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This afternoon Jackie drove me to New Hall Hospital for a physiotherapy session with Claire. This was encouraging. She has no need to see me again.
On our return home we turned off the main road to investigate where a bridge over the River Avon would take us. We were intrigued by a castellated tower we saw in the distance. Was it a castle or a church? Naturally we needed to seek it out.
This was the Church of All Saints at Harbridge,
a village on low meadow land to the west of the river between Ringwood and Fordingbridge. ‘The name Harbridge probably means “Hearda’s bridge”. In the Domesday Bookof 1086, Bernard the Chamberlain held Harbridge from the King. Before 1066 it had been held by Ulveva. Harbridge is a referred to as a manor by the early 15th century. In the early 19th century the manor passed to the Earl of Normanton, and like nearby Ibsley and Ellingham became part of his estate of Somerley.Harbridge was a civil parish until 1974, when the parish was amalgamated with the parishes of Ellingham and Ibsley.’ ‘The church of All Saints consisting of chancel, nave, and west tower, was rebuilt in 1838. The tower retains its 15th-century masonry, but it was raised in the 19th century reconstruction.‘(Wikipedia)
I wandered among the older gravestones, most of which were weather-worn and lichen-coated, rendering them indecipherable. Robert Robinson’s was the only name I could discern.
Tiny natural cyclamen were scattered among the graves. How many lifetimes could it be that the earliest corms had occupied this consecrated soil?
Elizabeth stayed overnight with Mum. Jackie and I dined at Lal Quilla. She chose chicken sag as her main meal, which she enjoyed, while I savoured lamb Ceylon. We shared special fried rice and an onion bahji; and both drank Kingfisher. The restaurant was quite busy, but we still received friendly service and excellent food.