City of Southampton Society
Registered Charity No 1006256 England and Wales
caring for our city's heritage and its green open spaces
Webmaster John Avery
                                      Titanic departing from Southampton April 1912          John Melody Town Crier          
   About us      Visit to Romsey Abbey 2018
Queen Mary entering KG DOCKOur outdoor visit to Minstead Church in 2011 image Will TempleWarrior who after service on the front in WWI became a Southampton Police Horse. Image by kind permission Bitterne Local History SocietySouthampton CenotaphJohn Melody Town Crier at Tudor Revels 2012 image Arthur Jeffery
 
 notes by Linda Pritchard

Our Summer Outing to Romsey Abbey

Members met in the pleasant gardens of King John's House for refreshments, before going to Romsey Abbey for our guided tour. We are grateful to have had the opportunity of a guided tour by a clearly enthusiastic and knowledgeable guide. The present Abbey's survives as a parish church, although greatly reduced from its original size and magnificence. It is an almost perfect example of Norman architecture, with an Early English extension dating from 1220. Our guide indicated the join at which the Norman string coursing ends and the style changes. Many Abbesses are listed on boards in an aisle and include St. Ethelflaeda who was step-daughter of King Edgar, King of Wessex, and her mother Alfrida. Unfortunately, the auspicious early days were followed over the years by a severe deterioration in standards, with many scandals being reported of bad behaviour. One Abbess, Elizabeth Whiterose lived a very 'secular' life. She was fined and 20 of her nuns, being 'naughty', were ordered to leave during the Dissolution. By 1530 most of the complex had been destroyed however In 1539 Romsey townspeople purchased the building for £100 from King Henry VIII's Commissioners to be their parish church. Romsey Abbey, with its long history, massively beautiful architecture, stained glass windows, wall paintings, tapestries, intriguing stone carvings, rare encaustic tiles, choir stalls, organ, and monuments, is a real treasure. The many memorials are full of interest and importance, especially, perhaps, that of Lord Mountbatten, who lived at nearby Broadlands, and was murdered by the IRA in 1979. Our thanks to John Avery for organising the outing




Outdoor visit to Minstead Church image courtesy Will Temple Outdoor visit on a Guy Arab open top busTug tender Calshot in preservation