Building Types

The Glory of Albi, South of France

Today 15.09.17, we arrived in Albi in the South of France, and I have managed to download a couple of photos.  This is the view of the cathedral from the window where we are staying and of course it was straight there to have a look and I have downloaded one interior photo so you have an idea of what we saw.  Tomorrow all the public buildings in France are free of charge which we didn’t know about, so as we have a whole day in Albi, we are going to be very busy, much to husbands amusement 🙂  More to follow when we get home.

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.

Aberaeron By Night, Wales

On a visit to Aberaeron, which is located between Cardigan and Aberystwyth in Wales, last week-end, September 2017, we went for a fish supper in one of the best fish and chip restaurants in Wales……..well we think so 🙂  After stuffing ourselves we went for a walk and I tried my hand at taking some night photos, not something I often do, but it look so pretty with the reflections of the lights in the water.  

I have added a black & white version, as I quite like both, not bad for a real first attempt, could be worse 🙂

Southsea Castle Lighthouse, Southsea, Portsmouth

This is the lighthouse of my childhood.  As a small child I spent many happy hours on Southsea Beach, Portsmouth, we only lived a couple of minutes away, and most of my young memories include the beach in some form or another.  It has changed a lot, many of the old attractions are no longer there, but the castle remains and so does the lighthouse.  We paid a visit when we were attending my Fathers wedding, at the start of August 2017, we had a little spare time the evening before, so it was off to see the lighthouse for my collection of lighthouses.  I must admit that I didn’t know anything about the lighthouse, only that it was there.

The Castle was first began in 1544, but the lighthouse wasn’t built until 1828 into the top of the western rampart of the castle, marking the east side of the entrance to Portsmouth Harbour.  It still serves as an aid to navigation guiding ships through the deep water channel into Portsmouth Harbour and is 34 feet high.  When the lighthouse was first added to the castle, the Lighthouse Keeper and his family were housed in the castle, but later moved to accommodation outside of the castle.


A little history on the bandstand – The bandstand was constructed in 1998, by a local blacksmith.



Spitbank Fort Lighthouse

We have been away for a few days, but while I sort out some photos of lighthouses plus a castle, that we visited, I will try and posts the ones before the recent visits.  So a few weeks ago, the start of August 2017, while taking some photos of  Southsea Castle Lighthouse, I looked across the Solent, the stretch of water that separates the UK mainland from the Isle of Wight and saw another lighthouse.  Daylight was fading a little, but as we would not be around this neck of the woods for a while, I took some photos and hoped for the best.  The lighthouse is on Spitbank Fort, one of four sea forts built in the Solent – with St Helens Fort, Horse Sand Fort and No Mans Land Fort.  The Forts were initially designed to defend Portsmouth’s naval dockyard from French invasion, today they stand as a testament to Victorian engineering.   Spitbank Fort is now a luxury hotel, if you fancy a stay, but I think that would be a bit extreme for me, just to take a photo, so a long range one will have to do.

A little history for you……..The story of Spitback Fort goes back to 1851 when Napoleon III became Emperor of France, sparking widespread fear in Britain that a French invasion was likely.  Prime Minister, Lord Henry Palmerston, initially commissioned five forts to run along the Solent’s eastern approaches to defend the Royal Navy fleet at anchor in Portsmouth harbour.  Four remain today as one was abandoned during construction.  The granite and iron sea forts were built with cutting edge Victorian engineering technology.  However they, along with other defensive forts along the south coast, were later dubbed “Palmerston’s Follies” as the French threat never materialised.