January 29, 2018
Armed with a new pair of Levi’s 501 jeans I opted to explore the most popular attraction of Titchfield, the Titchfield Abbey of St Mary and St John the Evangelist!
This used to be a medieval home home of a community of Premonstratensian canons back in the 13th century, that used to serve as priests in the area. Later on, this monastery was given to Sir Thomas Wriothesley, Earl of Southampton, who transformed the buildings into a grand Tudor mansion called Place House.
^ ^ To my pleasant surprise, a bunch of four legged friends welcomed me in the Abbey ^ ^
The abbey was founded in 1231/2 by the Bishop of Winchester, Peter des Roches, for Premonstratensian canons, an order founded at Prémontré in France and known also as the ‘white canons’!
In Medieval times, Titchfield served as a great location for people travelling around Hampshire and also the Kings who were visiting France. It is said that Henry V (r.1413–22) stayed in the Abbey before departing on campaign in France.
Even though in 1781 most of the building was demolished for building stone, archaeological excavations helped clarify the architecture and interior of the property as it is seen in today’s reconstruction drawings. In the interior you can still see the different floors and individual fireplaces, the windows, impressive wooden doors and in some cases even the floorplan of each room!
Royal guests at the house included Edward VI, Elizabeth I and Charles I with his queen, Henrietta Maria. Wriothesley’s grandson Henry, 3rd Earl of Southampton, was a patron of William Shakespeare and it is believed that some of Shakespeare’s plays were performed here for the first time.
After spending much time exploring and reading signs of the interior, I wandered around the gardens before seeking for some warmth at the Fisherman’s Rest pub conveniently located just opposite the Abbey!
Seeing how frozen were my fingers, this cappuccino was more than welcome!
With minimum phone battery I ditched the internet for some Titchfield Abbey window view and caramel fudge eating – occasionally interrupted by warm sips of coffee. Bliss!