Welcome to Round 12 of ABC Wednesday, created by Denise Nesbitt and currently administered by our able-bodied and adorable Roger and his team of admirable assistants! If you are new to ABCW, please be sure to read our guidelines (top left of the website) and link back to it so that others may enjoy our adventures!
This week, I'd like to introduce you to the town of Andover, which lies in Hampshire, England near well-known locales such as Stonehenge and Salisbury Cathedral. Every time I've travelled to England, I go there to stay with friends John and Marion. They kindly allow me to get over any jet lag before we travel around the area taking in the sights. Last summer, they took us to Chartwell, the home of Winston Churchill - I'll be showing you this awesome place in 2 weeks for the letter C.
Andover is also close to the New Forest, which "is a former royal hunting area in the south of England. It was created in 1079 by William I (known as William the Conqueror) as a hunting area, principally of deer. It is a unique area of historical, ecological and agricultural significance, and retains many of the rural practices conceded by the Crown in historical times to local people. Principal of these is the pasturing of ponies, cattle, pigs and donkeys in the open Forest by local inhabitants known as commoners. The New Forest has also been an important source of timber for the Crown. It is an outstanding recreational area for walking and riding. It is now designated as a National Park."
Once, we took a drive through the area and actually saw wild horses roaming the countryside and small villages! It's a beautiful part of England! We stopped for lunch at a typical village pub that has a thatched roof and was called "The Hatchet." I remember having a traditional lunch of crusty bread and meat paté with Branston pickle!
The history of Andover goes back a long way to the mid-900's where King Edgar called a meeting of the Saxon parliament at his hunting lodge in the area. At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, Andover had a total population of about 500, making it quite a large settlement by the standards of the time. By the early 19th century, it was a major stopping point on the stagecoach routes to London. As a matter of fact, John commutes via automobile to London for his job.
If I could afford to live in England, I'd be airborne right now! In the meantime, it's awesome to have good friends who always give me a warm welcome every few years. Enjoy the slideshow and don't forget to turn up your sound.