Thursday, 14 August 2008

Every cloud

Every cloud has a silver lining they say. Just a few days ago I missed the bus I was planning to take, which meant I had either a 20 minute wait plus a 20 bus ride, or alternatively I could walk for 35-40 minutes, I decided to walk. I am so pleased that I did because it led to a little voyage of discovery.

I've noticed an attractive church while whizzing past by car or bus, so I went off to Hyde, an area of Winchester to have a look, and take a few photographs while I was there.

I think the stonework is particularly attractive, stone mixed with flints.

When I emerged I noticed a plaque on what I had thought was an old barn on the opposite side of the road, but the plaque said it was Hyde Gate and the site of Hyde Abbey, 1110, the burial place of Alfred the Great, his queen, Ealswith, and their son, Edward the Elder.

The surviving gateway is mainly 15th century but there is evidence of an earlier gate.

The gateway as seen from what would have been the outer court, where only monks and important visitors would have access.

The stone, brick and flint floor. How many feet have walked over this?

One of the windows.

Outside there are traces of the old buildings and the perimeter wall. This fragment is part of the old guesthouse, spanning the mill stream.

Monk's Walk along the stream, viewed towards the south, with the remains of a medieval bridge beyond the guesthouse remains.

The stream, Hyde stream, dates from the mid 13th century when the flow of a natural spring in a nearby village was canalised to power the Abbey mill and to lead into the monastic fish ponds.

As I was investigating the stream, there was a great commotion when I almost stumbled over this duck and her babies.

Of course this diversion meant I had to go and find out more about the place, so the 40 minute walk lengthened to 90 minutes. My ultimate aim was to visit the Great Hall, the Round Table and Queen Eleanor's Garden. As I approached the Great Hall, I discovered that this particular silver lining had a cloud. My camera battery ran out.


  1. I love the shot of the guest house. Mother Nature always reclaims her own.

  2. Great pictures of a fascinating looking place. Here in the UK we do have some wonderful historical buildings steeped in history and you have certainly done justice to this one.

  3. Pity about the battery, for I enjoyed this tour of living history. I hope you will have it recharged and return some day.

  4. It is amazing what we can find if we just take the time dt stop and smell the roses per see.

  5. It is so lovely, you will just need to get new batteries and go back.

    Now, come on, you know you owe it to us! ;-)

  6. How nice to find such a treasure.

  7. I agree totally Solomon. I've been to some places that have been over-preserved and somehow they lose their soul.
    Capybara, yes we do and they should be enjoyed and appreciated.
    RuneE, most definitely I will be returning.
    Mike, exactly, we just need to stop rushing around and see what is there.
    Elaine, of course, I won't let anything like that defeat me.
    Thanks Caroline, it was great, partly because it was unexpected.

  8. That place is just gorgeous! Right up my street. I was fortunate to find a ruined castle by chance last week, and although it does need care, it was much more beautiful without being over cared for.

  9. Your pictures are making me so home sick! I just moved back to the States after living in England for a year and I really miss it!

  10. I love the old buildings, they give out so much history in their structure and I wish they could speak for the stories they must have would be wonderful to hear.


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