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Archive for the ‘Historical’ Category

I’m not really a fan of circular walks and prefer to end somewhere I didn’t start. But since I’m walking during my break, I have no choice but to return from whence I started.

Yesterday afternoon could be described as a blue sky day, and since it was my penultimate day in the city I made the most of the good weather and went for a ramble….from Temple to the Millennium Bridge, crossing to Bankside and walking to Tower Bridge, back over the Thames as the sun was setting and ultimately back to Fleet street and Temple.

I saw many of my favourite sights, and covered 7.86 kms in total.

Although I haven’t noticed much change in the volume of traffic along Embankment, the reduction in the city was very noticeable with many streets almost deserted. It was really weird walking past hundreds of shops and pubs….lights off and doors locked, and not manypeopleaboutat all. A bit like it would be after an apocalypse….

Very weird. This is the city of Sundays when everyone is at home and you could meander the streets and lanes and rarely see a soul.

Of course I took lots of photos…I hope you enjoy them

Has the chewing gum man been here?

If you cross Millennium Bridge look down and you’ll see a number of tiny little works of art. These are mostly the work of the ‘chewing gum man’. He creates art out of gum tossed on the streets by neanderthals. Although that’s actually insulting Neanderthals. Ben Wilson (click here for a profile) is famous in London for creating miniature artworks from gum stuck on the streets. His artwork is not limited to Millennium Bridge and if you keep your eyes peeled you’ll find these creative pieces in other corners of the city. I met him once at one of his exhibitions, a very interesting man.

One of my favourite views downstream of the Thames
When you cross Millennium Bridge from north to south, be sure to stop on the south side and look back…brilliant view of St Paul’s Cathedral
Just off the corner of a side street on Bankside you’ll find The Ferrymans Seat – harking back to when you had to pay the ferryman to row you across the river
The Globe Theatre- albeit not the original, Globe theatre is linked to William Shakespeare and pre-covid this is where you would come to experience what theatres were like in the 16th century. Not far from here and behind the first row of buildings you’ll find the remains of the Rose Theatre, where Shakespeare did perform his plays.
In the foreground is the arch of Southwark Bridge. At this point you can see four bridges crossing the Thames: Southwark, Cannon Street, London Bridge and in the distance, Tower Bridge – often mistakenly called ‘London Bridge’.
Beneath the arch of Southwark Bridge are scenes of Frost Fairs on the river from the days when it froze over in winter – specifically Frost Fairs were held in 1683-34, 1716, 1739-40, and 1814. The river is noe narrower and deeper and flows faster; and no longer freezes over.
A mural depicting William Shakespeare on the wall near The Clink Prison. I wonder what he would make of London today.
A fragment the Great Hall and Rose Window of Winchester Palace in Southwark. Once the palace of the Bishops of Winchester. The prostitutes who plied their trade in this area under the auspices of the Bishops were known as the ‘Winchester Geese’
A short walk from here is a piece of ground where they were apparently buried.
Southwark Cathedral circa 1905 – a place of Christian worship for more than 1,000 years it was originally an Augustinian priory built between 1106 and 1897. In 2017 I walked from the cathedral to Canterbury Cathedral following Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
Minerva and The Shard. This delightful sculpture can be found on the river side of the cathedral.
The Navigators; one of my favourite sculptures in London located in Hays Galleria
HMS Belfast moored on the Thames since 1971 on Southwark side of the river; the most significant surviving WWII Royal Navy warship. Since her launch over 82 years ago, she fired some of the first shots at the D-Day landings, served in the Arctic Convoys, and in the Korean War.
The magnificent White Tower glows in the light of the setting sun
Toad Hall aka the London Mayor’s Office – many years ago a play; Wind in the Willows, was staged in the open air theater next to the building. It was nicknamed Toad Hall and the name has stuck ever since, and occasionally we have (had) a real larger than life toad working there…
#notLondonBridge – Tower Bridge stands guard over The Pool of London – a bastion between the the lower reaches of the Thames and the City of London
Looking upstream. One of the many many barges that traverse the waterways on a daily basis; one of hundreds of various craft that ply the river ….
The Tower of London viewed from Tower Hill
The Tower of London- 6 years ago the moat was covered with ceramic poppies to commemorate the start of the First World War. I was one of the many lucky people who got to plant a few.
Remnants of the original Roman City walls located at the end of the pedestrian underpass from Tower Hill station
All Hallows by the Tower Church – oldest church in London. In the crypt you can see the crows nest from Shackleton’s ship, Endurance. Samuel Pepys stood in the platform of the tower and watched London burning in 1666
A poignant memorial located in front of the church
The Monument commemorates the area where the Great Fire of London started in 1666. Nearby is a small plaque on a building showing the original location of the bakers shop where the fire was meant to have started. If you ever decide to climb to the viewing platform…there are a lot of steps!! But you get a certificate for your efforts
Another of my favourite sculptures – The Cordwainer. Located in the ‘Ward of Cordwainer’, which in medieval times was the centre of shoe-making in the City of London. Only the finest leather from Cordoba in Spain was used, which gave rise to the name of the craftsmen and the Ward
The Royal Exchange – London’s first purpose built trading centre. The Royal Exchange in London was founded in the 16th century by the merchant Sir Thomas Gresham
A peek at St Paul’s Cathedral
My absolute favourite building in London – St Paul’s Cathedral still stands proud amongst all the new. Designed and built by Sir Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of London razed the original to the ground. A tiny grave in the crypt of the cathedral is the resting place of this famous man. His epitaph: si monumentum requiris, circumspiceโ€โ€”if you are searching for his monument, look around. In all Wren designed 53 of London’s churches as well as other secular buildings. St Paul’s Cathedral featured in the famous film Mary Poppins.
St Brides Church aka the ‘wedding cake’ church. Urban legend has it that a baker was looking out the window of his shop one day looking for inspiration for a wedding cake he was creating…hence the popular design of the layered wedding cake. It’s named for the saint St Bride and is also known as the Journalists Church due to its proximity to Fleet Street, once home to the newspaper trade.
Back whence I started. The spot where I’m standing is actually in the City of Westminster and the City of London Griffin marks the boundary between the two cities. When I step past the sculpture I’m then in the City of London.

I hope you’ve enjoyed your trip around London and some snippets of history.

By the time my walk ended, the sun was setting below the horizon. Across the river is the OXO Tower and the Sea Containers building. Not sure what the two new towers are, but I wish they weren’t there…downstream you can see The Shard, its highest point lit up in blue.
Looking upstream towards the London Eye from the same location at the same time. You can see a sliver of the moon just to the right of the tall building on the left
My walk 7.86kms via mapmywalk

And finally,  London by night. Taken at 10pm last night.

The Sea Containers building lit up with a rainbow
The Colours of London – still my favourite city in the whole world

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Its been a very long time since I read such a thick book in such a short space of time. Wow, what a storyteller he is. I could feel the heat of the desert, felt as if I was inside those fighters and the pain of the many small tragedies that occurred in order to bring the fight to fruition. Quite a few surprises and a helluva a lot of gasps of shock as my eyes flew across each page….incredible story. Based on the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, its a masterful story woven around true life events and people. The deception, duplicity and sheer evil of mankind is dreadful….but what a damn good story..

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I’m reading a book, historically factual but written as a story by Frederick Forsyth about the 1990 Iraq invasion of Kuwait.

The Fist of God. Its fascinating but OMG….humans are mad. Evil and mad. The stuff they do.ย  I can’t believe that if there was a God, that he would want us to continue under the illusion that we were created in his image. He must shudder. I’m sure he’s washed his hands of the human race…

I remember the invasion of Kuwait, my daughter was 10 years old at the time and I used to buy the papers so we could read them. I remember telling her that this was history, we were living in momentous times.

I also remember how the media scared the living daylights out if us and despite being at the very very bottom end of Africa and closer to Antarctica than Iraq, just how terrifying it was. Imagination went as wild as you can imagine!!

I think I still have some of the front pages….I’m weird like that.

But for sure, I never realized just how evil the whole thing was. And still today, we have evil men plotting dastardly events and violence against mankind.

I think we need a meteor to arrive…

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The history always gets me. You can’t fail to be overwhelmed by a place that has seen so much history and events that have shaped this country

Temple Church
Pump Court
The archway of Middle Temple Lane, made famous in the Da Vinci Code
Fleet Street history
Middle Temple Lane at night

History always gets me

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I can’t tell you how many many times I’ve visited and walked through and around Temple, exploring all the nooks and crannies, visiting Temple Church again and again, awed by the history.

I never for one second thought I would find myself working and living in the complex. And yet here I am and its strange.

If I had stopped to think about it, if I’d even imagined people actually lived here, I certainly would have thought it would be amazing to live in such a historical area; an area of myths and legends, of Knights Templar and King John…..he of Magna Carta fame.

You know how sometimes you’ve visited a place and thought “oh how much I’d love to live there!” – usually a cute thatched cottage or a beautiful mansion. But we never really get to know what it is like, because we don’t explore the opportunity of it. Would it even be as magical as what we imagine?

Weirdly it doesn’t feel any different to living anywhere else. There’s nothing special about the flat, its dingy and old with no mystery at all….no feel of the history of the area.

We’re located very close to the archway made famous in The Da Vinci code and yet it holds no mysticism.

Have I been away too long, lost my awe for these places, or is it still there but buried over time? Have I been keeping my eye for too long on other horizons to explore? Been here, done that type of thing.

Or is it that its wet, and cold and grim out and the flat too lifeless and uninviting? I can find nothing to excite me, no feeling of lives past, no ghosts…..

I’ve lived in a 16th century cottage in Montgomery in Wales with more atmospheric feeling and loved it. I’ve worked and lived in a castle in Scotland and stayed a few weeks in a gypsy caravan on the banks of the River Thames on Eel Pie island. I felt the atmosphere, I felt the air of people gone before.

And yet here I am, about to spend my 1st night in one of the most historic areas of London, and its leaving me stone cold. I’d rather be back in the guest house…

I think I’ve lost my sense of home. It’s so long now that I had a place to call home, a place where I returned to after each job. My own bed, my clothes in a cupboard instead of a suitcase in a storage unit.

I seldom even use the word ‘home’ now and if I say it, it’s a slip of the tongue. A habit I’ve yet to lose. I don’t belong anywhere, although I go back to the same area after each job, just different guest houses, none of them are home.

They say that home is where the heart is. That’s not true. I know where my heart is, but it’s not my home.

And so I’ll be sleeping in another strange bed (not a very comfortable one either ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ) and I know by morning my hips will be aching and I’ll be stiff and sore from metal springs pressing….

And in the meantime, reading The Salt Path has evoked a longing in me. A longing to just shuck my arms through the straps of my backpack and go.

The reviews of the book make it sound amazing and wonderful and romantic. It’s anything but. It about hardship and pain and hunger, and love…and a strong enduring love that overcomes hardship and pain and hunger, to find freedom and joy in living free.

It’s making me melancholic and pulling me towards doing the same thing. Do you think that once the walking bug enters your soul, it leaves you wanting more, with an uneasy longing to just go? To walk and walk and walk…..to walk despite the pain, the blisters, the hardships and the rain.

Is there a sense of home in having no home?

Meanwhile, besides the loud TV tuned into Midsomer Murders, its quiet and still as if the air is holding its breath, the lights of the city twinkling in the dark, the silhouette of St Paul’s Cathedral dark and foreboding and if I crane my neck out one of the windows I can see the shimmering movement of the Thames as it rushes out to sea…

Have I moved on from London? Or has London left me behind?

I can find none of the enchantment I used to feel coming into the city, and that saddens me.

So tomorrow I’m going to go out during my break and see if I can find the thrill, the excitement and my love of the city….hope it’s not raining, I’ve got 477.7kms to catch up on before 31 December.

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I forgot to tell you about Lewes Castle!! How remiss of me. Only one of the most amazing attractions of the town..

When I first arrived in Lewes my attention was drawn to the fantastic 14th and 15th century buildings in the high street and I didn’t even notice the castle….probably also because I was sitting on the left hand side of the taxi ๐Ÿ˜‰ and despite what I used to tell my daughter, I don’t have eyes in the back of my head, so I missed it altogether.

And unusually for me…..as with Newhaven, I didn’t do my research prior to visiting.

On my first Saturday here, during my break, I set off to explore and whoaaa, there’s a castle.

My first glimpse of Lewes Castle

But as mentioned in a previous post, I had neither mask nor money with me ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช Never mind, I’ll come back next week (the castle is only open on Saturday atm due to Covid-19). But of course next Saturday was raining. So no castle.

However this Saturday last, I had to visit regardless of the weather because I leave Lewes on Friday.

Saturday dawned rainy and windy but with an occasional blue sky sunshine, so off I went. They have a really good system set up. You’re greeted at the door by a lovely lady who takes all your test and trace details, you sanitise your hands, then she sends you off on a one-way system through the museum first, after which you can buy your ticket for a visit to the castle. Ergo, the museum is free to visit (I think).ย  And visit you must.

The museum is not large, 2 rooms downstairs and 2 rooms upstairs, but they have a most amazing set up depicting the history of the area and the many artefacts that have been found in Sussex. An intimate little museum with just enough information to read and look at without being overwhelmed. My favourite artifacts were the swords. Wowww.

I had a good read, took some photos, bought a few items from the gift shop for my grandson, paid for my entry and another lovely lady guided me across to the gate and let me in.

I love castles ๐ŸคŽ๐ŸคŽ There’s a massive shortage of castles in South Africa and the only castle I’d had experience of before coming to the UK was Cape Town Castle which isn’t really, but is rather a fort with grand ideas masquerading as a castle. It also has a history as a prison and is still a symbol of European oppression. Although to be fair, I guess most castles here have the same sort of background.

Anyway, back to Lewes Castle…

Like many castles today, this too is just a shadow of its former glory, but its fabulous. I climbed innumerable stairs to the top, sadly not the very top of the towers, which is where I really wanted to go, but the remains of the Great Hall will have to suffice.

Dozens of stairs
The Great Hall

The views across the valley to the hills are absolutely stunning, especially beautiful with the autumn colours. From here as well the view looks back in time to the 1264 Battle of Lewes.

A good view too of what used to be the Tilting Ground, now a bowling green, and in the distance I could see the windmill I passed a few days ago on my walk to Kingston. Awesome.

The Tilting Ground

The wind was blowing a gale and howling in my ears, flicking leaves and branches here and there….just brilliant. It was wild. Yes, there’s a couple of trees growing out the side of the building and there’s a tree slap bang in the middle of what was the Great Hall…now that’s wild!!

Nature takes over…

As you can imagine with the unpleasant weather, there were not many people up there, so it was easy to explore, although there really wasn’t that much to explore. Shame about the towers – closed atm due to Covid-19. Geez, I just realised reading that sentence back, that I used the word ‘there’ 3 times ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค” English eh.

Coming back down the stairs you have fantastic views across the town and to the cliffs, and travelling from across country the castle can be seen from miles away….the position is brilliant.

Views for miles around

In the courtyard is a fantastic Russian cannon and some wooden stocks

A bit of history:

A work in progress like most castles in England, Lewes Castle, originally known as Bray Castle, follows a motte and bailey design but unusually, has two mottes and was built on and added to over a few centuries.

The first motte, known as Brack Mount was completed shortly after the 1066 Norman conquest of England.

Both of the mottes were built byย William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey, who also, along with his wife Gundrada, built the nearbyย  Priory of St. Pancras.

The mottes would originally have been surmounted by wooden palisades.

The second motte, known as the Keep, was completed in the late 11th century.
Both of which were built by William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey.

Soldiers from the King’s army, set out from the castle to engage with Simon de Montfort at the Battle of Lewes in 1264.

Towers were added to one of the shell keeps in the 13th century.

The barbican gate was added in the 14th century.

Certainly not as enormous as some of the castles I’ve visited in the last 19 years, but no less impressive, it stands guard over a gap in the South Downs overlooking the towns of Lewes and Cliffe and the River Ouse that winds it’s way between the 2 towns.

In the distance…it looks far, but it’s only about a 10 minute walk

Lewes castle has the distinction of being the 49th castle I’ve visited as part of Project 101.

I’ve compiled a short video of some of the exhibits in the museum

I can highly recommend a visit to Lewes Castle if you’re in the area. At the moment they’re only open on Saturdays, but that might change in the future.

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Weirdly I’m so enjoying this book.

A fascinating look at the machinations of government, political campaigns and what goes on behind closed doors, our famous Number 10 in this instance, and how incredibly quickly it can all go very wrong…

What’s quite exciting about this book too, is that I can remember most of these events; the campaigning, Blair handing over to Brown, Brown subsequently throwing in the towel, seeing Samantha heavily pregnant in the glare of her husband’s narrow victory. The palaver and calamitous headlines when Cameron formed a coalition government with Clegg – christ, you’d be forgiven for thinking a great big black hole had opened up on planet earth!!! ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช

I also remember the smug expressions in the Rose Garden ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”

I’m about a quarter of the way through and I’m enthralled. I’m not a fan of DC or his party, but I ‘almost’ feel sorry for him ๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿคซ

I was never into politics in South Africa. We had 1 party and that was the Nationalist Party. You reached voting age and voted for the Nationalist Party. Actually there were other parties of course but for decades the NP dominated. And then in 1994 things changed and the ANC came into power. And so that party has since dominated..again for decades, and even though there are other parties, its really a 1 party country.

But in the UK, its a different story. I’m constantly fascinated by the political scene and how it all works, even though I’m avoiding anything related to politics atm. This book is easy to read, not a pedantic tome but it cuts to the chase.

I remember with the last election, I was eligible to vote and so I took a keen interest and read everything I could lay my hands on. I read all the different editorials and some of the rags, depending on the political leanings of the current client.

I’ve always had a leaning towards conservatism, with a massive dash of liberal, but I liked the policies of the Labour and Green parties. Right then? Or left? Go figure!! One day I decided to do one of those stupid polls on Facebook to determine which party I should vote for. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ wtaf???

It came up as UKIP!!!! Excuse me while I die laughing ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™‰๐Ÿ™Šโ˜ ๐Ÿ’€ UKIP???? I loathe that party, I loathe what they stand for and I PARTICULARLY loathe and despise the leader of that particular party at the time. (I’ve seen him in action in person, and he’s vile, a loathsome creature). So when the results came back for UKIP ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜  ๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿคฎ Bloody Facebook. I’m sure the poll was rigged ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ and I definitely didn’t vote for UKIP.

Anywayyyyy, back to the book. Its fascinating and since the weather today was so horrible; raining and windy and I’m really tired (coming to the end of a particularly stressful assignment), I decided to curl up in bed and read. I don’t care how much money they get, or how much they make afterwards, but that is one job I would not like….

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With just 4 days left in Lewes, today I was determined to find and follow the Egrets Way.

At least now I know where it starts, I didn’t waste 3/4 of my break trying to find the route.

But first I stopped off at Trinity Church, Southover. I’d been past it a number of times but it was always closed – today it was open ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ There’s quite a history attached; “The church of Southover originated as a ‘hospitium’ or guest house to serve the nearby Priory of Saint Pancras founded by William de Warenne and his wife Gundrada in 1077 AD.

The tower was built in stages between 1714 and 1738, after the collapse of the earlier tower with spire in 1698. This may have been caused by hanging a ‘Great Bell’ in the previous year, which proved too much for the earlier structure. The location of the earlier tower is not certainly known,
but from what evidence is available probably stood where the Gundrada Chapel is built now.

I was delighted to find a scallop shell in one of the glass windows with St James right above it โคโค

After my brief visit to the church I walked down St James’s Street to have a closer look at the house at the end of the cul de sac – it looked like a gingerbread house. Imagine my amusement when on closer inspection I discovered the name of the house; The Gingerbread House โ˜บโ˜บ Just perfect!!

The Gingerbread House โ˜บโ˜บ

I made my way towards the river via the carpark and soon picked up the Egrets Way. I’m dead keen to walk along the riverside to the little village of Southease, also a Domesday Book village and near to where Virginia Woolf, who at the time lived in nearby Rodmell, committed suicide in 1941 in the River Ouse.

Of course with all the rain over the last few days, and boy has it rained, the river is in full tumultuous flow and the riverside path is mostly a muddy quagmire, placing obstacles of watery pools in the way.

Fast flowing River Ouse

But I trudged along, determined to get as far as I could, zig-zagging from one side of the path to the other trying to find the least squelchy and muddy bits to traverse. Thanks be for my walking poles, as always they kept me upright when the mud was determined to see me on my bottom.

I arrived at one gate to find a pool of water right in the middle surrounded by mud, so balancing precariously on the wooden edges and hugging the upright struts I sort of swung my way around and through the gate….but I didn’t get very much further since the path at the next gate was just too muddy; and so I said “no, just no!”.

I beat a retreat and returned the way I had come.

Once past all the muddy puddles et al, I crossed a grassy patch and picked up the cycle/walking path that is sensibly gravelled and continued on my way.

The riverside path will have to wait for another time – perhaps when I eventually walk the South Downs Way that passes through Lewes, I may just divert for a few days and actually walk along the river to Southease….if it hasn’t been raining!!

Time will tell.

Meanwhile I followed the path, beneath the grim and dreary railway underpass, through a fine, new wooden gate and before too long I recognised the place I had originally seen the signpost for the Egrets Way, near the recycling centre. It also gave me the opportunity to see where I had gone so very wrong at my last attempt

Dreary underpass, fine wooden gate

Once I realized the error of my ways, the what and why became apparent. Instead of turning left, I was endeavouring to find a way through to the right ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿ‘‰โŒ๐Ÿ‘ˆ which of course would have taken me onto the railway line….clearly I need to do a map reading course ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ Even with the help of Google maps I still went wrong. How have I managed to not get lost on previous walks! Luck, I guess ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿคญ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž

So now that I  know my daft mistake, it doesn’t really matter since its unlikely I’ll walk that way again while here…but I’m glad I resolved the issue.

So whizzing along I made my way back into town, passing some interesting houses, the only surviving section of the Franciscan Friary

Amazing relic from 1224!!

and while chatting on the phone to the relief carer who’d just left due to issues at the house, I once again went off piste….I had planned to go to Tesco for a packet of my secret vice, but since I was so completely not going in the right direction, I gave up and went back to the house.

On the way I passed the castle for another look and more photos ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜…wish the weather had been this fine on Saturday!!

Lewes Castle

Next a brief stop to take a few more photos of the 15th centuryย  bookshop windows….and spotted another book I would dearly love to buy – bad luck, the shop won’t be open again till Friday afternoon and by then I’ll be on my way….

I’m on the home straight. Hoorah!!

A little video with some more images from my walkabout today. The weather was fantastic

Lewes

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You know how sometimes you feel like you want to visit a place and it seems like a good idea, then you go and it’s not …..๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ

Well yesterday I did just that..

Mistake #1 I didn’t do any research

Mistake #2 I got off the train at Newhaven Harbour

Mistake #3 I didn’t do any research

So the lessons I learned: do my research and get off at Newhaven Town stop not the harbour.

Anywayyyyy…..I went, I saw, I can tick it off my list – I didn’t get the t-shirt ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช

So, Newhaven. If I’d done my research, this is what I would have learned.

1. Newhaven Harbour is a grim industrial area, and on the wrong side of the river. In my imagination I pictured a lovely pretty harbour with colourful boats and twee huts. It isn’t. I couldn’t even bear to take a photo it’s so depressing. There is a boat marina on the opposite side.

Found some colourful boats, but obscured

2. It’s a 10 minute walk back to Newhaven Town. Which to be fair, except for the interesting wooden houses close to the riverside, is almost as depressing. I normally like a bit of decay and love old Victorian houses, but seriously…

These houses near the riverside were quite interesting

3. Even town centre is depressing.

Town Centre

4. Ho Chi Minh landed here in 1913? He was a Vietnamese revolutionary and politician. He served as Prime Minister of North Vietnam from 1945 to 1955 and President from 1945 to 1969. 

After I returned last night I ‘did some research’ ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช and this is what I found:

Newhaven: A channel ferry port in East Sussex.

Looking downstream of the River Ouse

There was a Bronze Age fort on what is now Castle Hill.

In about 480 AD the Saxons established a village near to where Newhaven now stands; named “Meeching” aka known as “Myching” or “Mitching”.
The settlement began to be known as the “new haven”.

Part of the Holmstrow hundred until the abolition of hundreds in the 19th c but not mentioned in the 1086 Domesday Book ๐Ÿคจ๐Ÿ˜’๐Ÿ˜’


Lies at the mouth of the River Ouse, westward from Seaford, one of the Cinque Ports formed by Henry VIII.

In 1848, the exiled French King Louis Philippe I landed here in disguise after abdicating his throne.

The village was of little maritime importance until the opening of the railway line to Lewes in 1847.
The railway reached the port in 1847.

Dredging of the channel and other improvements to the harbour between 1850 and 1878, enabled the port to be used by cross channel ferries.
In 1863 the LB&SCR and the Chemin de Fer de l’Ouest introduced the Newhaven-Dieppe passenger service.

The most colourful part of Newhaven was in a pedestrian underpass

The London Brighton and South Coast Railway (LB&SCR) constructed their own wharf and facilities on the east side of the river, and opened the Newhaven harbour railway station.
The area then became known as the ‘new haven’, and officially recognised as ‘The Port of Newhaven’ in 1882.

Imports then included French farm products and manufactures, timber, granite and slates.

The present breakwater was built in 1890.

Newhaven harbour was designated as the principal port for the movement of men and material to the European continent during World War I.
Between 22 September 1916 and 2 December 1918, the port and town of Newhaven were designated a ‘Special Military Area’ under the ‘Defence of the Realm Regulations’, and the Harbour station was closed to the public.

During World War II, large numbers of Canadian troops were stationed at Newhaven, and the ill-fated Dieppe Raid in 1942 was largely launched from the harbour.

A Poppy Trail

When Lord Lucan vanished in 1974, his car was found in Newhaven, in Norman Road, with two types of blood in it.

Newhaven offers regular passenger services to Dieppe.

All the above research ref wikipedia

I did my best and walked in a huge circle trying to find something really interesting, and some of the little sculptures came to the party, but in all honesty, it didn’t have the magic….that thrill of exploring a new place. In retrospect I could rather have gone to Seaford. Maybe next week. Meanwhile I cut my visit short by an hour and went back to Lewes.

If you can bear it here’s a short video

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Sweete Themmes, runne softly, till I end my song. (Edmund Spenser, 1596) One of the things Iโ€™ve missed most in this time of lockdown is being able to walk along the banks of the River Thames. Iโ€™ve whiled away many an hour of my retirement strolling along the river, mostly stretches between London Bridge to [โ€ฆ]

A Thames Journey: (1) From the Source to Cricklade

I’ve just discovered this fantastic article and felt I really had to share it. Firstly the writer has a wonderful way with words, some terrific photos and he’s writing about my favourite river…the Thames. Its been a dream of mine for years now to walk the Thames from source to sea….just the very words ‘source to sea’ conjures a feeling of excitement and adventure and has certainly captured my imagination. I love that the writer and his companions started this walk in midwinter and his description of the early morning evokes a sense of wonder….and I could feel myself transported to the very moment of that crispy ground underfoot.

It’s a lovely read, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have. I’m off now to read some more, and the book is on my Christmas wishlist ๐Ÿคถ๐Ÿป๐ŸŽ„

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