Winchester’s Abbey Gardens
Once past the High Street on Winchester, we stumbled upon the Abbey Gardens. In truth, we were looking for the River Itchen and the route to the St Cross Hospital, but I’m glad we took this little detour through the lovely gardens. These pictures look s a little dour in retrospect, but that morning “seemed” bright and sunny. Of course, any hint of spring is pounced upon with total enthusiasm after a long British winter.
The Abbey Gardens now belong to the city’s mayor, although they are open to the public. The site used to be home to the an old Saxon Nunnaminster, although the remains are still buried and only a few remains are visible. The area later became known as St Mary’s Abbey, and was the final resting place of King Alfred the Great in 899. (Which makes me question why a king would want to be buried in a place full of nuns… which sounds too much like a Monty Python skit for my comfort!)
One interesting thing that I noticed in several locations during out day out in Winchester were the stone walls. Along the Abbey Gardens, and later along the walls of St Cross Hospital, the stone walls seem to have been made up of geodes, all hammered open to reveal the smooth, almost glass-looking stone inside. It’s an attractive look.