The summer has come at last after a couple of months of cold and wet weather. We visited the pub at Titchfield (the Fisherman's Rest) for a third time. Titchfield is near Portsmouth; it is between Portsmouth and Southampton. We'd previously visited it with friends with the goal in mind to see the abbey after a Sunday roast. However, storms the day before at the end of June meant that the abbey was closed. We decided to try to visit it again, and we had wonderful weather and the grounds of the abbey to walk around in.
The first time, we all had Sunday roasts, which were really yummy. I can vouch for the chicken fajitas too, except they set off the smoke alarm that we were sat under. Ops. On the third visit, we had the standard menu as this was on a Saturday. I was spoiled for choice and went with the chicken curry in the end. It was actually big enough for two people, and the only criticism was that the sauce was too thin (and marked my new shirt as it was impossible to eat).
After eating, we walked across the road to visit Titchfield Abbey. The premonastarian abbey at Titchfield near Portsmouth was founded in 1231. The 'white canons' (named that beause of their white robes) lived and studied here, and there were about 15 of them here at a time. They primarily worked for the community and helped to spread religious studies, and a couple of them were vicars for nearby churches. Of course, the monastaries came to an end after Henry VIII. Before this, Edward VI, Elizabeth I and Charles I visited.
After the monasatries were dissolved, Henry VIII gave the land to one of his loyal servants (Thomas Wriothesley) as a reward. He converted the building into an elegant mansion that he called "Place House". Some of the structures that formed the monastary were removed, and others were used for the mansion. For example, the cloisters became the courtyard and the abbey became the main gatehouse. Shakespeare was a friend of Wriothesley and probably visited and performed some of his plays here as one of the rooms is known as a 'theatre' in some of the plans.
Some of the tiles from its time as a mansion can be seen laid out inside the courtyard area.
Many of the gargoyles appear around the gatehouse on both sides, and some of them are in better shape than others.
One of our friends took his car up to the abbey for photographs. Classic cars and old architecture make a beautiful photo.
I also had a stoll around the grounds, and I noticed a few apple trees. Perhaps these apple trees are descendants of the original ones that would have grown here in the days when the structure was a monastary.
We couldn't have hoped for better weather. Have you ever been to Titchfield Abbey?