Monday, 31 January 2011

Hampshire Views - Stocks Farm and Old Winchester Hill

These somewhat blurred images* are of Stocks cottages under Old Winchester Hill, part of Stocks Farm where I was brought up. The land here has been farmed for countless generations and doubtless even sustained the inhabitants of the Iron Age Fort at the top of the hill. From their vantage point, they (and we today) could see the southern coast of England from Chichester Harbour and the Portsdown Hills, to Southampton Water, the Isle of Wight and the New Forest in the west. Below the hill in the valley to the south is Stocks Farm which we came to in 1950 and sold on my father's death in 2002. Stocks Farm expanded to incorporate neighbouring Harvestgate Farm in 1970 and Little Stocks Farm in Meonstoke, the nearest village, in 1980, but the land remained as it has for centuries, with good well-draining chalk-based soil in the valley and lighter land suitable for grain but also for sheep, on the hills. It's an exceptionally beautiful part of Hampshire, secluded and unspoiled. In addition to being used in this television programme, it also appears briefly in a video on Hampshire (at minute 2.11), but is also the subject of countless of my photos, some of which you can see linked from the heading.

Stocks and Harvestgate Farms and the coast beyond from Old Winchester Hill

Stocks Farm Cottages with the Isle of Wight in the distance from Old Winchester Hill (in September)

*These photos are taken from the television - a repeat showing of Midsomer Murders on ITV1. The scenery was supposed to represent Southern Ireland....

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