What a lovely day we had, the day we went to Rowland’s Castle. Which was today. We spent a marvellous few hours with Lisa and Rupert (and a bit with son Luke). Of course, being a Sunday, we had a roast.
Before we headed out I had a very important job to do. Our new neighbours were out hanging their Christmas decorations and other houses in the street have started their hedges to flickering. Mirinda said it’s time.
I ventured up to the loft and dragged down the 39 boxes of Yuletide tat, brushed the dust off the lids and brought them down to the extension in preparation for tomorrow. I guess December 6 is D Day.
We then loaded up the girls and headed off for our lunch date.
We’ve only been to Rowland’s Castle once. We dropped Will and Marsha off after a Victory dinner a number of years ago. They were staying with his parents who were happily minding the child. Of course, it was the middle of the night and we didn’t see much of the village. Actually, we didn’t see any of the village.
The eponymous castle was a motte and bailey built sometime betwixt 1066 and 1199. History claims that Henry II visited once for a bit of a hunt in the 12th century. The castle was gone by the 15th century and all that remains are a few bits and pieces that could only be discerned by the educated eye.
And more educated than me, I have to stress.
One thing that did get me excited (because I’ve never seen one before) was a Victorian double arched bridge. Lisa asked me what I was taking a photo of, which surprised me given this beautiful construction:
According to Will, there’s an excellent pub just beyond the left arch. We didn’t see it, but we did go by the other two pubs in the village. The village hardly seems big enough for three pubs but how delightful would it be to be a regular, stopping off at one on a Monday, another on a Wednesday and the third of a Friday.
One of the (other) lovely things about Rowland’s Castle is the green. Apparently, it’s almost shaped like a lung. I don’t know about that, but it is very impressive. They have a fair there every year, and it’s the centre of the village for all manner of things. There’s a few benches so I’m thinking a few oldies might just sit there and watch the world go by. Perfect after a visit to the pub.
At one end of the green is a small flinty church. Called The Church on the Green, it’s of the reformed variety and, of course, being a Sunday, it was closed. Mirinda tried all the doors, but entry there was none. There is another church and a chapel in the village, but we didn’t see them.
The church dates from the late 18th century when non-conformist faiths were taking off in the UK. The land was originally meant for three cottages but the builder, for whatever reason, only managed one and the church was built on the remaining plots. I imagine the brethren thought this was a message from God.
We walked by and headed round, back to Lisa and Rupert’s house where we indulged ourselves in a delicious roast chicken lunch.
The conversation round the table was lively and varied, as it should be, including discussing Luke’s university aspirations, how to move whisky bottles from Turkey to Scotland and just how violent lacrosse can be.
It was also decided that Lisa’s swirly trousers matched the crazy way her brain worked. This was a good thing. And, speaking of clothes, I’m clearly down with the kids. Lisa told me that Isabel (teenage daughter) only wears unmatching socks as well.
We had a lovely time but, of course, we had to leave before our welcome was worn out. I said to Mirinda on the way home that we have to have them over to ours again in the new year just so we can go back to theirs.