Day 06 03-05-2014 Sat Winchester

We woke to brilliant sunshine, strangely combined with a temperature of only 7℃, but it has been a glorious day, driving through the rolling Hampshire countryside. Our first stop was Alresford, a pleasant village not far from Winchester.

IMG_0263 IMG_0257 IMG_0260Then it was on to Mottisfont, the site of a Cistercian Abbey that became someone’s estate following the dissolution of the monasteries. Only the crypt of the old Abbey remains, but it was very atmospheric, especially with a local group singing a capella above us. The main attraction is the walled gardens and the extensive estate that surrounds the house.

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capella choir

IMG_0267 IMG_0273 IMG_0277 IMG_0280 IMG_0285 IMG_0287 IMG_0290 IMG_0292We continued on to Winchester, first seeing the preserved working Water Mill in the city centre. The mill race is part of the crystal clear River Itchen, and it is extremely fast flowing. Winchester is a small but lovely city, with interesting medieval buildings. It has many historical connections to King Alfred, King Arthur’s legend and the powerful Bishops of Winchester.

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The Great Hall
The Great Hall

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he Mill is behind bridge over the clear River Itchen
he Mill is behind bridge over the clear River Itchen
King Alfred
King Alfred
The Guild Hall
The Guild Hall

IMG_0462We visited the Cathedral, which is very impressive, and then followed the River walk to the water meadows. We returned to the Cathedral for Evensong, sitting in the quire directly behind the choristers. The singing was very atmospheric.

Afterward we repaired to the adjacent pub for dinner.

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Queen Victoria donated a statue of herself
Queen Victoria donated a statue of herself

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Bishop Fox founded Joan's school: Bishop Fox Girls Grammar
Bishop Fox founded Joan’s school: Bishop Fox Girls Grammar

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Oldest tiles in Engand
Oldest tiles in England

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Bishops liked to big-note themselves

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