Bewl Water

It was lovely to have to chance to go for a walk with my Pa around (a bit) of Bewl Water on Monday morning.

The reservoir was completed in 1975, and is a lovely spot, although created at a great cost to the people who were moved, and their farms flooded.

We used to go there for walks quite a lot when we were kids…

…and it was quite lovely to spend time there, with my Pa (and Desmond the hound) once more.

Battle Abbey

Despite being born and brought up about 20 miles away, I’d never visited Battle Abbey, and I dragged the folks there on Saturday.

The Benedictine abbey was built on the site of the Battle of Hastings. Following the dissolution of the monasteries under Henry VIII, the abbey became a private house, and is now a school.

On a beautiful summer’s day, it was incredible to think that such a savage battle had taken place on Senlac Hill

…and England fell under the Norman yoke (OK, OK…I know it wasn’t that simple).

Rye Harbour

Rye Harbour is about two hundred years old – it’s about two miles downstream from Rye. It grew up as the sea retreated from the medieval port.

It’s a busy yachting centre, with a fishing fleet and some commercial shipping – the surrounding area is a nature reserve.

The sea is still moving…moving…moving… – like Dungeness, Rye harbour has the feeling of being at the end of the world.

I was rather taken by two locals – this lady enjoying the sun on her balcony…

…and this intent little turnstone.

A Romantic Moment

Who lives in a house like this? The curator of Bayham Abbey.

Thanks to good old Henry VIII wanting a divorce, only the abbey ruins are left.

The site is incredibly peaceful – which is amazing given that it’s on the Kent-East Sussex border, a very highly populated area with lots of traffic.

I was last here when I was very little – I couldn’t remember very much about the site, except the tree above the site of what was the high altar. My Pa remarked that the Romantics would have loved the place. When we researched the abbey afterwards, we discovered that the site (as well as the rest of the estate) was landscaped by Repton, so that the ruins could be thrilled over.

The square building on the left of the gatehouse, is a summerhouse built in the 1800s – so that the denizens of Bayham Hall could picnic while looking at the abbey.

My Latest Trip to Bodiam Castle

I’m just back from a few days in Kent visiting the APs. As I was there for more than the usual weekend dash, I had time to visit various childhood haunts.

This is Bodiam Castle – when I grew out of children’s parties (for which my Mum sewed me long party dresses – how times have changed!), I always chose a trip to Bodiam.

The castle was built (or rather a house extended and fortified) to repel pirate raids. As the sea has receded it’s hard to imagine that this was in dangerous territory – although the WW2 tank trap is a reminder that invasion was feared not that long ago (although with a sodding big castle, why do you need a tank trap?).

[The Boy tells me that this is because a tank would “Blow the shit out of the castle”.]

The moat is full of huge carp.

I was rather taken by these sheds – they’ve weathered nicely.

Handwash only?

From this angle (where the drawbridge would have been) you can peek through the castle.

As long as I can remember – I’ve loved this place.