I would like to tell you a bit about where I live.
As many bloggers are not from England, I will write this as though you have never been to this part of the world….
England is a country, and part of the United Kingdom. England has borders with Wales and Scotland, which are also countries, as well as Northern Ireland which is separated from us by sea. These four countries make up the UK. There is a lot of competition between these separate countries, especially when it comes to national sporting events like rugby or football.
England is made up of a number of counties, each with a county town. I live in the county of Hampshire which is a large county on the south coast of England, and borders Dorset in the east, Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey, and West Sussex to the east. Separated from the Hampshire coast is the Isle of Wight, a separate county. The stretch of water between the Hampshire coast and the Isle of Wight is known as the Solent, and is very famous for sailing, and for the big cargo vessels and cruise liners which come into Southampton. The distance between the furthest points on the Hampshire coastline is about 35 miles.
My village is called Rowlands Castle, and lies in a rural part of southern Hampshire, 9 miles south of Petersfield and close to the border with West Sussex. We are about three miles from the sea, as the crow flies, and the nearest coastal town is Emsworth. We are also close to the big cities of Portsmouth and Southampton to the west, Chichester to the east, and Guildford to the north. We are approximately 65 miles from London.
So I think this is a terrific location – there are excellent road and rail links to the main cities, we have ferry links from Portsmouth to the Channel Islands and France. We are about 90 minutes drive from the two main London airports, and have regional airports at Southampton and Bournemouth.
Rowlands Castle could be described as a typical English village. There is a big village green, with pretty cottages along one side, which is where I live. Within walking distance of my house, on the same side of the green, are three pubs, a tea room, a car repair garage, a bank, an estate agent, a doctor’s surgery and pharmacy. In the other direction is a hairdressers, the church, the village hall and the golf club. On the opposite side of the green there is a village general store/supermarket, a hardware shop and post office. Further up the main road is the school, and another church. Round the corner is the railway station with trains to Portsmouth and London.
The history of the village shows that the Romans made pottery, bricks and tiles at Rowland’s Castle because suitable clay was available in the area. There used to be a castle here, which was built at some time between 1066 and 1199. It was in good repair in the twelfth century, when Henry II spent several days there in hunting and amusement, but was abandoned by the 15th century. The site was damaged by the railway and quarrying in the 19th century and now only the earthworks and a few small areas of wall remain.
St. Huberts chapel is located on the outskirts of Rowlands Castle at Idsworth. It was built in 1053 and was originally dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. The tiny chapel contains examples of medieval paintings from around 1300 which include paintings around the altar window of St. Peter, St. Paul, and two angels. On the north wall there is a painting of St. Hubert and St. John the Baptist. The narthex (covered porch) contains an octagonal stone font and above it is a gallery which contains the church organ.
Rowlands Castle has a strong village community. On May Day they hold a village picnic on the green, and a summer fair in July. The annual bonfire and fireworks display are legendary, and attract many visitors. They also organise quiz nights, photography exhibitions and jumble sales.
i found some old photos of the village…
It would be nice to hear about the place where you live!