Calshot Spit

tower.jpgToday we decided to go around Southampton Water and get views opposite our usual spot at Titchfield Haven. Calshot Spit is about a mile long it is a sand and shingle bank at the seaward end of Southampton Water. It has a lot of historical interest. There is Calshot Castle built by Henry VIII and now open to the public by English Heritage, The former RAF seaplane base is now a Council Activities Centre, the Schneider Trophy seaplanes were a familiar sight in the skies above Southampton Water in the 1920s and early 1930s when the machines were based at Calshot. Calshot Tower is owned by the port it was built in 1973 as part of the Southampton radar chain. It served as a Coastguard lookout from 1974 until the 1990s. The tower opened as a  National Coastwatch Institution lookout in 2010. The NCI is a voluntary charitable organisation set up in 1994 to restore a visual watch along UK coast after many small Coastguard stations closed.




Shipping comes close to the shoreline at Calshot making it an ideal spot for ship watching.



Fawley Power station featured in the latest Star War film ” Solo A Star Wars Story” is close to Calshot Spit. Followers of my blog may recognise the power station which often appears in the background on my pictures.

And what a lovely sunny day it was despite a not so good weather forecast!





Steamed up.


Today was an open day at the old waterworks at Twyford near Winchester and they were running the steam engine which powered pumps. The Edwardian pumping station contains a unique selection of buildings and machinery, the site was given the status of a Scheduled Ancient Monument in 1973.


There is a little industrial narrow gauge railway on the site which was used to move coal and chalk around the site.



The site is unique in having both water extraction and a complete water softening treatment plant. Only coal needed to be brought to Twyford. Chalk was used to soften the water which was quarried on site. The lime kilns burn the chalk converting it to the lime needed for the softening plant which is complete and in part still workable. In most of Hampshire, our water is very hard and needs to be softened to reduce scaling. The steam engine pumped water up to the surface from deep boreholes in the chalk. (Steam power was replaced with Diesel engines before conversion to electricity.)

3 brick Lime Kilms are an interesting feature of the complex.









He was not there for me today, church closed.


St Eilian’s Church is in the village of Llaneilian in the North East of Anglesey, Llaneilian . The church looks a gem It is a superb example of a late medieval parish church having a whitewashed tower and said to have 15th century rood screen, a 17th century altar and 17th century paintings but what a shame the church was closed today so I had to make do with an outside visit.





Trwyn Du Lighthouse

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A spot I love and 2 years since I last visited Black Point.

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A ‎Cylindrical tower lighthouse with balcony stands at a height‎ ‎of 95 feet. Trwyn Du Lighthouse is situated between Black Point near Penmon and Puffin Island, at the eastern extremity of Anglesey, marking the passage between the two islands.


Opened: 1838 and Automated: 1922 The lighthouse also has a bell which is rung by the action of the waves.

Continue reading

take the waters



Healing waters at St Winefrides Well are said to cause miraculous cures. In the legend of Saint Winifred it tells how, in AD 660, Caradoc, the son of a local prince, severed the head of the young Winifred after she spurned his advances. A spring rose from the ground at the spot where her head fell and she was later restored to life by her uncle, Saint Beuno.
In the 17th century the well became known as a symbol of the survival of Catholic recusancy in Wales.


Today the well is open daily and remains a place of Catholic pilgrimage. The buildings are grade 1 listed.


End of the Line

end game


This is the site in Eastleigh of the old Ford factory the last ford Transit van came off the production line from here in 2013. The site is now being redeveloped.

The plant on a 44-acre site near Southampton Airport, was built as a shadow factory to assemble aircraft components for Cunliffe-Owen Aircraft, it opened in February 1939. In WW2 the factory and its supply chain were switched to produce parts for Spitfires. In the later years of the war, the site was used to assemble the Spitfire. The site was a target in the war and bombed on a number of times. One of the sites defences would have been the anti-aircraft battery in Quob Lane West End shown in my previous blog. West End Battery was said to have shot down a twin-engine Heinkel 111 Bomber that crashed between Allington Lane and Horton Heath.


After Cunliffe-Owen was placed in receivership the factory was bought in 1949 by Briggs Motor Bodies, who supplied Ford with bodies for their vehicles. In 1953 Ford acquired Briggs. Ford had started to produce the Ford Transit with bodies in 1972, Ford invested £5 Millon in the Southampton plant, enabling it to make the complete Transit van. The first Transit rolled off the production line in that year.


The last Ford Transit was produced on 26 July 2013, ending Ford’s vehicle assembly operations in the UK.

This week a “pop up” museum was set up on site to show the history of Ford and the Transit at this site.


The last van off the line was on show signed by the workforce.



down to the woods

If you go down to the woods today,

take your welly boots!

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Down a muddy path on MOD land near the Hampshire village of Soutwick are the remains of Southwick Priory. Having lived all my life in Hampshire today was my first visit to this site.





Southwick Priory originally founded for Augustinian canons by Henry I in 1133 within the walls of nearby Portchester Castle, but the canons had moved to the present site at Southwick within 20 years. After its suppression in 1538 Southwick was converted into a mansion, Today only one wall of the priory  survives.


Pond close to the Priory possibly an old fish pond.


In front of the Priory the river has been dammed to form a large lake this lake is later than the Priory and associated with the old manor house.