St Mary’s Church, Chidham, West Sussex

A few weeks ago in August 2017, we visited a few churches in Hampshire and West Sussex.  They were all, what I call country churches, lovely and small, sometimes very plain, but all different and all were  open……which pleased me no end.  In St Mary’s Church in Chidham, West Sussex, were the remains of wedding flowers, the smell was wonderful, its amazing how even a small vase of flowers, will fill a church of sweet smells.  

The church was most likely built in the early 13th century, it was first suggested 1210 as the date of construction.  This is supported by the architecture of the lancet windows on the north and south side of the chancel which are classic early 13th century.

During the Reformation which swept away the Rood Screen, it is thought that the old stone font was hidden away under the floor of the nave.  There the font remained, until it was accidentally discovered when major works were carried out in the 19th century.  It was hoped it was of Saxon stonework, but as the Domesday Book does not mention a church, the trail goes cold.

I have posted some of the photos and paintings that I found inside the church.  Sometimes they can tell you a little extra, and its lovely to see have the church has evolved over the years.

There are a few pieces of nice stained glass, and one lovely coloured modern window which was to celebrated the 800th anniversary of the church.

The stone work of the church indicates that the stones came from different stone quarries. Caen, Bembridge, Cocking, Lavent and some were even purloined from Roman walls of Chichester. 


The Lower Lighthouse, Isle of Portland, Dorset

A few weeks ago we visited the Isle of Portland, in Dorset, as I wanted to see the Lighthouse at Portland Bill.  I had a lovely surprise as there were three lighthouses, this lighthouse, the lower light, the higher light and the current tower light and whats more, not a rain drop in sight.  I will post about each of them for my ‘Lighthouse Categories’.  

The first lower lighthouse was opened on 29.09.1716, but has been rebuilt several times.  The one we visited was built in 1869, although it has not been used as a lighthouse since 1906.  The reason you can visit, on site as there is a wonderful bookshop, on all things birds, as the tower is now a bird observatory and field centre, also holiday accommodation.  After decommissioning, the lamp room was removed and there is now an observation room.  After visiting the bookshop and with a couple of books in tow, I had a quick look inside the hall of the lighthouse and I was so glad I did, as on the wall there were several photos of the lighthouse during its life span.  So of course I took some photos of them, its not often you get to see the life of a lighthouse, and it was so interesting to see them.

This is how the lighthouse would have looked with the original lamp room.

The lighthouse as a tea room after the Great War.



The following are some of my photos that I changed to black & white.

Before I go, just a quick holiday up date, we were going to be in France for two weeks, but in the end it was only one, after our stay in Albi and visiting the wonderful Cathedral, the next day on our way to our next stop, we had a phone call.  Our Kennels phoned us to say that Nipper was very very ill, his diabetes had taken a turn for the worse and he was in the Vets.  Then the Vets phoned to say that he had acid in his blood again and his sugar levels were off the scale, and there was the possibly that he might not make it.  Twice we have lost dogs when we have been away, its so horrible not to be able to see them before they go.  My husband drove over a 1,000 miles, we couldn’t get on the train for the tunnel at 12.30pm, and next slot would be 8.30am next morning, so we drove to the ferry and got straight on the boat.  We got to the Vets at 8.30 am and amazingly he had stabilised, we took him home in the afternoon and that was on Monday and at the moment he is doing well.  They have increased his insulin, so fingers crossed it will make him a lot better 🙂


St Leonards Church, Bursledon, Hampshire

Today 13.09.17, in the South of France, it was another beautiful hot day.  We went along the coast to Nice and Monaco, visited a few places on the coast and then popped over to Italy, and then made our way up into the French Alps.  Found a lovely Alpine Town with a wonderful church, which I will post about when the laptop is better.  So, as I can’t post about the lovely churches I have visited in France, I found an English one that I can.

St Leonards Church is in Bursledon, a village in Hampshire, on the south coast of England.  We were visiting Hampshire back in July and on the way home stopped for something to eat in Bursledon, when I noticed the church.  It was about 7.00 pm, so I knew it would be locked, but it’s such a pretty church I took photos anyway, as goodness knows when we will be passing again.  

A little history…..

The church in Bursledon can trace its history back to the last half of the twelfth century.

All churches can be given a ‘date’ by the styles of architecture they contain: St. Leonard’s has features that seem to confirm that it was indeed founded in the later twelfth century. The simple elegance of the Chancel Arch, dividing the nave from the raised area at the east end of the church, is of early English style and can be dated to 1190-1300. The font is perhaps earlier and, although unfinished and retooled in places, it is of transitional style dateable to 1160-1190.

The blocked doorways in the nave, presumably once the main access points for monks and congregation before the Victorian extension, date to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The small lancet window in the chancel, although restored in 1888-9 is of a thirteenth-century design.

In the 1830′s St. Leonard’s had two transepts added, making a cross-shaped church in plan. However, these proved unsatisfactory and in 1888-9 the church was extensively re-modelled. There is a brass plaque in the nave detailing the work that the architect, John Sedding, carried out. It seems that Sedding kept what was best about the old church and sensitively extended the nave and replaced the transepts, to accommodate the growing population of Bursledon.




Re-Visit Twin Lighthouses, Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire

Today 12.09.17, in the South of France it was lovely and hot, we visited some beautiful churches, hill top towns and villages, also a picnic on the beach…….plus a few French Lighthouses.  Still cannot upload any photos, so I found some of a re-visit to the twin lighthouses at Sutton Bridge, Lincolnshire, I wanted to see if  ‘The Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse’ was open, but I think we were too late.  Still I got some better photos of both lighthouses for my collection.  

Tomorrow we are visiting Monaco, should be interesting, as husband wants to drive around the roads, as if driving in the Grand Prix, well he has to have some reward for my churches 🙂 Then we might go into Italy and do a circuit up into the mountains, and then back to Grasse where we are staying.

West Lighthouse.

Sir Peter Scott Lighthouse, East Lighthouse.

In this view, you can just see the top of the West Lighthouse.

Evening Light At Wells-next-to-Sea, North Norfolk

A few weeks ago, late August 2017, we visited Wells-next-the-Sea on the North Norfolk coast.  I had a  practise at taking some more evening photos.  I was hoping to take some evening photos of Cannes on the French Riviera tonight, but the traffic was horrendous, so we gave up trying to get along the coast.  This morning we had a wonderful day driving through the French Alps and saw some amazing rock formations, which I will post later, but my laptop is still not letting me down load any new photos.  So while we are away, it will be old photos only 🙂  I must say their wifi in Grasse, where we are staying, is so fast, amazingly so.  Anyway hopefully tomorrow  I will get to photograph some more old churches to go with the few that I have visited so far. 


Newport Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Last weekend, September 2017, we were in Wales, and we only had one day of exploring, but you can do a lot in a day.  On the way back from visiting the lighthouse at Strumble Head, in North Pembrokeshire, we were driving through Newport on the way back to New Quay, when looking right, I saw a castle.  Now….. we have driven through Newport several times, but I guess I have never looked up that particular road before, so it was a lovely surprise to see a new castle to me, in an area that we thought we knew really well.  There is no access to the Castle, as it is a private home, but you can get a good view from the road, or go further up the hillside as we did.  I would have loved to have got closer, but it is someones home, so I didn’t creep up the drive, hiding behind trees, but I so wished I could have done.

I also visited the church, which had some early photos of the church, but with castle and then the Tourist Board had a few more.  It’s always interesting to see some earlier references to theses ancient castles.


A little history…….It is suggested that Newport Castle was founded by the first Lord Marcher of Kemes, Martin de Turribus in 1191 and rebuilt by his son William at the end of the 12th Century.  None of this original castle survives, with the oldest remaining parts of the building thought to date to the late 13th century. The castle was captured by Llywelyn the Great in 1215 and Llywelyn the Last in 1257 but on both occasions was recaptured.   Ownership of the castle was transferred to Lord Audley in 1324.

The castle suffered extensive damage during the Welsh Revolt at the start of the 15th century. The castle was temporarily transferred to the crown when the then Lord Audley, James, was executed for high treason and all his lands seized in 1497, but these were returned to his son in 1534. William Owen of Henllys bought the castle nine years later.

A three-storey private residence was built in 1859 on the site of the castles gate-house, as part of renovations carried out by the owner at the time, Sir Thomas Lloyd, during which one of the flanking towers of the gatehouse was demolished. Three other towers at the corners of the building remain, along with a curtain wall.  A vaulted crypt adjoins the south-eastern tower.

The castle was listed with Grade I status on 16 January 1952. Today, the building remains in private ownership and is not open to the public.

A Postcard from Hayling Island, Hampshire, England

At the moment we are in France, but my laptop has decided it will not down load any new photos, so old photos will have to do.  The weather is an assortment of sunshine and rain……well we are use to that in the UK, but it is going to get hotter the further south we go…..hopefully.  We are in Epernay which is in Champagne region and of course we had to have a taster, which was very nice.  We have also visited ‘The Notre-Dame Church’ not that old, but still very beautiful with some wonderful gargoyles.  

Returning to the photos, we visited Hayling Island in July, 2017, the island is somewhere that my mother use to take my brother and I, for lots of seaside visits, and then my daughter when she was small.  We lived in Portsmouth, which is on another island, Portsea Island, although no one calls it that anymore.  The beach, Southsea on Portsea, is pebbles, but on Hayling Island, which is the next island along, there use to be sand dues and thats why my mother took us on the short boat trip to visit them.  The photo of the long road bridge is the only way onto the island by car and the view you see from the beach is another island, the Isle of Wight.  

There use to be a railway bridge onto the island, but as you can see from the photo this is all that is left of it now.  I have add an old railway map of Hayling and Portsea, so you can see how close they are, but Portsea is now connected, I think, by five bridges, although I can remember when it was only one.