Pictures of Whitchurch
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Whitchurch lies in a peaceful valley along the River Test. It is a place with which anglers are familiar, they come in droves, spending endless hours dreamily fishing for brown trout, whilst watching the world drift by from the most enviable of picturesque river banks.
When you tire of fishing and decide to wander a little, take a look at the beautiful old silk mill housed in a splendid 18th-century building, on an island in the river. Here you can see Victorian machines used for producing high quality silk for costumes and a costume exhibition. Until the 1930's when electricity took over, water was the only source of power for the mill. Garments and other articles made from the product are on sale in the shop.
Within easy reach of Whitchurch you will find Burghclere, the site of Stanley Spencers 1920's Sandham Memorial Chapel. This stark red-brick building houses Spencers' imaginative paintings inspired by his work as a medical orderly and soldier during World War I. From the sweet scented wild flower orchard there are views of the NT Watership Down. Beacon Hill, rising to 858ft overlooking Old Highclere, is one of the most perfect hillforts in the country
A major attraction drawing many visitors to the area is the fabled Highclere Castle lying just off the A34. The castle, built for the 3rd Earl of Carnarvon was designed by Charles Barry during the 1830's Medieval in style, with a celebrated grand staircase, the castle houses Egyptian findings from the tomb of Tutankhamen which was discovered by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon who lived here. Highclere is now the home of the 8th Earl and his family, it is surrounded by magnificent landscaped gardens and grounds laid out by Capability Brown. The present Earl is the Queen's Horseracing Manager, an exhibition in the castle was opened in 1993 to celebrate his 50th year as a breeder and owner. Highclere Castle makes a delightful visit for all the family.
Historic facts about Whitchurch reveal it was listed in the Doomsday Book as being a holding of the Bishop of Winchester, in 1241 a market charter was granted by Henry III to Winchester Cathedral Priory for a market at Whitchurch and in 1644 King Charles I and his troop stopped in the town on their way to the Battle of Newbury. In the 18th-century the town was a famous paper making centre, other flourishing industries have been cloth and silk manufacture.
With such pretty countryside and so much of historic interest Whitchurch makes an ideal base from which to explore the delights of rural Hampshire.
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