Romsey Abbey

Dodging today’s rain, Jackie and I made a little more progress in weeding the soggy rose garden soil.

When we visited Romsey Abbey on 14th December 2014 this turned out to be a very significant day in relation to Judy Walker, the author of ‘Romsey Abbey through the centuries’, a fascinating history that I finished reading today.

I bought the book from the Abbey shop during that visit . The reason can be gleaned by clicking on the highlighted name.

Romsey Abbey001

Local histories, I find, are sometimes the product of keen researchers who don’t write very well, and are often stronger on detail than on analysis. Consequently they can be rather boring. Not so this one. Walker is clearly a thorough researcher who writes very well. The foundation stones of her subject, originally a Benedictine nunnery, were laid down towards the end of the first millennium, so she covers more than a thousand years in her little book. She offers architectural, ecclesiastical, political, and social history in a very readable manner, setting it in national and international contexts. A product of Romsey Abbey Publications the paperback is of good quality with sound binding and lasting paper. There are a number of useful illustrations spanning the centuries.

Romsey Abbey drawing

This view of the church from the south-east was drawn by C.E.Mallows in 1895. Does it include a Victorian selfie?

I was intrigued to spot just three spellcheck errors, all on the same page. One referred to ‘Kind John’, certainly a howler for ‘King John’, who would hardly have warranted such an epithet.

This evening we dined on a meal from Hordle Chinese Take Away followed by Normandy Apple Tart and custard. Jackie drank Hoegaarden, and I drank Reserve des Tuguets madiran 2012.


  1. It’s good that you got thyself to a nunnery. It looks a fascinating place, and I’m quite jealous that you can go to such ancient places and get immersed in them. Over here, anything older than 30 years seems to be an “historic building”.

  2. Did you point out the mistake to the publisher? Once I pointed out a glaring mistake on a large board that accompanied an exhibition at a museum: they had the Chinese word 猴 (monkeys)instead of 侯 (nobility). The response? Oh we know but it would cost too much to make a correction; nobody can read Chinese anyway. I guess it’s Australia’s way of insulting Chinese visitors. If I had a marker on me I would have scratched the word out and changed it myself.

  3. It was quite significant Derrick – it seems Judy/Julitta did some wonderful work. Your photo of the windows on the referred post is quite amazing too. I’m tickled at the thought of the Victorian selfie 🙂

  4. It looks like a fascinating place, and it’s great that someone took the time to create a well-researched history of it.
    Victorian selfie. 🙂

  5. Everything has a history. Most of it requires some savvy research … and then putting it together in a sensible, meaningful way for the reader is a trick.

  6. This was a very interesting post and glad the author of your book on the Romsey Abbey wasn’t dry nor used stilted language, Derrick. It was a good read from your point of view then. 🙂

  7. Oh, beautiful! And, despite the typos, how nice to find a well-written book about the abbey.

  8. I’m quite capable of making three typos on every page, but they never seem to be very interesting. Wasn’t Kind John the brother of the Welsh king Pritchard the Lionheart?

  9. “Kind John” – I fell about laughing – he’d have loved that! I daren’t tell you about the miss-spelling of the COUNT (of Monte Cristo) while I watched the subtitled film on Portuguese TV. Romsey Abbey – that’s given me an idea for visitors this weekend…

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