Welcome to the home pages of John and Betty Smith, and the definitive web site for Osborne Ivorex collectors.
We live in the City of Southampton which is in the county of Hampshire, on the sunny South coast of England.
In the 3rd century the Romans arrived in the area and constructed a fortress known as Clausentum near the river Itchen, in a place now known as Bitterne Manor. The fortress was substantial with walls nine feet thick. Clausentum was one of the chief stations of the Romans until their departure around 411 AD. The settlement of the area grew rapidly with a village on the opposite side of the river that grew into a town, now under Saxon control, that in 519 AD was called Hampton (Ham for home and tun for enclosure) , some time during the 10th century the South prefix was added to distinguish the town from others similarly named, such as Hampton in Mercia which is now known as Northampton. In the 11th century the town came under the Danish control of King Canute, and eventually became a major Norman port with extensive town walls.
The Bargate, reputed to be one of the best specimens of Norman architecture in England, dating from the 12th century and which was the Northern exit to the town, can still be seen today. In 1153 there was a Norman castle within the town walls which was still in existence in 1379, but this fell into disrepair during the middle ages and became a slum area with unsavoury townsfolk building shacks against its walls. This led to the castle being demolished, and as was customary in those times its stones were used for other works. Within the old walls can be found the Tudor House Museum, built for Sir John Dawtrey in around 1495, it stayed in private ownership undergoing a rise and fall in general condition until it was bought by the borough council in 1911 and in July 1912 was opened as the towns first museum. 86 years later it is still open and well worth a visit to see what life was like in a Tudor home. There are many other places of interest to visit, including several other museums, such as the Maritime museum, here you can see the story of the Titanic and read some of the accounts of life after the disaster for the families of over five hundred Southampton crewmen who perished.
If you are interested in history, Southampton is well worth a visit, while just down the road a few miles is the City of Portsmouth, where you can visit the Tudor warship Mary Rose and Nelsons flagship Victory.
The modern City of Southampton has a wealth of shops for the visitor and of course all the bars, cafes, parks and amenities that one would expect to find, a large University and campus is situated to the North.
If you are coming to the UK then for more information you could try the British Tourist Authority, while timetables and other useful information will be found at UK Railways on the Net