Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Made in Sway

Hey, this was not really a Victor moment but I did get quite annoyed at the health and safety implications when I first saw this sign. It is new and stating the bleeding obvious! Yep It's water and the ducks and swans were quite happy with it as their habitat of choice. We are all 90% water, it needs qualifying; -Deep water! Smelly water! Radioactive Water! Salt Water! Water to walk on! Wet Water! Sticky Water! Drinking Water! Bottled Water! Heavy Water! Sparkling Water! What's wrong with our water? I'm going to filter everything from now on!

Check out Lyn here assembling her Ikea shelf.......There is hope for us all...

I recently came across this old New Forest map that includes some of the areas around Sway as they were. It really is quite interesting.
I've received quite a few defamatory comments about the infamous 'Sway Treacle Mines'. As far as I can make out there seems to be some doubt about the existence of the 'mines'. I'm quite concerned that so many people can doubt the truth of such a claim. The seed of doubt has even spread to my local watering hole where I am now met with glib remarks such as "Twaddle....Mines twern't at Setthorns anyhow, they were in the caves behind Sway Docks!" This is usually followed by shrieks of mirth and merriment from the surrounding entourage and further cravings for treacles sandwiches. However, joking aside, it has occurred to me that even these spurious remarks may indeed, have some truth.Many myths and legends are expanded with the 'telling' through many generations Perhaps there were caves? And perhaps they were behind Sway docks?It could be argued that now the location of the caves is known then perhaps the location of the so-called docks is nearby. The shot to the left is coming down to the lake from the northern shores near the treacle mines.
Could it be possible that in the past, Wooton stream was actually a river?Could the original course of this river have run up around Yew Tree bottom and into Longslade bottom? If this was the case then Longslade would have made a magnificent harbour area and would probably had docks at some stage. Admittedly this would have been before the treacle mines, -but you must agree, - it is possible. If this was the case then the course of Avon water would've run right past the sight of the treacle mines. The docks may have been cut out directly behind the caves to make them harder to find.
Even in Elizabethan times it was rumoured that the Queen had ordered certain sites (docks) 'to be made ready' for the building of ships to defend the realm against the forthcoming Armada. The location of these sights was kept secret , nothing was recorded for fear of Spanish spy's. In fact, the threat of espionage was so great that even Elizabeth herself was never told of the locations!
If you take Bucklers Hard and it's shipbuilding as an example, it is easy to see how inland shipbuilding came about. Bucklers Hard was probably a later version of Sway docks. After all the forest's trees were sought after for this purpose. Sway would've been an ideal location.
Another peculiar thing is Sway Tower which is a well known landmark and point of reference but how many people would've ever questioned the wisdom of building a lighthouse inland. I know that it doesn't look like a lighthouse but that was because of the planning delays (yes, even in those days)! It was originally conceived in 1586 but nobody was prepared to allow such a 'Monstrosity' to be built in Sway and the whole project was shelved. Of course, when it was built the waters had receded and Mr Peterson took the credit.
There is is even an obscure reference to the possibility of 'Shipbuilding in Sway' in JAY's nautical almanac. The almanac mentions a warship named 'Hinclelslea' making way down the Avon water in 1588 to defeat the approaching Armada.

1 comment:

  1. Now you come to mention it I do dig up an awful amount of shells (no snail ever lived in these I can tell you) in the garden and we live 40 miles inland right on top of the remains of a Roman town.