Another beautiful autumn day today, so I decided to go for a walk along the Itchen, the river that runs through Winchester (Hampshire, in the UK). I set out from Winchester Cathedral. Anyone as old as I am will remember the song I was humming to myself as I walked through the passage beside the cathedral, heading towards the river.
This was the first glimpse of the river which I could hear from behind the walls. It appeared and then disappeared underneath my feet.
I found it again as I neared the Abbey Mill.
A sleepy pair of ducks were on the bank, ignoring the children trying to feed them with bread.
This is the City Mill, a working medieval mill, just behind the City Bridge. Near here stood the Eastgate, one of the five city gates. The structure used to include a porter's lodge and the chapel of St Michael. The nuns of St Mary's Abbey maintained the gate and the bridge in return for the right to collect tolls on all passing goods. The gate was demolished in 1768.
The view downstream. The river was running very fast today, although not nearly as high as it can be. I have seen it covering the footpath at times.
In pre-historic times, the Itchen flowed in two main channels. Following the foundation of the Roman town in about 70AD, this new artificial channel was created. This both reduced the chance of flooding in the town centre and provided an eastern defensive moat. In the medieval times, the river was twice as wide as it is today.
It runs on towards Wharf Mill which is now made into apartments. There has been a mill on this site since the 12th century. Segrim's Mill took its name from Segrim's Fount which was diverted in1360 to provide extra power. The existing structure was built in 1885 at the head of the Itchen Navigation canal.
The river then heads out of the city towards St Cross, through the water meadows.
At that point I decided to head back, past the playing fields of Winchester College.
In the distance, a view of St Catherine's Hill, where at the foot of the hill are the remains of three past methods of transport - a disused road, a disused railway line and a disused navigation canal.
I did take quite a number of shots of the cathedral and some of the old houses around, but I'll save those for another time.