Monday, 9 July 2018

Visit to Romsey

Last Friday, the final day of our short break, was very hot and sticky. We had time to enjoy a very tasty breakfast and pack our belongings before we needed to board the coach to head to Romsey, a market town in Hampshire. Romsey is quite small with a population of 18,000 but also has an abbey that was built in the 10th century. When we arrived in Romsey we had time to get a cup of coffee before heading to the abbey.

If you want to read more of the history of Romsey abbey click Here  We had a guide to show us around and he gave us both factual information and several of the legends attached to it.  I liked the Celtic knot patterns on the cross in the church yard. I have an embroidery pattern book somewhere that is all different Celtic designs.

The abbey was large with a very high ceiling and as you can see on the picture three sets of arches from floor to roof. None of the pillars along the nave were the same and two had stone staircases inside the pillar.

I was particularly interested in the fabric work in the abbey. There were several banners displayed throughout the building. One of the side chapels was dedicated to St George and I thought this particular dragon was quite scary.

This statue was on the wall of the chapel and the dragon seemed less aggressive and St George is rather handsome.

The abbey is dedicated to St Mary,

and St Etheflaeda. 

Our guide didn't give any information about the various banners such as when and by whom they were made. They all seemed to be of about the same age and I wondered if there had been a project to replace older pieces. There were 4 other pieces  so I took pictures of all of them.

The fabric work added splashes of colour around the building. My favourite piece however was the curtain.This is the piece that covered the top of the archway and hid the curtain rail

Curtain itself had been made using a mixture of applique and machine embroidery. You weren't allowed to touch the curtain so it was difficult to get the full beauty of the work. I took the picture in two halves.

The way the curtain had been arranged meant you couldn't see all the characters on the right half.

I took a close up of this one lady.

The banner for the Sunday School was very nice and I loved the choice of fabric and colours

The final fabric work I saw was the frontal for the altar which had a mixture of piecing, applique, embroidery and quilting.

We spent a long time in the abbey as there was a lot of history attached to it. In it's more recent history it is the final resting place of Earl  Mountbatten of Burma. He was a resident of Romsey and great grandson of Queen Victoria and uncle to Prince Phillip. Go Here to find out more about him.

After our tour we had time to investigate the town and find some lunch. We found a delightful cafe that served excellent coffee and sandwiches, and also had the most adorable puppy curled up in a basket in the corner. Having enjoyed lunch and spent a little time giving the puppy some attention we popped into the next door shop which happened to be a small quilt shop called Greenhill Patchwork run by Naomi Reading. As you walked in the fabric bolts were on the wall on your left.

In the centre was this island which had fat quarters on both sides. You can see the threads along the back wall. I was standing with my back towards the counter to take the photo. To the right of the threads there was a small back room that housed the wool.

John bought me these fat quarters. He had looked to see what solid colours I had and had also listened when I muttered about what I needed to buy so these will fit well into my FQ stash.

I bought myself these FQ's  I love all the fabrics but I particularly like the fabric with the bras on and also the monkey fabric.

To end our trip John and I enjoyed an ice cream from a local shop that made the ice cream themselves on the premises. Then it was time to head back to our coach for our journey home.  The trip away had been fun and I went home with some new dresses and fabric. The journey home was quick and uneventful. Scamp and Picasso were very pleased to see us. We have an overnight adventure booked for this coming weekend which I am looking forward to. This time it is just the two of us and I will do the driving. 

It's now 9:45 at night, and I have a little time to do some stitching before bed. The french windows are open into the garden and there is a lovely cool breeze coming in. I think tonight I will get a good night's sleep.



  1. I've enjoyed tagging along on your tour. You have visited some fascinating places and enjoyed some fun retail therapy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Loved reading about your trip. Great fabric for your stash. Will look forward to see how you use it. The Romsey Abby is beautiful and the fabric art amazing.

  3. Pretty fabrics. Wow! The ages of these structures astonishes me. One can only ask how they did it without modern cranes and such. Great pictures.

  4. Such a lovely trip, and finding the quilt shop was a real bonus. I loved the photos in the Abbey, seeing all those glorious hangings must have been wonderful.