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MATE'S HANDBOOK TO SOUTHAMPTON.
Our big liner is sending a wave along the beach of Cowes famed for regattas and whitewinged yachts. As we turn into the Southampton Water, Calshot Castle, built from the ruins of Netley Abbey, and roofed with the lead from Beaulieu is on the right. In war time Southampton Water would be closed at this point by a boom defence carried upon five gunboats and four large wooden dolphins. On our right is the entrance to the Hamble river, with the picturesque village of Bursledon. Seventy-four gun ships were formerly built here. Swanwick near by, cultivates •enormous quantities of strawberries for the London market. At the mouth of the creek is the pleasant fishing village of Hamble. Crabs and lobsters collected from France, Ireland, Cornwall and Norway, are ponded here till they " get into hot water" and visit London. The naval training ship " Mercury" is moored in the Hamble river. On the left is Fawley church, the Cadland woods, and the Early English ivy-clad church of Dibden. Hythe is the port (as its name denotes) of the New Forest. It is easily recognisable by its lengthy pier, which is accesible at all times of tide. On the right is the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, the largest of our military hospitals, the corridors are over a quarter of a mile in length, and some 1,200 patients can be received within the walls. Her Majesty The Queen pays frequent visits to her sick and wounded soldiers. The large building on the Southampton side of the hospital is the officers' quarters. The foundation stone of the Hospital was laid by the Queen on May 19th, 1856. Young army surgeons attached to the Royal Army Medical School here receive special instruction. The museum and many other objects of interest are shewn to visitors on application. About a mile above the hospital, on the same side, is Netley Castle. This was the original gatehouse of Netley Abbey, which, shrouded in trees, lies behind it, and must be referred to at length hereafter. Henry VIII., in 1535, converted the gatehouse into a fort. In 1627 it was known as Westoun Fortress, and was garrisoned by a captain, two soldiers, a porter, and 6 gunners. Its present owner has remodelled and enlarged it, making it a noble mansion.
Here we are at Southampton, the end of our voyage. White-winged yachts are all around us, and we run quietly into dock, where every facility is given, and ere long we can " take our ease in our inn." Southampton is amply provided with hotel and restaurant accommodation. At the Docks Station the South Western Hotel is managed by the London and South Western Railway. From one of its windows the
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