Following the exertions of the day before, I had planned a day of sitting in the sun at the NZ vs England ODI cricket that I had just learned was in town. However, fifty quid seemed a bit steep – as one can never be sure which NZ cricket team is going to turn up (the sublime or awful) – so I gave it a miss. That was quite a misjudgement with the Black Caps absolutely pummelling the English – a shame to miss that, but oh well.
Instead I had a relaxing couple of hours in the sun strolling around a National Trust property, Mottisfont, near Romsey. The house was originally an abbey before the monasteries were dissolved – strangely, when the remains of it were granted to someone who was clearly in Henry VIII’s favour, a house was built around the abbey instead of demolishing it. The old cellar is the most obvious of the 13th century remains. In parts of the house there are holes in the walls & at the back of cupboards exposing interesting ancient features.
The grounds are extensive and have a lot of lawn. I was there relatively early & by the time I left there were hundreds of cars in the parking lot – most of those seemingly belonging to the scores of families spread out picnicing, playing ball and generally just enjoying the sun. There’s a big walled garden – alas, I was a couple of weeks too early to see the mass of roses that I’m told are very impressive (curses to that long, cold spring).
The font, still spewing forth a lot of water, after which the property is named – as the local residents used to meet here back when Old English was spoken and “moot” meant “meet” (say that last bit quickly repeatedly).
I forget what that smaller tree is, but it certainly was a mass of white.
The house was interesting enough & quite nice – the last owner was quite in to the arts & hosted many artists down from London. Consequently, there’s quite a bit of art around. I did enjoy the watercolour exhibition until it started getting a little abstract. The most interesting feature I thought was the small waterwheel on the ground floor that was used to turn some sort of pot spinning device over an extremely large coal range. Also, doorways hidden behind bookcases are always cool.
A pleasant little outing, not nearly as tiring as the last one.