Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A Short Visit to Wickham

A Short Visit to Wickham 

Wickham is a small village set on the Meon Valley just a few miles north of the town of Fareham. 

Years ago the community there was mainly rural and agricultural but now the village centre has become a popular shopping venue with small shops set around the large square with its pay & display car parking area.

The building here include some smart Georgian ones including The Old House Hotel in the background with its unusual steep sloping roof to the ground floor.

This building containing Lilly's Cafe also carries the villages Diamond Jubilee Clock.

Unlike many such beautiful buildings which become offices, these two appear to still be residential dwellings 

On the opposite side of the square are this line of small shops with one converted into a lovely arcade containing various shops including an antiques centre and another small coffee shop. 

At the far end of the square is the post office and general store completing our tour of the square.

It was a sunny but cold day so our next port of call was to be The Kings Head, for a warm cup of coffee. Like many hostelries in the area it is also Dog Friendly allowing Digby to come in with us. 
Those of you with a keen eye may have spotted the Jack Russell dog looking out from the window over the old Coaching Garage. 

The Kings Head was built in 1767 as a Coaching Inn and today alo has a Skittle Ally and a lovely Children Friendly garden

It was quite busy inside but we managed to find a place in the Library Room where Digby could be out of the way.

Needless to say with so many books to view on offer we spent an interesting time there browsing. 

I am always fascinated by the decor in these old places and could not resist a scan of the wall hangings. It was a great find to discover these pictures with their association with local wartime activities and Sir Winston Churchill. 

Reading this one, signed by Dwight D Eisenhower appears to be a document to be read out to all of the troops waiting to embark on the 'D' Day Landings.

An interesting line up of the top men with  Eisenhower & Montgomery in the middle. 

Sir Winston Churchill himself

' Churchill signs an Agreement for Closer Commonwealth Solidarity at Southwick House on 16th May 1944 ' . Apparently, he was also in favour a some sort of European Alliance after the war???

These two Old Risque' Cartoons may only be 'viewed' from inside the Male Toilets.

I could not resist them for their colours and interest even if the underlying 'joke' of their time is not always clear.

That was our short visit to Wickham. 

The next time we go we must also make time to visit the famous Chesapeake Mill building and Antiques Centre located in Bridge Street. The mill was built using timbres from the captured United States Frigate Chesapeake in 1812.

A couple of weeks later we revisited Wickham again and went straight to Chesapeake Mill.

From the Square the road bends to the right and down the hill to the River Meon where the Mill is located. There are som amny old period buildings here which add to the character of the area.  

This narrow path with its railings protects pedestrians form the traffic.

Looking back up the hill 

And here is the Mill in all of its glory, filled with small shops and cafe

On the opposite side of the road the Mill Stream may be seen re joining the River Meon.

At the side of the mill, the old Mill Stream runs alongside the building.

Further down the road is an old disused railway bridge from the Meon Valley Line which ran from Fareham to Alton. The track base is now a footpath for keen walkers to use.

Looking Upstream where the Meon flows towards us.

The road, looking back zig zags up the hill towards the Village Square

To the right of the Mill is the Cafe.

Opposite is the 1921 Victory Club building.

In the Mill Car Park is this unusual form of  Well, The Dip hole as the plaque below indicates, was used as the village water supply years ago.

Having visted the shops and made a few purchases we head back to the village and another coffee in the Pub,

 Here are a few more of the interesting buildings we pass on our way

That is our visit to Wickham.

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