Iona visits Southwell Minster

Trip 12: Maythorne Farm Campsite, Southwell, Nottinghamshire.

This was probably going to be our last trip in Iona before Christmas. The weather was getting colder and more in-line with Autumn / Winter temperatures. Our destination for this trip was Southwell in Nottinghamshire. There is a Minster, a workhouse museum, Lord Byron stayed here and King Charles 1st stayed here on his last night of freedom before surrendering to the Scottish army during the English Civil War.

The drive was very easy this morning the roads were not busy and we found the site easily. There is only one other motorhome here. We picked a pitch with a small hedge backing onto the mill stream that is actually the river Greet.

The river Greet

After lunch it was time for a short walk, famous last words. We ended up doing a circular walk of about 4 miles.

We set off past the Mill buildings . The mill was built in 1785 along with the reservoir, warehouse and houses for the workforce.The community grew with it’s own Public house, (King William IV) ,church mission and general store. In the early. 19th century cotton gave way to silk until WW2. The mill and the outbuildings were converted to housing in 1980.

Mill Workers Cottage
The Mill is now apartments

We crossed over the mill race and followed the river Greet. The river is small but meanders towards Southwell where it meets another Mill. This one is also now converted to flats.

The Mill Race

A mile further on and the river Greet goes under Caudwell Mill and the road and emerges into a mill pond before carrying on towards the river Trent.

The river Greet meets Caudwell’s Mill

Here we turned right towards the town until we came to the site of the original railway that joined Mansfield to the main line at Rolleston junction. There was a passenger service but the line was also used to ferry coal from the Nottingham coalfields.

The Final Whistle

It is here there was a level crossing and next to that a public house, now called the Final Whistle.

The beer garden

We joined the cinder trackbed that is now called the Southwell Trail. The trail led us all the way back to the Maythorne Farm and campsite. We settled in for the afternoon before having an ASDA Chinese meal for tea.

A fat Squirrel on the Southwell Trail.

Day 2:

I slept OK until 03.30am and I woke up very hot. The boiler is under the bed and I had set the room temperature too high so the boiler had kicked in and the heat and the fan noise woke me.

Today we are walking back into Southwell to look at the Minster. We started our walk along the Southwell trial to the Final Whistle pub, from here we headed into town.

The first piece of history was the original House of Correction. There is a blue plaque on the front wall and then when you go around the back you can see the original layout. There are two of the original buildings still standing, one was the infirmary and then a dormitory block and next to that a modern apartment block built to the same size and shape of the infirmary.

One block of the House of Correction

We continued our walk and the next place of interest was Lord Byron’s family home. A short walk from here passes lots of original houses which in turn lead into Southwell along a narrow street with artisan shops.

Lord Byron’s family home

There are a variety of public houses and the first one of interest was the Admiral Rodney which was impressive but the one we wanted to look at was the Saracen’s Head hotel. This is where Charles 1st stayed before surrendering to the Scottish army and then taken to London as a prisoner.

After walking around the town centre we headed for the Minster, it is an impressive building which has been added to throughout it’s history.

Southwell Minster

Our first stop was the Great Hall where the Dean would meet his advisors and it is also where Kings and Queens would stay when visiting the Minster.

We left the great hall and entered into the Minster through the south door and began to explore, luckily there were several guides and we asked them a few questions. We were shown a model of how the original small church was added to over the years until were saw what is standing today.

There were too many wonderful things that we saw to list here but the main stained glass window that was completed in 1996 is something to see first hand along with a description of each panel.

The latest Stained Glass window, finished in 1996

In the main body of the building is a naive where the church hierarchy sit. Each seat has word in Latin which denotes who sits where by order of importance.

We made our way home via a Co-op to buy some cake. Sue chose Carrot cake and I went for a Walnut cake. I chose wrong because my cake turned out stodgy and very sweet.

We had a minced beef pie with potato wedges and Brocolli for tea to round off a busy day.

Day 3:

We started our walk on the footpath behind the old mill and then took a new route away from the river.We followed the path around a field upto a lane , we followed the lane to a Garden Centre and Swan Sanctuary.

We had a good look around and then took a path across a field to Caudwell’s Mill.

Caudwell’s Mill

We followed the river Gleet to the main road and then we could see the Workhouse.

Unfortunately it was closed but we wanted to have a look and see if it worth visiting next year when it is open. Apparently it is one of the least altered workhouse buildings in the country. It was built in 1824 by the revd JT Becher, who also built the House of Correction that we saw yesterday in Southwell.

The Workhouse

We stopped on the way home to have a cup of tea by the river, it was too early for our packed lunch so we continued on back to the motorhome. Today’s walk was a mere 4.4 miles.

We spent the afternoon in the motorhome reading. There was one caravan that turned up later in the afternoon. There must be 30 empty pitches and they set up next to us. Luckily there was a tall hedge between our pitches and we are off home tomorrow.

We have a steak for tea and settled down in front of the TV with a beer or two.

Evening sunset

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