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Southampton visit

In Pictures from England on September 25, 2014 by cubsur51 Tagged:

I spent a week in Southampton, mainly to watch cricket  but was able to take a couple of walks around the city. There is quite a lot still to see of historic interest, despite much of the old city having been destroyed during a bombing raid in World War Two.

The city’s history goes back to Roman times, although there is considerable dispute about what was actually situated in what we now call Southampton. From the Anglo-Saxon times (mid 5th century AD onwards) it is known that a settlement called Hamtun existed in what is now the St Mary’s area and at some time thereafter it became known as South Hamtun, to distinguish it from North Hamtun, now Northam.(In the Saxon tongue, ham = village and tun = enclosure, yard or Ham might have been someone’s name eg Ham’s yard. I dunno!)

City walls and stone churches appeared after the Norman invasion of the late 11th Century. For more about Southampton’s history, see the Wikipedia article at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Southampton

One thing I did not know, until I saw a mention of it, is that in Jane Austen’s time Southampton was known as a spa and bathing resort! She and her family came down from their home near Winchester to take restorative walks along the seafront. Hard to imagine that now!

Southampton was and still is one of the UK’s busiest merchant ports and is also a base and calling point for several passenger cruise ships. It’s a busy city, with plenty going on. The oldest part of the city sits on a small hill above what was once marshy ground. Large sections of the city walls still stand, along with the Bargate, one of the best kept examples of a Middle Ages city gate.

Bargate, Southampton

Right in the modern city are several large parks, quite a surprise for the visitor.

Houndwell Park, Southampton

My own pictures are at http://1drv.ms/ZPhWBQ

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