largest stone circle in
formed the centre of one of the most impressive
ceremonial landscapes in Britain.
in the Late
period (2,500-2,200 BC).
Consists of a
massive circular earthwork, enclosing an area of
28acres. While we are not sure of the original height of the bank (today 13ft to
17ft high) at its base it measures 70-90ft wide.
Originally a 13th Century Cistercian Abbey, the stately home grew up
round the gatehouse and became the home of the Lords of Beaulieu. Today a very
popular attraction which encompasses the ruins of the Abbey, the house, gardens
and the national motor museum of over 250 cars. Take advantage of some fun
things such as go-karts, fast trax (motor racing simulator) and miniature
Bere regis (kingsmere)
A small town situated on the South West road out of London. The town has a
superb Medieval church famous for the Ravaged Tombs of the Turbervilles the
family which inspired Thomas Hardy`s Tess of the D`Urbervilles.
Has the most handsome and
uniform Georgian red brick and stone town centre in the South West, due mainly
to the great fire of 1731. The fire began on the site of the present Kings Arms,
within one hour all fire engines were burned together with all ladders and in
the end over 400 houses. From reports of the time eye witnesses stated
that the church bells dissolved and ran down in streams. Today the town is
a hub of a rich farming area. I am sure no one will need telling that
Blandford was Thomas Hardy`s - Shottesford Forum.
St Peter & St
Paul, Blandford forum
The books tell us that the design of the new church after the fire is
“Vernacular Baroque” and reflects the design of new churches in London during
the reign of Queen Anne. We must thank the bastard brothers, William &
John who where both architects and builders for the legacy of the present
building. However the building sits easy with the eye as it over looks the
High Street and its classical tower is the towns most prominent landmark.
The interior is imposing, a grand arcade of widely spaced ionic columns,
supporting a heavy entablature. Original numbered box pews and a pulpit
that originally came from a wren church in London St Antholins.
Situated on the banks of
the Beaulieu River in the heart of the New Forest National Park, the village
consists of just one broad street flanked by charming terraced 18th
Century houses. In the late 18th Century this was a centre for
ship building. The great New Forest oaks were felled and brought here to
build some of the Navy’s finest ships, many of which fought at the Battle of
Dating back nearly a thousand years to
the time of William the Conquer. The Norman Keep is built on an artificial mound
which is the oldest part of the fortifications. The well house also contains the
famous remains of the donkey wheel that was used to raise water from the well.
city dating back to 43AD when the Romans landed nearby and established a base
here. Evidence of their occupation can be seen in the remains of the defensive walls,
They also built a Palace at nearby Fishbourne, one of the largest Roman
buildings uncovered in Britain. When the Romans left, the Saxons
established a settlement here and the area continued to be quite peaceful and
prosperous. The present City lay out follows the original Roman plan of
walls and roads. North, South, East & West Streets crossing at the 16th
Century Butter Cross. Many fine Georgian houses exist especially in a
delightful street called Little London and the flat landscape makes it a fine
and very easy place to explore divided up as it is into four quadrants separated
by the main thoroughfares.
building began in about 1076 under the leadership of Bishop Stigand and
continued under Bishop Ralph De Luffa. A fire in 1114 hindered progress
but most of what we see today existed by 1123. The Cloisters were built in
approx. 1400, followed by the seven light window in the North Transept.
The Chapter House was also completed at about this time. The detached bell
tower was built during the early part of the 15th Century and while
many Cathedrals once had such a building, only the one at Chichester remains today.
It was built to take the weight of the eight massive bells from the Central
Tower. The spire and The Arundel Screen are also 15th Century.
The original Arundel Screen was removed in 1859 and this possibly precipitated
the collapse of the tower in 1861. In 1961 it was restored to its original
position as we see it today. The Prebendal School where the Choristers are
educated stands alongside the Cathedral and is the oldest school in Sussex and
was originally endowed by Edward Storey, Bishop in 1478. The vicars hall
bordering South Street is Circa 15th Century. The 12th
Century Undercroft is now the restaurant. The Vicars' Close also early 15th
Century. The Deanery was built in 1725 and the gateway at the end of Canon
Lane leading to the Bishops Palace is Circa 1327. The Palace just South of
the Cathedral contains a lovely 12th Century Chapel. The
gardens and serenity of this Cathedral is a joy to behold.
Few gardens in England can
celebrate the glory of spring quite like Exbury. Here in a peaceful corner
of the New Forest, this remarkable 200-acre woodland garden overlooking the
Beaulieu River was created by Lionel de Rothschild in the 20 years leading up to
the Second World War. The gardens now contain one of the most spectacular
and colourful displays of rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and
Fishbourne Roman Villa
The site of one of the largest
non military Roman buildings yet discovered in Britain. Foundations came to
light in 1960 when a new water main was being laid for a housing estate.
Excavations uncovered a luxuriously fitted villa with over 100 rooms, it is
thought to have been built between 75AD – 100AD for King Cogidubnus leader of
the Atrebate tribe. He co-operated with the Romans and his reward a magnificent
town first mentioned in the time of Alfred the Great. The original Anglo Saxon
fortifications was built on an artificial mound. The Normans eventually built a
keep on this mound and the castle grew up around it. Today only this keep
remains, a solid structure some 60ft high.
The Cathedral of
the Holy Spirit stands on Stag Hill about a mile outside the City. It was the
first Cathedral built on an entirely new site in Southern England since the
reformation. It was designed by Sir Edward Maufe in a simply Gothic style. The
foundation stone was laid in 1936 but work ceased in 1939 due to the outbreak of
the Second World War and not started again until 1952. Eventually the work was
completed in 1961 and consecrated on 17th May of the same year.
Cruciform in shape and designed to hold over 1700 people.
village situated on the main Newport
Road which attracts many visitors to see and admire the lovely thatched
cottages. The Church of All Saints stands on a slight incline in the
centre of the village. It has a rare double Nave, possibly built to
separate clergy and public.
Goodwood House One of the finest
Stately Homes in the country, home to the Dukes of Richmond & Lennox for over
300 years. The 1st Duke of Richmond was the natural son of King Charles II
and his French Mistress, Louise de Keroulle. Goodwood was originally
bought as a hunting lodge and subsequent Dukes have enlarged the existing
Jacobean House to create the magnificent house we see today.
Built in 1801 by Hardy`s Great Grandfather. Hardy was born here in 1840
and wrote some of his best known works here.
Highclere Castle is one of England’s most beautiful Victorian Castles. Designed
by Sir Charles Barry (architect of the Houses of Parliament) and set in 1,000 acres
of spectacular parkland, landscaped by Capability Brown and said to be one of his
Isle of Wight
9,000 years ago this area was still a part of the British mainland, however the
rise in sea levels at the end of the last great ice age opened up a waterway,
turning the land into a small island accessible via a short sea crossing.
The island is situated off the South coast of England and measures just 23 miles
by 13 miles. It is however rich in history that can be traced back to the
Kingston Lacy House
brick house built in 1665 by the banks family was encased in stone by Sir
Charles Barry in 1835. Who was of course the builder of the Houses of
Parliament. The house is one of England’s finest treasure houses,
distinguished for its architecture and fabulous art collections. The
interior is lavishly fitted out to provide a wonderful setting for the
outstanding collections of paintings and other notably works acquired by William
Banks. The highlight must be the Spanish room panelled in gilded
leatherwork with a magnificent gilt ceiling. A collection of old masters
includes works by Velazquez, Rubens and Titian. Together with wonderful
Egyptian artefacts dating from 3000 BC. The garden contains award winning
Azaleas and is set within a lovely wooded parkland, grazed by a herd of Red
Lacock Abbey and Village
The old English word "Lacuc" means small stream. Recorded in the mid Ninth
century as "Lacok". A small tributary to the River Avon runs close by.
cove An abundance of coastal walks around this unique and famous horseshoe harbour
a historic place covering an area of approx 56 acres. Important due to its
prominence above the countryside below. First remains indicate a Iron age
camp, followed by the Romans, the Anglo-Saxons, then the Danes who pillaged the
area in 1003. In 1070 William the Conqueror reviewed his troops on the
plains below. The site really moved forward just after William departed.
The Episcopal See was moved from Sherborne to Sarum and a new Cathedral and
Castle where built on the site. However by 1220 the area was becoming too
small for the requirements of the community so a new Cathedral was planned
nearby.(New Sarum or as it later became Salisbury) stones from the old Cathedral
where carried away and used in the construction of the new Cathedral.
Built by Queen Victoria’s husband Albert between 1845-1851 as a family retreat
where the family could stay free from the state ceremonial. Much loved by
the Queen who right up till the late 1890s would spend at least 100 days a year
living in the house. In 1901 she returned to Osborne for the last time
dying here in her 83rd year. The rooms are still laid out in
the way she left them with treasured possessions such as paintings, furniture,
ornaments and personal bric a brac on show.
Portsmouth Royal Naval Museum
historic dockyard is home to great ships, such as HMS Victory, Lord Nelson's
Flagship from the battle of Trafalgar. HMS Warrior (1860) the worlds first
iron-hulled, armoured warship powered by steam, still afloat in Portsmouth
harbour. Also the Mary Rose, one of the most famous ships in the world,
built in 1510 and capsized and sank dramatically in an accident in 1545.
This great ship was raised again in 1982 and has undergone extensive
preservation work ever since, with the new museum opening in Spring 2013.
The Dockyard also houses the Royal Navy Museum and many other attractions.
Like most Abbey towns
Romsey grew up around the ecclesiastical site. King John`s hunting box
over the centuries has at various times been, abbey guest house, cottages and
even a workhouse. It is a flint and stone house and was only rediscovered
during the early part of this century. It is widely accepted that Edward I
visited with attendants during the year 1301. Evidence has been found
scratched in the plasterwork of the upper rooms, of various heads, shields and
mottoes associated with noblemen of the day, together with a life-size drawing
of the King himself, resplendent in crown. It is also recorded that King
John had sent his daughter here to be educated just over a century before the
visit of King Edward.
The town stands on steep foothills and the area is well wooded. The parish
church of All Saints has the tallest spire around and is visible for miles.
A popular holiday resort with a population of approx 25,000. The famous pier is
half a mile long and the sandy beach stretches over 7 miles. A very nice
place to wander and have a bite to eat. Mermaid Street is well known
for its steep cobbled road lined with 15th and 17th Century houses. With the
Mermaid Inn a notorious haunt of smugglers in the 18th century.
A town where there is
no need to go looking for interests in dark corners, it is all around. The
city dates back to the 13th Century when it was decided to move the Bishops seat
from Old Sarum. The Cathedral foundations were begun in 1220 and the city
started to grow. Salisbury was built on a grid or chequer system which
left space between the blocks. Cathedral Close is the most beautiful in
all England and the list of buildings with interest is unending. It is
interesting to note that the main wall around the Cathedral Close was granted by
license from Edward III.
The first sight of the
Cathedral is most impressive an early example of English architecture. Its
spire soaring to a height of 404ft the highest in England which imposes almost
6,000 tons of stone on the four pillars of the crossing. The Nave measures
198ft with a clear uncluttered beauty, little having changed since it was built.
With Foundations no more than 4 feet deep on a bed of gravel, the main building was
begun in 1220 and completed in 1258. The Cloisters and Chapter house being
finished in 1280. It was never a Monastic institution but staffed with
Secular Clergy called Canons. This arrangements continues today.
Canons would be away in their parishes for most of the year, just coming back to
the Cathedral for short periods of time. The present houses round the
close are built on the sites of the former Canons' Houses.
Originally it was a
Saxon fortified town set on a hill. King Alfred gave it a nunnery in 880
with his daughter Ethelgiva it's first abbess. It was to the Abbey in 981
that the body of Edward the Martyr was brought for burial. From St Peters
church (early 15th Century) and falling due South is the ancient, wide, curved
and cobbled Gold Hill. (reputed to be the most photographed street in Dorset).
There is nothing quite
like this awe inspiring monument anywhere else in the world, yet at first sight
it is curiously disappointing, probably because it is set on a plain so vast
that in comparison the stones seem quite insignificant. It is only when
man stands close to the stones that he seems so puny in comparison and it is
hard to imagine how centuries ago, with only primitive tools to help them, men
could possibly have placed these huge boulders into position.
Stourhead House & Gardens
This superb 40 hectare landscaped garden was laid out between 1741 & 1780 set in
parkland and surrounding woods. A central lake reflects splendid trees,
flowering shrubs and offers a visual experience that many say is unequalled
anywhere else in Britain. Exquisite buildings blend easily into the surrounding
landscape. The handsome house is a Palladian 18th Century mansion
filled with paintings and fine Chippendale furniture.
The historic city of
Winchester has been welcoming groups for centuries, ever since the first
pilgrims visited the shrine of St Swithun. Already an important town in
Roman times, it became the capital under the Anglo Saxons, and in Alfreds time
871-901 was a great centre of learning. William the Conqueror kept
Winchester as his capital and as late as the 17th Century Charles II planned a
palace here. The city is rich in important buildings, one such building is
the Great Hall, completed in 1235 it is a magnificent example of 13th Century
domestic architecture. It is now an Assize Court. Sir Walter Raleigh was
condemned to death here in 1603 and on the wall hangs what is called King
Arthur's Round Table, marked out and inscribed for his knights. However one
building stands out above all others, the cathedral.
building was started in 1079 and consecrated in 1093. Work from this
period can still be seen in the crypt, transepts and east part of the cloister.
Between 1189 and 1204 the lady chapel was built and the choir extended. It
is the longest Medieval Cathedral in Europe (556ft) in 1110 the central tower
collapsed and was rebuilt with the supporting piers greatly strengthened (they
are now 20ft in width). Among its treasures is the Great Winchester Bible dating
back to the 12th Century, this illuminated copy was written in the scriptorium
at Winchester and is now preserved in the Cathedral library.
St Cross is almost a Norman Cathedral in miniature but also doubles as the local
parish church of St Faith. The structure is almost entirely of the late
Norman period. The Nave is dominated by massive Norman piers. A
closer look will see the Norman architecture giving way to Gothic walls and
windows. The church was extensively restored by Butterfield in the 19th
Century. But it is outside that one finds a perfect gem,
oldest and most perfect Almshouses. Begun in 1136 to house 13 poor men and
feed a 100 local people each day. The founder was Henry De Blois the half
brother of King Stephen. It was the Almshouses that saved the Church after
the Dissolution in 1536. The Almshouses are still in use today serving 12
or so Brothers and are situated round two Tudor quadrangles. The quaint
intentions of the founder is still honoured today. Every traveller
knocking at the door receives a morsel of bread and a horn of beer (known as the
Thomas Church, Salisbury
This large town Church was originally built as a place of worship for the stone
masons working on the 13th Century Cathedral. It was rebuilt in the
15th Century. The tower was originally detached until the extension
of the 15th Century. The Nave and Aisles are perpendicular and
the rooves are superb, especially the Nave with crested and painted beams and
over 100 angels in various locations. The South chapel was built approx 1450.
Yet a chance of history preserved above its Chancel arch the most complete doom
mural in England dating back to approx 1450-75, we know the work was painted
over in 1593 but discovered again and restored in 1881. We do know from
pre-restoration drawings that the composition is original.
Wilton House nr
Work began in 1543 on a Tudor house incorporating parts of the old Abbey. Then
in the 1630s the 4th Earl of Pembroke remodelled the house in the
Palladian style. The 11th Earl made further alterations in the
early 19th Century. Today we see the results of this work in a
fine house surrounded by beautiful landscaped parkland. Lovely rooms to
wander round, such as the famous double cube room, possibly the finest surviving
17th century stateroom in England. Paintings by Rembrandt,
Brueghel, Rubens and Reynolds. together with fine sculpture, furniture and