E.J.Wilkins

29 May 2008 1,606 views
 
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Winchester


Abbey House

This building stands - here - next to the Guildhall, which was yesterday's picture.

There is information about the house - here - on the City's web site, also a concise History of Abbey House.

The plaque by the gate says :-

"Abbey House stands on the site of St Mary's Abbey.
It was built about 1750 and originally faced the gardens to the rear.
The present castellated front was added after the widening of The Broadway in 1771.
Benedictine Nuns, fleeing the disturbances of the French Revolution, made their home here in 1790s.
The house now serves as the official residence of the Mayor of Winchester."

Elsewhere I've read that St Mary's Abbey was originally one of the largest religious houses in the country, founded in 990 AD by Ealhswith, King Alfred's Queen.
 
Following the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII, after which most of the monastery buildings were demolished, Queen Mary Tudor gave the site to the City of Winchester as a gift of gratitude for the City's hospitality at the time of her marriage to Philip of Spain, which took place in the Cathedral in 1554.

What may have remained of the derelict monastery buildings was, as far as I can make out, used as a "quarry" for local construction work and the land was sold. This house was built as a private residence with substantial enclosed gardens.

In 1889 the City re-purchased the property, the gardens were designated a "Public Pleasure Ground" (Park) and opened in 1890, following the construction of the Guildhall on the eastern section of ex-Abbey land. In 1893 the house was designated the official residence of the Mayor.

The entrance to Abbey Park, which carries on round behind this house, is the left of the house. Running across the gardens is a pretty water course, Abbey Mill Stream, which powered Abbey [Silk] Mill, and fed water into carp ponds which were used to provide food.
.

Winchester


Abbey House

This building stands - here - next to the Guildhall, which was yesterday's picture.

There is information about the house - here - on the City's web site, also a concise History of Abbey House.

The plaque by the gate says :-

"Abbey House stands on the site of St Mary's Abbey.
It was built about 1750 and originally faced the gardens to the rear.
The present castellated front was added after the widening of The Broadway in 1771.
Benedictine Nuns, fleeing the disturbances of the French Revolution, made their home here in 1790s.
The house now serves as the official residence of the Mayor of Winchester."

Elsewhere I've read that St Mary's Abbey was originally one of the largest religious houses in the country, founded in 990 AD by Ealhswith, King Alfred's Queen.
 
Following the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII, after which most of the monastery buildings were demolished, Queen Mary Tudor gave the site to the City of Winchester as a gift of gratitude for the City's hospitality at the time of her marriage to Philip of Spain, which took place in the Cathedral in 1554.

What may have remained of the derelict monastery buildings was, as far as I can make out, used as a "quarry" for local construction work and the land was sold. This house was built as a private residence with substantial enclosed gardens.

In 1889 the City re-purchased the property, the gardens were designated a "Public Pleasure Ground" (Park) and opened in 1890, following the construction of the Guildhall on the eastern section of ex-Abbey land. In 1893 the house was designated the official residence of the Mayor.

The entrance to Abbey Park, which carries on round behind this house, is the left of the house. Running across the gardens is a pretty water course, Abbey Mill Stream, which powered Abbey [Silk] Mill, and fed water into carp ponds which were used to provide food.
.

comments (13)

  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 29 May 2008, 03:46
I have never been to England. Your educational efforts are filling in very nicely for me, Ellie.
Very fine image of an imposing but not pretty building.
EJWilkins: It isn't as pretty as it once was, because of the castellated front, but I suppose they wanted to make it look more grand, and it may have been a way of adding internal space.
Glad you're enjoying the 'tour' - so far you've only walked about a hundred yards, if that. There's a lot to look at in this little City. smile
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 29 May 2008, 08:50
Great photo
EJWilkins: Thanks smile
I'm enjoying this tour of Winchester Ellie. It is a lovely city
EJWilkins: It's a very short tour, you've walked less than a hundred yards so far wink
I've a few more pictures that I took that day, but the light went far too early in the evening. I'll have to go back - yippee!
  • chad
  • from in front of a computer
  • 29 May 2008, 11:12
Winchester is clearly a very fine town, Ellie, and stuffed full of English history.
EJWilkins: It's a very fine town Chad, one of my favourite cities, it has a comfortable, settled feel to it, although like everywhere it's changing - but not the middle bit thank goodness.
  • Sheila
  • mostly Spain, England a little
  • 29 May 2008, 16:19
I love this photo. For me it is the best one of Winchester so far. VEry well done, and thanks for all the info as well.
EJWilkins: Thanks Shelia. I like finding out about places, and enjoy adding tidbits of information to go with the pictures, for me it's part of the blogging thing.
  • Alan
  • Southampton.. sunny south coast of England
  • 29 May 2008, 18:25
Thanks for the notes, Ellie.. informative as always. I'm sure we all appreciate you taking the trouble to do this. This would look even better with a blue sky!
EJWilkins: It would have looked lovely with either a blue sky or some rumbling clouds, instead of the near white-out, but never mind. I'm enjoying finding out more about the places too, it will add just that bit of interest next time I see them for myself.
With these photos that samples are as if we were taking a walk by this place of Winchester! smile
EJWilkins: It is a lovely city Jose. I hope one day you may see it for yourself smile
Many thanks for your informative note Ellie. I really enjoy your series!
EJWilkins: Thank you, I'm enjoying finding the information too. smile
  • Astrid
  • The Netherlands I think....
  • 29 May 2008, 20:08
Ellie, Thank you so much for the location link...I love the educational part of all of your pictures, this is a journey through your beautiful country, love this house, I always pictutit in the time it was just built and with the first inhabitants...with horses in the streets, beautiful, thank you so much for sharing.
EJWilkins: Flash Earth is so useful, and I think it adds a bit to a picture like this, if anybody's got the time to look. You think the same as me, I wonder too what the people really wore when they were doing their day-to-day living.
Thank you for this information with the picture Ellie. I think I may have been here several years ago
EJWilkins: Have you been inside? I believe they do tours, but don't allow photography. I'm enjoying my hunt for information almost as much as I enjoyed taking the pictures. wink
  • brianaw
  • Leicestershire
  • 30 May 2008, 16:22
You are making Winchester look a very interesting place to visit Ellie, the few times I've been that way we've just whizzed past on the by-pass.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 30 May 2008, 23:51
This looks like a great place to live smile Great pic.
I'm not so found of the lines and perspective. I would have stand right in front of the house.

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