a point where I hit rock bottom, if it had not been for him I would probably not be here today. Thank you Bob, I will never forget what you did for me. 
 
As they say in the classics: It has been quite a ride…
 
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 11/04/2016
Updated: 29/12/2017 — 07:38

Netley Military Cemetery.

Following my previous post about Private Hollis and Netley Military Hospital, I decided to take a walk up to the cemetery once again, and to have a look at the chapel at what is now Royal Victoria Country Park. I also had to photograph as many of the 671 CWGC graves at the military cemetery for the British War Graves Project  
 
It is not too far from where I live, although the furthermost I had walked had been up to Netley Abbey. The Chapel is about a kilometre further.  The route I took was over the Itchen Bridge
down to Weston, then along Southampton Water until I ran out of road, 
then up to Netley Abbey
through Netley Village
  and finally the park and chapel itself.  
 
This large open area would have been where the military hospital stood, with a similar wing on the other side of the chapel. It was a large building as can be seen from the model below.  
 
The chapel is the blue object on the centre of the model, and today is all that is left of the building, and it stands surrounded by the green fields that used to be where the hospital building stood.  
 
It is a glorious wedding cake of a building, beautifully proportioned and dominated by its tower. Unfortunately though it was closed, but I did manage a few pics of the interior.  
  
 
But, I did not get to see it all, as they do not have funds to allow it to remain open. So, I did not see all that I wanted to. The park is a very large space that even boasts a miniature railway, and quite a few public facilities, although my interest did not really extend to places like a BBQ area.

 
With that completed I headed off to the military cemetery, which is not too far away, close to Hamble Station. I had been there twice before, but this time I had over 600 graves waiting for me. The cemetery can be broken up into two major halves, The older part is set on a hill, with the newer section laid out in a linear CWGC pattern, with a Cross of Sacrifice.  The sections are also divided into RC, Non Conformist and Anglican/COE 
Older part of the cemetery (WW1)

Older part of the cemetery (WW1)

The newer part of the cemetery (WW2)

The newer part of the cemetery (WW2)

Interspersed with these sections are a lot of much older graves of members of the military who died at the hospital, as well as staff members and their families that may have died here too. Many are illegible, and there are large areas that have graves but no headstones.
There are also a number of graves for the children of staff who died at the hospital,  sadly, a large portion do not have headstones, but they are poignant reminders of those young lives that never came to fruition.
Darling Bobbie, Fell Asleep February 19th 1929, Aged 15 Months

Darling Bobbie, Fell Asleep February 19th 1929, Aged 15 Months


There are also graves of men that died as a result of disease that they had picked up in South Africa during the Boer War.  It took nearly 3 hours to photograph the graves, and by the time I was finished I had drained 2 sets of batteries and taken over 1000 photographs. But, in the end it is worthwhile doing. There are 6 South Africans buried at this cemetery, all of them needless casualties of the slaughter on World War 1.
There is a lot written about the hospital and those who were treated there, but we will probably never know all the stories behind the pain and suffering, and the courage of the nurses who had the unenviable job of taking care of the patients.
FGO Stuart Postcards of the hospital

FGO Stuart Postcards of the hospital


 

The cemetery is covered extremely well in the wonderful website dedicated to the Royal Victoria Hospital and Military Cemetery, Netley

 
Then it was time to head home, taking the same route except for a pause at the waterfront area of the park which is roughly midway between the Solent and Southampton.  Three rivers (The Test, Itchen and Hamble) flow in to this area that we know as “Southampton Water”, and it is a pretty area with a lot of potential for development. However if that development means heaps of yuppie flats then that will definitely ruin the the shoreside that I was walking upon.  

I did discover a pathway between Netley Castle and Netley Abbey so was able to get a better look at the castle, although you cannot really see the whole thing. It was largely built with material taken from Netley Abbey, and today it is used as private apartments. My view of the castle from Southampton Water is a much better indicator of the extent building.

Calshot, Isle of Wight and the Solent from Royal Victoria Country Park

Calshot, Isle of Wight and the Solent from Royal Victoria Country Park

Netley Castle

Netley Castle 

Netley Castle from Southampton Water

Netley Castle from Southampton Water


With the castle behind me I was over halfway home, just a few more random pics and that would conclude my outing, although I would still have to sort, label and queue the military grave images.
The harbour had three cruise ships in on that day. Queen Elizabeth at QEII, Azura at Ocean Terminal,
and Celebrity Eclipse at City Terminal.
I had originally considered catching the train through to Hamble, but had taken this walk instead, and I am glad I did because this is probably the last time I will be able to walk along Southampton Water. My days in Southampton are coming to an end, and while I have not been able to see everything that I wanted to, at least I have seen this much.

It had been an interesting morning, and I hope that it will remain in this unchanged state for a very long time. It is a unique place, with a lot of maritime history that sailed past this area. It’s just a pity that I did not get to see it all.
© DRW 2013-2018. Images replaced 10/04/2016
Updated: 17/01/2018 — 06:25

Netley Abbey

If you look at Google Earth co-ordinates  50.877893°, -1.357482° you will see where I was yesterday: Netley Abbey, a Cistercian monastery and Tudor great house. Founded in 1238 by the Bishop of Winchester, the remains include the church, the chapter house and the Abbots lodging. Today the site is dominated by the ruins that are really magnificent in their dereliction. Considering the age of the structure it is in a remarkably good condition, and apart from some fenced off areas is open to everybody.
 
 
The ruins are a jumble when seen from the ground, but a graphic at the site does give you more of a sense of the general layout.
 
 
This is part of the church from outside. while the image below is of the opposite side of the church, probably where the main entrance to the church was. 


The high alter end is still intact with its beautiful Gothic style window, however the one transept is missing. Two pillars would have supported the roof, and on the base of one an inscription is still legible “H. DI. GRA REX ANGL.” (Henry, by the grace of God, King of the English)
 

The Abbots Lodging was very interesting because much of the ground floor roof is intact. In all probability the floor above may have a lot of intact features too, but that floor is not accessible

 
 
I kept on getting mental images of a person in clerical garments living here, with his furniture and staff and all that goes with it. It is a very nice building, but somewhat strange. The abbot had his own hall for entertaining guests, a private chapel, and his own latrine. There is a stream running underneath the abbey, and it provided running  water to the monks dormitory, as well as to the hospital. The stream is split before the building and a branch would have run by the kitchen. There may have been a well in the kitchen too.
 
The site is very popular with the locals. While I was there a wedding couple were being photographed in the grounds, while groups of people were strolling along enjoying the sunshine (which made a nice change). It is a very pretty place and I expect just a little bit creepy at night. . 
 

Sadly though, graffiti exisits on some of the stonework, and I am sure that somewhere in these ruins there may be the local monastic equivalent of “Kilroy was here” scratched in Latin.

I know what the Abbey looks like today, but what did it look like in the late 13th century? An artists impression does exists as below.
  
It does not seem to be an elaborate structure, however, the craftsmanship of the building is very evident in the ruins that are that are left.  The stone is not a local product either, and may have come from France or the Isle of Wight. 
 
When Henry VIII suppressed the abbey in 1536, the monastic life came to an end. 
 
 
The buildings were then granted to Sir William Paulet, the first Marquess of Winchester. He converted the abbey into his own country mansion.  Using much of the original buildings, his additions were built mostly in brick and were removed in the 19th century.
 
Around 1700 the new owner decided to demolish the church and sell the material; he contracted a Southampton builder to do the work, but the contractor was killed by a by a piece of falling masonry, and demolition was stopped and the building was abandoned.
 
By the second half of the 18th Century  the abandoned buildings had become a favoured “tourist” attraction, and a concerted effort was made to conserve the ruins.and remove some of the additions. 
 
 
 
In 1922 the abbey passed into state care by its owners, and conservation and preservation has continued since. 
 
A place like this does photograph very well in black and white, and is supposedly haunted by at least two ghosts. I know that the abbots lodging had a distinctly different feel to it….
 
   
 
 
It is well worth the walk to see this beautiful old building, and while it may seem to be just another ruin, it is worth considering that long before Jan Van Riebeeck was born this building had already been in use since 1238.
 
© DRW 2013-2018. Images replaced 08/04/2016
 
Updated: 29/12/2017 — 07:04

Hullo Southampton

Today, 7 April 2013 I packed my bags and headed for the port of Southampton. Like with London I do feel a connection to this city and its port, probably because so much of my maritime literature featured Southampton very strongly, and of course this is where the ill fated Titanic sailed from. When I did my original planning before coming to the UK I had listed Southampton as the destination where I would go once I left London, 
 
Of course ships will rate very high on my list of things to do/see while I am in this city. In fact, in a short period of six hours I saw two cruise ship sailings already. The first being P&O’s Ventura.

Ventura

Followed shortly thereafter by Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth.
Queen Elizabeth

Queen Elizabeth

Many years ago, during the 1950’s and 60’s these self same Western Docks would see rows of major passenger vessels, Our own Union-Castle Line would have had at least two ships in port every week.
 

Union-Castle ships in Southampton

So many years later the character of the docks has changed, containerisation has killed the traditional cargo ship and cruise liners now berth where once passenger ships from all around the world plied their trade.
 
And of course the Queen Elizabeth or Queen Mary would have dominated every other ship afloat when they were calling. Alas those days have passed and today we have to take what we can get. The two cruise ships above don’t really do much for me, I have seen much better looking. And, by the looks of it there are quite a few arrivals and sailings scheduled for the next month. On top of that is the anniversary of the sailing of the Titanic from these very docks 
 
How long will I be here? till 8 May probably, after that? who knows. I am going to do my job hunting here and hopefully be lucky, or will have to move on. Either way though, I intend to ship watch and visit the Hollybrook Cemetery to pay my respects to our fallen Mendi Men who are commemorated there, and I know that will be a sad occasion.
 
Till the next time I visit my blog, I shall leave you with photograph of SS Shieldhall, a really nice looking vessel that is more up my line. At any rate, it will be a change from cemeteries.
 
Postscript.
I finally left Southampton in October 2013, it had been a fascinating few months for me, and this prequel does not even touch the surface of what I saw and did. Follow the story from here, there is much to see, and much to discover.
 
© DRW 2013-2018. Images recreated 29/03/2016.
 
Updated: 02/02/2018 — 07:56
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