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The Wessaxens came here for a visit 1514 years ago and liked it so much they have stayed.
The House of Wessex, also known as the House of Cerdic, refers to the family that ruled a kingdom in southwest England known as Wessex. This House was in power from the 6th century under Cerdic of Wessex to the unification of the Kingdoms of England.
The House, at this point, became rulers of all England (Bretwalda) from Alfred the Great in 871 to Edmund Ironside in 1016. This period of the British monarchy is known as the Saxon period, though their rule was often contested, notably by the Danelaw and later by the Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard who claimed the throne from 1013 to 1014, during the reign of Æthelred the Unready. Sweyn and his successors ruled until 1042. After Harthacanute, there was a brief Saxon Restoration between 1042 and 1066 under Edward the Confessor and Harold Godwinson, who was a member of the House of Godwin. After the Battle of Hastings, a decisive point in British history, William of Normandy became king of England. Anglo-Saxon attempts to restore native rule in the person of Edgar the Ætheling, a grandson of Edmund Ironside who had originally been passed over in favour of Harold, were unsuccessful and William's descendants secured their rule. Edgar's niece Matilda of Scotland later married William's son Henry I, forming a link between the two dynasties.
The House of Wessex was the last native English royal dynasty, the Kingdom of England and its successors since being ruled in turn by the House of Normandy (Norman French), House of Plantagenet (French), House of Tudor (Welsh), House of Stuart (Scottish), House of Orange (Dutch), House of Hanover (German) and House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (German; renamed House of Windsor in 1917).
Cerdic, First King of Wessex. The Royal
Family of England descends from me. I
landed in Briton in 497AD and my Kingdom
became the most powerful in the land - it
was called Wessex. (West Saxons) and
Camelot was my capital. Wessex
became England with the amalgamation of
Mercia & Northumbria. After the Norman
Conquest Wessex was divided up into eight
different counties: Berkshire, Devon,
Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire,
Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. My
site covers the attractions & Events
in those eight Counties plus the four
GREATER WESSEX counties of Cornwall,
Kent, Surrey & Sussex. Visit the
the ancient kingdom of Wessex .Tarry
a while. Stay in our hotels,
guesthouses ,caravans or campsites
We thank the many hotels, Guest
Houses, Caravan camping sites,
internet cafes, visitor centres,
newspapers and County shows for
freely advertising our sites.
is a region of highs and lows. Along the
middle and northern parts, low coastline
meets the marshy "Levels," while further
inland lie the freshwater and peaty
marshlands known as the "Moors." Most of
this area is no more than 80 feet above
sea level. Among these expanses of
flatlands lie the Blackdowns
Hills. The topography here, as anywhere,
has played a role in how the land has been
used over the centuries. Climb a hill in
Somerset or Devon today and you may well
see grazing land, roads, low-lying
villages. You may also catch sight of
drainage channels, locally known as rhynes
(pronounced "reens"). These are key to why
much of you see is land inhabited and used
by people rather than simply being watery
marsh. Attempts to drain the marshes date
back to the Roman period but the
pervasiveness of the water has made the
Somerset hills vital sites for settlement,
protection, industries such as mining, and
Geography of The Blackdown Hills
Blackdown Hills form a tranquil,
beautiful, and relatively isolated
landscape on the Devon and Somerset
border. Steep ridges, high plateaux,
valleys and springs create a stunning
mosaic of countryside dotted with farms,
villages and ancient features. They cover
an area of 370 square kilometres (143 sq
mi). Heavily cut with sharp valleys, the
hills reach their highest point of 315
metres (1,033 ft) above sea level at
Staple Hill in Somerset. The hills in the
southern part of the area, near Honiton in
Devon, are more gentle. The Blackdown
Hills are a sparsely populated area; much
of the land is used for dairy farming.
Wessex is the cradle of England.
Here most things English came to birth and were
nourished and protected through a difficult
infancey. But for one or two of those
incalculable accidents of history, we would now
be hearing the BBC Newsreader every morning
announce, 'Marnin'to ee all. Here be the tidings
The Suite is in three movements - Revels in Hogsnorton; The Blue Poole and March: Rustic Cavalry. Revels in Hogsnorton derives from a mythical village created by the popular comedian Gillie Potter. It is a 'thirties ‘Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh’. This is an attractive waltz with a distinctly ‘modern’ trio.
The second movement is truly lovely. The title, The Blue Poole is a concatenation of two beauty spots. The Blue Pool on the Isle of Purbeck and of course Poole harbour itself. The movement opens with a brief upward phrase for saxophone. Then there is a cadenza for solo violin. There is a rocking motion in the accompaniment; a gorgeous tune is given to saxophones. The vibraphone is heard in the background. Muted brass lead to a variation of the tune; a harp glissando leads into a middle section. Then suddenly it is up-tempo. The xylophone is busy with figurations. Then the mood music returns, first for strings, then into the languorous theme- even the two solo violins seem slightly out of tune- just as it may have been in some far off performance. The movement ends quietly, with a vibraphone added note chord. It is a perfect picture of lazy days by the seaside.
The last movement is entitled Rustic Cavalry – seemingly related to Mascagni’s opera Cavalleria Rusticana. This march has been well described as ‘rousing and swashbuckling’ – and it certainly is. Elgar, however, is the musical inspiration rather than the Italian operatic composer. Malcolm Riley, the Whitlock scholar, has noted allusions to Froissart and mentions the fact the Radio Times billed this work as the Rustic Chivalry March. Elgar had prefixed his score of Froissart with ‘When chivalry lifted high her lance on high.’ Listeners have also detected references to the First World War Song – 'It’s a Long Way to Tipperary'. I do not quite understand what it is doing in a Wessex Suite; it does not really help with tone painting of a holiday by the sea. However, perhaps the clue lies in its description as swashbuckling. Is it meant to refer to things piratical and nautical? Who knows. But it rounds off what is an attractive and thoroughly enjoyable work.
SO NOW WELCOME TO THE LANDS OF THE WESSAXENS, SOUTH SAXONS and ANGLES
descendants captured the whole of England and
amalgamated Mercia & Northumbria. It is my
ambition to eventually cover all the attractions
of England. So far we have covered Wessex under
the website www.wessextouristboard.org.uk
(Formerly www.chardnet.co.uk) and now
we have started to cover Mercia under www.merciatouristboard.org.uk.
Click on to the county you require on the table
to the left.So far 20 counties + London have
been prepared- slowly the rest will follow.
Further we have a multitude of reference pages which were created some time ago and are now under reconstruction. So on here you will find dedicated pages to specialist activities in Wessex & Mercia. These include a list of Agricultural ,Horse Shows etc, The Wessex Hall of Fame, Michelin starred restaurants in Wessex,Seaside Resorts, Theatres in Wessex & the UK, List of Films made in Wessex, Wessex Names, Golf Clubs, Football Clubs, Rugby Clubs, Ice Skating and Racetracks . Campers & Caravanners have their own dedicated section too. I have even got my own page for readers letters and news snippets, mainly from my ancient capital Chard. There is also a full A-Z list of shops services in Chard, Crewkerne & Ilminster. All about Chard & The History of Wessex are also included. A special section on the County Town TAUNTON is also online
As we bring each one of those
Counties on-line you will be able to click through
to it on the map of Britain to the left. If you
think there is anything that should be added do
contact me on
Contact Us or call up on 0845 868 2810 or fax on 0845 862
Institute of Technology
Located amid the beautiful New Forest National Park in England, Wessex Institute of Technology (usually referred to as just Wessex Institute or WIT) is a unique organisation serving the international scientific community. The overall aim of Wessex Institute is to develop a series of knowledge transfer mechanisms, particularly directed towards the exchange of information between academics and professional users within industry.This is achieved through a range of activities organised by a dedicated team of staff both within the Institute and its associate companies. A large network of prestigious contacts and links have been established with many organisations throughout the world.
| Ashurst Lodge, Ashurst, Southampton
SO40 7AA, UK
WESSEX INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY CLICK
| Tel: +44 (0)238 029
3223 Fax: +44 (0)238 029 2853
| Wessex Institute
University of Southampton
Wessex Institute is part of the School of Medicine at the University of Southampton. Our mission is to support the national and international prosecution of the highest possible quality health technology assessment (HTA) and HTA-related research, in order to inform and improve the provision of health care. We are a multidisciplinary group of people: academics, administrators, doctors, health economists, health service researchers, information specialists, managers, midwives, nurses, public health specialists and systematic reviewers.
the Wessex Institute University of Southampton, Mailpoint 728,
Boldrewood, University of Southampton, Southampton SO16 7PX.
UNIVERSITY OF SOUTHAMPTON CLICK
|Tel: 023 8059 5591
Fax: 023 8059 5639
|Open University Geological
Welcome to the Wessex Branch of the OUGS. The Branch is lucky enough to have the World Heritage site of the Jurassic Coast on our doorstep. It is fantastic to see, and can show us so much about the history of the earth. Wessex OUGS is one of 18 branches of the Open University Geological Society. The Wessex branch covers Hampshire, Dorset, Isle of Wight, Southern Wiltshire and the Channel Islands. Check out the OUGS Branches page for locations and web sites of the other branches. The aims of the Wessex branch and the society is to organise a varied programme of field trips to venues both locally and throughout the UK, and to support the local and national membership in their study and enjoyment of Earth Sciences. We endeavour to welcome new and prospective members to join us in our aim of 'learning by doing' in the field and to keep the branch membership informed of our activities and findings.
Wessex Branch Organiser email@example.com
Wessex web-manager firstname.lastname@example.org
OPEN UNIVERSITY WESSEX BRANCH CLICK
|Wessex Media Group
The Media School is responsible for the management of Wessex Media Group, a creative network of media businesses in TV, Animation and Interactive Media. It exists to help members stay abreast of the current issues and developments which affect their businesses and also to communicate ideas and information with colleagues. Currently membership is free. WMG is one of five media clusters in the South West supported with help from South West Screen.The Media School at Bournemouth University is the largest centre of professionally based Higher Education for the media and communications industries in the UK, offering high-quality, industry-recognised courses in Media Production, Journalism and Communication, Computer Animation and Corporate & Marketing Communications.
The Media School
WESSEX MEDIA GROUP CLICK
|Tel: 08456 501501 (BU does not
profit from this service)
(UK callers enquiry service only)
Tel: +44 (0)1202 961916
I still visit the area – which has all sorts of other attractions too, such as Stonehenge and Cadbury Hill, which are synonymous with ''Old England'' – as often as possible. I was also lucky to get to know it even better when we were filming "To the Manor Born" in the late Seventies and early Eighties. The countryside, with its rolling hills and hedgerows, pretty villages and parish churches, is so quintessentially English, and that's another reason why an old romantic like me loves it so much.
I have a
couple of favourite places I like to stay.
Firstly, Plumber Manor (01258 472507; www.plumbermanor.co.uk),
in Sturminster Newton, the archetypal Dorset
country hotel. The owner does the best vodka
martini I've ever had. I'm also a big fan of
the Acorn Inn (01935 83228; www.acorn-inn.co.uk)
in Evershot. The Acorn is a 16th-century
coaching inn that featured in Thomas Hardy's
"Tess of the d'Urbervilles", though he
renamed it The Sow and Acorn. It boasts
fantastic views and the food is excellent –
it also serves a lovely drop of local ale.
|If you listen to
Wessex FM, travel on Wessex Trains and use
Wessex Water, you may be surprised to learn
that Wessex no longer exists. Established in
the 6th century, the tribal kingdom of Wessex
changed shape repeatedly during its 300-year
life. At its greatest, it stretched from
Cornwall to Kent, with Winchester at its heart
and Alfred as its king. The name Wessex is a
shortened version of "West Saxony", although
the region's early inhabitants included Jutes
and Celts as well as Saxons.
Since its demise in the 9th century, there have been several attempts to resurrect the region, most famously by Thomas Hardy in the 19th century, who used Wessex as the setting for his novels. (Wessex was also the name Hardy gave to his bad-tempered dog.) Today, organisations bearing the name Wessex serve counties as far-ranging as Devon, Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Herefordshire and Hampshire. Some base their definition on archaeological and historical sources, some on where the Wessex dialect was spoken, and some on Thomas Hardy's map, while others have simply defined Wessex to suit themselves. In the spirit of "invent your own Wessex" this article focuses on the (arguably) core counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
HOME TO EDWARD AND SOPHIE?
The Earl and Countess of Wessex actually live in Bagshot in Surrey. Prince Edward is the third Earl of Wessex, following on from Godwin, to whom King Canute first gave the title, and his son Harold Godwinson, later Harold II of England. When the Normans invaded in 1066 they abolished local earldoms, and the office of Earl of Wessex was abandoned for 1,000 years until Prince Edward adopted it on his marriage to Sophie Rhys-Jones. However, as the historian David Starkey points out, "The title itself is a total fiction. There is nowhere called Wessex."
ISN'T IT WORZEL GUMMIDGE COUNTRY?
The traditional view of Wessex is that of a region full of yokels; people who call you "my lover", and decline the verb to be "I be, you be, he be, we be, you be, they be" while conversing in a West Country burr about "them apples" and sipping a pint of scrumpy. This is, of course, far from the whole story, and today's inhabitants are more likely to be commuters than dairymaids. The region's landscape varies from rolling hills and hedgerows to trout streams and healing waters; from milk-and-honey valleys to chalk downland and bleak plains; from sacred sites to smugglers' coves, and from seaside resorts to suburban sprawl. Incidentally, Scatterbrook Farm in the TV series of Worzel Gummidge, was actually Pucknell Farm in the Test Valley in Hampshire (which may or may not be in Wessex).
WHAT ABOUT THOMAS HARDY COUNTRY?
The first guide to Thomas Hardy country was published in 1904, starting a trend in tracking down the sites featured in Hardy's novels. This pursuit is complicated by the fact that many of the places the author mentions have been condensed or expanded, while buildings have been transposed or amalgamated. If you want to follow the Hardy trail, take Fred Pitfield's Hardy's Wessex Locations as your guide (Dorset Publishing Company, pounds 9.95).
Perhaps the most-visited Hardy site is his own thatched cottage in Higher Bockhampton, Dorset (01305 262366, open 1 April-4 November, daily except Friday and Saturday, 11am-5pm; pounds 2.60 per person). It was built by his great-grandfather in 1800. Sitting in the window- seat here, Hardy wrote Under The Greenwood Tree and Far From The Madding Crowd. Nature trails through neighbouring Thorncombe woods, a wildlife sanctuary, are especially enchanting during the bluebell season, and from here you can also walk to Stinsford Church where Hardy's heart is buried. The rest of his body is interred in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey.
You can stay in cottages converted from barns built by Hardy's father at Greenwood Grange, a short distance from Hardy's Cottage (0870 585 1111; www.english-country-cottages.co.uk). The cottages have a communal indoor swimming pool, sauna and solarium. Each cottage sleeps four; and costs pounds 666 for a week in August.
ANY OTHER LITERARY CONNECTIONS?
Loads. On the Cobb (an artificial breakwater) in the historic Dorset seaside town of Lyme Regis, John Fowles' French Lieutenant's Woman stood hooded and windswept, and Louisa Musgrove jumped and fell in Jane Austen's Persuasion. After Charmouth, Lyme also boasts one of the best fossiling beaches on the south coast, and it was here that 11-year-old Mary Anning astonished the scientific community in the early 19th century by finding the skeleton of an icthyosaurus. A two- bedroom thatched cottage on the sea-front can be rented from Lyme Bay Holidays (01297 443363; www.lymebayholidays.co.uk) for pounds 525 per week in August or pounds 400 per week in September.
J Meade Faulkner was a contemporary
of Thomas Hardy's and author of the
much-loved smuggling story, Moonfleet. The
Fleet is a lagoon separating Chesil Beach,
an 18-mile ridge of shingle stretching from
the Isle of Portland to Bridport, from the
mainland. On the far side of the Fleet many
vessels foundered, causing the lee shore to
be known as "Deadman's Bay", or in John
Meade Faulkner's story, "Moonfleet Bay".
Fleet Old Church is where John Trenchard is
supposed to have been trapped in
Blackbeard's vault. Moonfleet Manor (01305
on The Fleet is situated at the end of a
two-mile winding lane. It has a pleasantly
ramshackle, old- colonial feel and superb
sea views over to Portland Bill. A single
room for one night starts from pounds 80.
Neolithic man certainly made his mark
here. The greatest concentration of
prehistoric monuments in Britain occurs in
Wiltshire, which is home to burial mounds,
hill forts and henge monuments. The most
famous is Stonehenge (open 1 June-31 August,
9am- 7pm; 1 September-15 October from
9.30am-6pm; pounds 4 per adult, pounds 2 per
child). The site is about to get a pounds
57m revamp designed to improve public access
to the stones, to take away traffic and to
create a visitor centre. Not far away is
Avebury, the largest of the 900 or so
surviving stone circles in Britain. Fourteen
times larger than Stonehenge, the Avebury
circle is also more than 500 years older.
Access to the Avebury stones is free and
unrestricted. Also in the vicinity are West
Kennet Long Barrow, one of the longest
Neolithic burial chambers in Britain;
Silbury Hill, the largest artificial mound
in Europe dating back to around 2700bc; and
Windmill Hill, the site of the earliest
Neolithic farming culture in England.
You can explore Wiltshire's Neolithic
world on a new four-day walking tour run by
Foot Trails (01747 861851; www.foottrails.co.uk).
trail crosses the open countryside of the
Vale of Pewsey and the northern tip of
Salisbury Plain, taking in at Windmill Hill,
Avebury, Silbury Hill, West Kennet Long
Barrow and Stonehenge. The cost is pounds
375 per person with a single person
supplement of pounds 15 per night.
Accommodation is at the two- star Lamb Inn,
an old country hotel in the idyllic
Wiltshire village of Hindon. You will walk
about eight miles each day at a relaxed
pace. Foot Trails also offers one- day
six-mile guided walks around Stonehenge. The
price of pounds 19.95 per person includes a
I WANT TO STAY ON THE BEATEN TRACK
Two of the best-loved walks that pass through Wessex are the Macmillan Way and the Monarch's Way. The 290-mile Macmillan Way actually starts in Lincolnshire, but passes through Wiltshire and ends on the Dorset coast at Abbotsbury. It was originally devised as a charity walk to raise money for the Macmillan Cancer Relief and is now fully waymarked. The walk has its own website at www.macmillanway.org.
The Monarch's Way follows the flight of Charles II after his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. It is more than 600 miles long in its entirety, but the section within Wessex runs from Bristol via Wells to Yeovil in Somerset, through Charmouth and Bridport in Dorset, then to Wincanton in Somerset and just north of Salisbury in Wiltshire before passing on into Hampshire and Sussex. The Monarch's Way website is at www.monarchsway.50megs.com.
Wycheway Country Walks (01886 833828; www.wychewaycountrywalks.co.uk) offers a series of guided walking holidays following the Monarch's Way. The price for a one-week guided walk is pounds 395 per person, including accommodation in small hotels, guesthouses or farmhouses, breakfast and packed lunch. The average daily walking distance is 10 miles.
WHAT ABOUT THE SEASIDE?
Wessex has two patches of coastline; in the west the Severn Estuary stretches from Avonmouth in the north to Porlock in the south, while the south Dorset coast extends from Lyme Regis in the west to Christchurch in the east. The most popular seaside resorts include Weymouth and Bournemouth in Dorset and Weston-super-Mare in Somerset. Weymouth became a fashionable seaside resort after King George III went to bathe there every summer. If modern royals feel over-exposed, they may like to remember that every time the king bathed, crowds cheered and played the national anthem.
As Weymouth became increasingly
popular, Bournemouth was developed as a more
exclusive alternative. Portrayed as
Sandbourne in Tess Of The d'Urbervilles,
Bournemouth has not changed much since Hardy
described it as a "fashionable watering
place... with its piers, its groves of
pines, its promenades and its covered
gardens", and still likes to think of itself
as a cut above its rivals, Blackpool and
Brighton. More fun on piers is to be had at
Weston-super-Mare in Somerset. Weston is
also a good base from which to explore
Wookey Hole Caves, Cheddar Caves and Gorge,
Longleat, Bath and Bristol.
WHERE'S THE BEST PORT IN A STORM?
The thousand-year-old port of Bristol. This summer from 22 August- 22 September you can visit the "Dance Live! Bristol" festival. Spanning venues across the city, the festival features World Dance Day (Lloyds TSB Amphitheatre, 25 August) and "Dance Bites" introducing the Autumn Fashion Shows with Jeff Banks (the Mall at Cribbs Causeway, 19-21 September), among other events. For more information go to www.visitbristol.co.uk.
For gentler entertainment, attend a series of free Friday lunchtime and early evening jazz performances in Queen Square throughout August; take a boat trip from Bristol Industrial Museum around the Floating Harbour on the newly-restored John King, a 1935 motor tug; or explore Bristol's Georgian village, Clifton, on a guided walk any Saturday or Sunday in August at 12pm, 1pm or 2pm.
A VILLAGE AFFAIR
POETIC, PICTURESQUE AND PERFECT FOR TV
John Betjeman was a regular visitor to Dorset and loved the sounds of the names of the villages. His poem "Dorset" begins "Rime Intrinsica, Fontmell Magna, Sturminster Newton and Melbury Bubb..." Other Wessex towns and villages worth a visit include:
Lacock in Wiltshire. This National Trust village dates from the 13th century. Its lime-washed, half-timbered and stone houses made it the ideal setting for Meryton in the most recent BBC dramatisation of Pride and Prejudice. The medieval Lacock Abbey also featured in the film of Harry Potter (01249 730501; www.nationaltrust.org.uk). The museum, cloisters & garden are open 16 March -3 November daily, 11am- 5.30pm; closed Good Friday; the abbey is open 30 March-3 November, daily 1pm-5.30pm (closed Tuesdays and Good Friday). Entrance to all costs pounds 6.20 per adult, pounds 3.40 per child or pounds 16.80 for a family ticket.
In contrast, Poundbury, an extension of Dorchester, has been used as a model for urban development. This highly modern village has been designed, with input from the Prince of Wales, to be energy efficient, to create a sense of community, and so that people with different incomes live next door to one another.
Midsomer Norton in Somerset is ITV's murder capital of the country, while Golden Hill in Shaftesbury is featured in the famous Hovis advert, accompanied by Dvorak's "New World Symphony" and out- of-place Yorkshire accents.
The picturesque village of Corfe on
the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset offers easy
access to sandy beaches at Studland, Swanage
and Sandbanks, the steam Swanage Railway,
riding, golf and great walks. The ruin of
Corfe Castle (01929 481294; www.nationaltrust.org.uk)
towering above the village on a conical hill
in a gap in the Purbeck ridge is visible for
miles around (open daily all year, except
25, 26 December and one day in mid-March;
April to October 10am-6pm; pounds 4.30 per
adult, pounds 2.15 per child, pounds 10.80
per family - two adults and three children).
Thomas Hardy's Wessex
The Windle map of Hardy's Wessex, 1906.
Bertram Windle published a topographical guide titled The Wessex of Thomas Hardy.
(This map, courtesy of The Thomas Hardy Association, has been chosen for its relative clarity.)
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your nearest location in Wessex &
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weather and conditions in Taunton at this time are
shown on the left. Enter other towns to find the
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Location of National Trusts Sites in Wessex
Click here for www.nationaltrust.org.uk
click on blue to visit the sites
||Cornishway West, New Wellington Road,
Taunton, TA1 5NA
||Tel : 01823 331356
Fax : 01823 331356
||FROM NORTH M5 Leave the M5 at junction 18 (signposted A4 Bristol & Airport). Take the A4 towards Bristol following signs for the airport. Go past Bristol City Football ground and connect with the A38 towards Taunton, the airport is situated 8 miles South of Bristol on the A38.||
||FROM SOUTH M5 Leave the M5 at Junction 22, at roundabout take 3rd exit signposted A38. At East Brent roundabout joining the A370 take 2nd exit signposted A38 & airport. Continue on this road for approx 11 miles, airport is on the left.|
Poole to Cherbourg
Plymouth to Roscoff & Santander
Weymouth to St.Malo & Channel Islands
International Airport is situated off the A30, five
miles from the City of Exeter. From the M5 motorway
junction 29, travel 1 mile eastbound on the
Paddington(London) to Plymouth Line
08457 000 125
Tel : Enquiries:
08457 48 49 50
Fax : 0845 600 8363
First Southern National
run buses in Somerset and Dorset
||Taunton Bus Station
Tower Street, Taunton
|Tel : 01823 272033|
||4 Vicarage Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15
National Rail Enquiries
to Exeter Line
tel:0845 6000 650 or 0845 6050 441
Fax : 023 8072 8187
by Caroline M. Jackson
Jane Austen (1775-1817) - English novelist, her work recently revived in the films Emma and Sense & Sensibility and the TV version of Pride and Prejudice. She is buried in the north aisle of Winchester Cathedral. In life her novels were anonymous and the inscription on her tomb does not mention her talents, but her character: "She openeth her mouth with wisdom and her tongue is the law of kindness."
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928) English poet and novelist whose books included: Far from the Madding Crowd, The Return of the Native and The Mayor of Casterbridge. The heart of "Hardy Country" is Dorchester which he penned "Casterbridge".
Edward Rutherford's recent novel Sarum was written around Salisbury.
Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894) Scottish writer wrote The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde and Kidnapped while living in Bournemouth.
CATHEDRALS & ABBEYS
Salisbury Cathedral - 83 mls. sw of London. Its 400-foot spire is the tallest in Britain and is the subject of several paintings by Constable.
Winchester Cathedral - 64 mls. sw of London - Europe's longest church. Visit the Close, Pilgrim's Hall and the Refectory for tea. Crypt and Tower tours available.
Shaftesbury Abbey - interesting and in a lovely location.
Milton Abbey near Milton Abbas, a picturesque village of identical thatched cottages. The Abbey was once part of a Benedictine monastery and the pastoral setting is balm to the soul.
By car from Heathrow Airport, follow the M3 to Winchester, then the M27 to Lyndhurst in the New Forest (a 90-minute drive).
Parking in centre of cathedral towns at a premium. Check with tourist authority for park and ride options.
List of Interesting Sites
Your Cerdic Merchandise and show your
connection with the Ancient Kingdom of Wessex
Cerdic's Kids Jousting Shirt