The Church of St Swithun upon Kingsgate

The Church of St Swithun upon Kingsgate has been a place of worship for more than 750 years. The church, built in the middle ages is located above the medieval Kingsgate, one of the principle entrances to the city. The church is unusual in that it forms part of the city wall.

From Wikipedia:

The first mention of the church is recorded in 1264, when it was apparently burned by the citizens of Winchester during a dispute with the Priory.[2] Most likely the church served as a chapel for lay people who worked for the Abbey.[1] In 1337 some woodwork was done on the church, costing a total of fifteen shillings, and in 1484 the windows underwent repair.[2]

St Swithun was an Anglo Saxon saint, born in Winchester and in 852 becoming the 19th bishop of the city. He died in 862 when King Alfred the Great was still a young man.[2] It is possible that St Swithun was tutor to the young king, and accompanied him on a pilgrimage to Rome.[2]

By the 17th century the church had fallen into disrepair, and had become home to one Robert Allen, the porter of Kings Gate, and his wife, “who did and doth keep swine at ye ende of the Chapell”.[1][2] The situation was improved around 1660 when the church was restored, its bells re-hung in 1677.[1] It has remained a place of worship since that time.[2]

The Church of St Swithun upon Kingsgate

St Swithun & St Ethelwold

He is not here He has risen

8 Comments CherryPie on Nov 15th 2014

Alfred the Great

I invite you to read my post about the historic city of Winchester on the Broad Oak Magazine blog.

2 Comments CherryPie on Nov 14th 2014

Poppies in Detail

The Tower of London art installation entitled ‘Blood Swept Land and Seas of Red‘ is now complete. The last poppy was planted in the moat at 10.50 today during the final ceremony (among the poppies) commemorating the  centenary of World War One. The art installation marked one hundred years since the first day of Britain’s involvement in the First World War. Each poppy represents a British military fatality during the war.

Poppies in the Moat

Tower Bridge

I was lucky to be able to visit the almost complete installation on 8th November.  The sight of the poppies was stunning and poignant.

Tomorrow the poppies will be picked and packed for dispatch to those who ordered them. The proceeds of the sale will be shared between six charities; Cobeso, Combat Stress, Coming Home, Help for Heroes, The Royal British Legion and SSAFA.

The Last Post

12 Comments CherryPie on Nov 11th 2014

…and in the morning, we will remember them.

Lights Out - 4th August 2014

During 2014-2018 a series of nationwide and international events are taking place to commemorate the centenary of World War One. The series of events is being led by the Imperial War Museum, which has a dedicated website entitled

The events will serve to remind us of those who sacrificed their lives so that we can enjoy the freedoms we have today as well as reminding us to be grateful for their sacrifice.

Poppies in the Moat

One of those events was the planting of 888,246 poppies in the moat around The Tower of London, one poppy for each fallen British and Commonwealth servicemen. As Remembrance day 2014 approached, a sea of poppies filled the moat as a visual reminder of the number of those who sacrificed their lives and the blood lost…

The poppy fields as described by the ‘War Poets’ are a poignant reminder to me of the lives that were lost in both World War One and World War Two and also the lives lost in more recent wars.

Poppies to me are a simile of the lives that were lost.  They are vibrant, standing strong and bold yet fragile and defeated by a heavy downfall or a spring breeze.   They remind me of the fragility of peace and freedom and how easily our freedom can be lost.

Reflection on World War One (and the more recent World War Two) serve as a reminder of what might have been if the outcome of those wars had been different…

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae

2 Comments CherryPie on Nov 11th 2014

If your actions inspire others to dream more, do more and become more, you are a leader.

John Quincy Adams

Peaceful Fields

12 Comments CherryPie on Nov 9th 2014

Filed under Out & About

London 2014

The White Tower

I have returned safely from The Tower! This years London trip ran a lot more smoothly that last years trip to London. On arrival we headed straight to the Tower of London. On the advice of the Tower of London website we avoiding using Tower Hill tube station, this meant we had a 10 minute walk from the tube station to The Tower. We picked up our prepaid tickets and admired the poppies in the moat whilst making our way to the drawbridge entry to to The Tower.

When we got inside we walked on the walls, looking out over London and glimpsing poppies through some of the windows. After the walk we took a break for lunch before continuing our tour of things that The Tower of London has to offer.  We gave the Crown Jewels a miss, the queue was extremely long due to increased visitors there for remembrance weekend and to see the poppies in the moat. We did join the shorter faster moving queue to visit the White Tower which is the oldest part of the Tower. It houses the Royal Armories collection.

Poppies in the Moat

After our visit to The Tower we continued walking around the moat so we could see more of the poppies in the moat. It was fascinating to see how much the poppy installation had grown since our visit in August. Due to the sheer numbers of people it took us quite a while to make our way around the moat. We got to one of the corners at the front of  The Tower as dusk turned this meant that we were able to witness the Roll of Honour being read. This was followed by a trumpeter playing The Last Post which is always moving to hear.

As the crowds slowly started to disperse we made our way to the other corner at the front of The Tower to see the wave of poppies cascading over the side of the drawbridge. Just as we arrived the heavens opened, it was just like someone had turned on a tap!!. We beat a hasty retreat and made our way towards the tube station whilst trying to locate a cab. We had no luck with a cab due to the sheer numbers of people. On the way back to the tube we experienced rivers of water flowing across the footpaths as the gutters deposited water to the downspouts. Water was also cascading down the steps in the underpasses. By the time we got to the tube station we were absolutely drenched.

We set off on our journey back to Marble Arch where the coach had dropped us off. The journey was beset with delays. At one point we queued inside the underground for thirty minutes before we could get onto the platform. At one point I felt most uncomfortable, there was a mass of people with no exit in site if something should suddenly go wrong. Of course nothing went wrong and every few minutes the crowd surged forward as people got on the tube that had arrived at the platform and more people surged to fill the gap they had left on the platform. We eventually got back to Marble Arch, grabbing as sandwich to eat on the coach as we made our way to the pick up point.  We arrived with moments to spare. A few others were late due to them experiencing similar transport problems. The coach was also a little late due to roads being congested. The coach slowly made its way out of London but as someone pointed out, it was not as slow as it was on last years trip.

The driver of the coach we travelled on last year informed us that it spent six weeks in the Volvo garage where it was found that two pistons had broken through the engine block at a cost of £24.000 to replace!!  OUCH!!

8 Comments CherryPie on Nov 9th 2014

The Tower

Poppies in the Moat

14 Comments CherryPie on Nov 7th 2014

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