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Netley

Netley Abbey

Location

Hampshire Map

OS Ref: SU 452 089

Last Visited: 2007

Itʼs interesting to compare Netley Abbey with Wenlock Priory in Shropshire. Both are the substantial remains of minor medieval religious houses; both were later partly converted to Elizabethan houses, and both are now in the care of English Heritage.

However, whilst Wenlock Priory boasts a gift shop, guidebook and audio tour, Netley Abbey has to make do with a few old Ministry of Works iron plaques and a less that informative Information Panel at the entrance.

Why? Well I suppose it is down to the difference between Much Wenlock and Netley. The latter, though pleasant enough, is never going to win any beauty competitions, and is never going to be a major tourist destination. Shame really as the Abbey deserves to be more widely known.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Netley Abbey
      English Heritage Handbook entry
      http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/places/netley-abbey/
    • Netley Abbey
      Wikipedia Article
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netley_Abbey

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Netley Castle

Location

Hampshire Map

OS Ref: SU 451 088

Last Visited: 2007

Netley Castle sits on the foreshore below the Abbey. It was originally a Tudor blockhouse but was converted into a sham castle in the Victorian era. Some of the old Tudor gun embrasures can still be seen incorporated into the loser part of the house.

The castle was a convalescent home for a long time, and has now been converted to flats. Unfortunately this seems to have required a modern extension being tacked onto the side of the building which, although architecturally in keeping with the rest, has been built in what appear to be reconstituted stone blocks.

It is not open to the public, but the exterior can be seen from the footpath along the foreshore from the Abbey Fields car park.

External Links and References

  • External Links

    • Netley Castle
      Wikipedia Article
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netley_Castle

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Royal Victoria Country Park

Location

Hampshire Map

OS Ref: SU 464 076

Last Visited: 2007

The Chapel

The Chapel

Many who have sailed up the Solent will have spotted the Chapel in the Royal Victoria Country Park sitting in splendid isolation on the east bank.

Few, I suspect, will know that this is all that is left of what was once one of the largest buildings in the country, the Royal Victoria Hospital, one of the first purpose-built hospitals of the modern era.

The original hospital was 435 metres (a quarter of a mile) long, had 138 wards and approximately 1,000 beds, which says a lot about the horrors of the Crimean War. If this wasnʼt enough, during the First World War an additional 1,000 beds were added in the hutted Red Cross Hospital which used to occupy the land behind the main building.

There is a pleasant walk through the woods to the military cemetery at the back of the site; a very beautiful and peaceful spot, despite being surprisingly popular with local visitors.

External Links and References

  • External Links

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