Saturday, 18 June 2011

Canal and Castle

We live very close to part of the Basingstoke Canal and often walk the dog beside it.  However, if you drive a few miles you can join the canal at it's start in a place called Greywell.  The mouth of the canal is at the base of this bridge and is very narrow and shallow.  Inside the tunnel is a colony of bats that fly out at dusk every evening.
It is a beautiful place - for some reason we haven't been here for years though!
The water is crystal clear with a blue tinge from the clay bottom of the canal.  It is full of waterweed and fish, safe from boats as this part of the canal is too shallow for them to pass.

If you walk for twenty minutes or so down this pretty route, you suddenly turn a corner and come fact to face with this:
It is the castle of King John, built in the 1200's and still here in the middle of nowhere.
This is the view from the other side and you can see it used to be three storeys high, with wooden insides held up by beams fitted into those holes aorund the walls.  The walls are made of flint and are incredibly thick:
To the right you can see the remains of a fireplace at the top of the building - the risk of the place burning down must have been very high!

When we first came across this castle many years ago, it was on a cold and frosty morning and the place was untouched.  Since then it has been 'done up' for visitors with railings, a protective roof over the entrance in case you get bashed on the head by any falling flint, and some little information boards.  Not too keen on the unsightly railings and roof, but the information was worth a look.

A lovely peaceful walk which tired the dog out nicely and soothed our souls!


Magpie Magic said...

Lovely pictures. Wish I could see the castle for real. Looks fab. :-)


Puddock said...

Thanks for this post - I had never heard of this wonderful ruin - it's got me scurrying to Wikipedia and brightened up a dull Monday morning - thanks!

soggibottom said...

Nothing like seeing something again from a different angle. Thanks Caroline, love things like this :-)xxx