Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Hurst Castle

29 June 2008, Sunday
Lymington, Hurst and IOW

We drove looking out for signs pointing to the quay; a wharf/dock area. In a few minutes we could see sail boats and ships flow by. Isle of Wight is just five miles away from here!

Further drove down to Milford-on-Sea and Keyhaven. From here it is a two mile walk along the rocky peninsula to Hurst Castle.

Hurst Castle dates back to the 1500's and was part of the same defense strategy that included other castles such as Southsea near Portsmouth. This waterway is called the Solent where the the Southampton Water spills both east and west around the Isle of Wight as it makes its way to the English Channel.

Hurst Castle is situated at the seaward end of the shingle spit that extends 1.5 miles from Milford-On-Sea. The end of the spit is only three-quarters of a mile from the Isle of Wight.

The castle was built by Henry VIII as one of a chain of coastal fortresses and was completed in 1544. Charles I was also imprisoned here in 1648 before being taken to London for trial and execution. Two of the huge 38-ton guns installed in the 1870’s can be seen along with the casemates here. During World War II, Hurst was manned with coastal gun batteries and searchlights.

Shingle storm beach from Milford-on-Sea

It was 8pm, and time for a long drive back. But, wanted to opt for the so-called Ornamental Drive. West of Lyndhurst at Brockenhurst is a place called Rhinefield and the so-called Ornamental Drive. It was the right time of the year. With huge plants, ferns and wild flowers in full bloom along the very rural road - adding to my visit and making it much more delightful.

Energy levels were still high. Spotted a huge stone on the motorway pointing as ‘Rufus Stone’. The map we had, also had an explicit marking. We thus turned in the direction. A sign board said, ‘Rufus Stone Parking’. Started exploring the place. Even after a walk, a bite and a sip, we had't yet spotted the Rufus Stone. Disappointed we decided to drive back, only to see a small 2ft stone.

And another face said, ‘King William the Second had surname Rufus, thus the name Rufus Stone’.The sign board on the motorway in fact was 3 times bigger than the Rufus Stone. :-D

9:30PM - We surely had a fulfilling day, and headed back to the Holiday Inn,Eastleigh.

1 comment:

Madhu said...

Isn't the second image Isle of Wight?

Good light on the "Shingle Storm Beach". Liked it.

"Huge plants, ferns, wild flowers" in Ornamental Drive. When you said 8PM, I thought it must have been dark. Hmmmm...days were longer when you were there. Days will be shorter when I go there next month :'(

Reading all these posts, how did you remember those details? You were always with a notepad and a pencil? I just can't do that!

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