Our talk this month was by an Archaeologist – Ruby Mogg about Medieval Southampton. She was full of enthusiasm about her subject despite the heat! She took us through the Saxon era, the Normans and late Medieval Period.
There is no written record before the Roman invasion. A lot of Saxon encampments were where Bitterne is today, towards the River Test.
There was a grid system of roads which the Romans built to protect Southampton. Southampton was an important port in both Norman and medieval times and had previously been attacked due to weak defenses.
The Domesday Book shows that Southampton had French and English quarters at the time of the Norman conquest. St. Michael’s Church was dedicated to St. Michael, patron saint of Normandy. The Castle was built to store the King’s wine. Some remains of merchants houses – King Johns House and Canutes Palace are evidence of wealth that existed.
The Normans (1066 and all that) invaded and built Portchester Castle which is evident today. Southampton Castle south facing wall exists but the rest was heavily bombed.
To this day one can see vaults beneath Southampton but again, due to bombing , many no longer exist. Pottery has been found which shows that we had trade with France and Portugal. Shrouds have been unearthed showing high status garments with gold wire. All the work painstakingly photographed and identified.
We had our usual raffle. We also had our competition of the month which this month was a flower competition. The entries were very colourful. The winner was Maureen.
Julie talked about bandage making for Ukraine and encouraged more people to get involved. Evelyn and Julie brought along ‘bandage making kits’ for members to take home and work on. The New Forest was featured on Countryfile and showed how the New Forest and its residents have been involved in war efforts throughout the years. It also focused on New Forest for Ukraine, showing Avery making bandages and Alex with her Ukrainian guests (both of whom talked to us last month about Ukraine and how we could help).
It was lovely to have Britta’s Ukrainian guest Dairia to our meeting.
In August the Members have an outing to Furzey Gardens.
If anyone wishes to learn more about the WI or come to a meeting please email us for more information.