Living History and Ancient Architecture



We set off on a journey to find Southwick Priory, a building built in the 1100s to house priests and friars needing time to reflect. The priory, as we were told, is found near the centre of the town of Southwick.

Southwick is now one of the more famous towns because it housed the English Army as it readied itself for the final blow to the Germans in 1944/5 during the battle of Normandy. This town is very small and is located about 45 minutes from Portsmouth, the southern most part of England, and was chosen as it is located on the other side of the chalk hill, safely hidden. General Dwight D. Eisenhower himself was housed there and reviewed the final plans for victory in buildings in Southwick. Although all of this is great history though, the real reason for our visit was a short stroll from the town centre.

The Southwick Priory is now no more that a wall and a bit of rubble. You can feel the sacredness of this 1000 year old site as you stroll around. Darian and Zane took great trouble to look at how the building had been built and where they had used pottery and broken glass as part of the structure. They are both embracing the learning of history everywhere we go. It was facinating to see the remaining plynths and imagine what this sacred building would have been like in its day.

The town of Southwick, by the way, sound like a great, grand city but it is in fact a tiny town, situated in the middle of nowhere. We walked the entire town in a matter of minutes, so how and where they housed an army is beyond me. The most facinating thing that we took joy in observing was the thatched rooves that all of the houses had. It was as if we had walked back through history.

There is so much more to tell and even more that we could feel by being there. Learning history is amazing, but seeing and living history is ...

Matt

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