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  • Reason for inclusion: One of the two favoured candidates for the Gibson’s residence. The other being The Grange Normington

    Accessibility: Please check website http://www.avingtonpark.co.uk/public-openings. The house itself is open some days between May and end September

    Description: Georgian stately home in its own grounds

    Comments: Neither of the sites meets all of Watson’s descriptions. Avington is not half timbered nor is it on a hill. But it is imposing, has a mere and a bridge and if Holmes and Watson alighted at  Itchin Abbas, Avington Park is only a short pony and trap ride away.

    Geoffrey Stavert in the Society’s Tri-metallic question “I thought I thor Thor Bridge” stated ““Within the grounds, in fact only a few yards from the house itself, there is a little iron-railed footbridge spanning a minor branch of the Itchen, which dutifully flows into the mere. But itself cannot be Thor Bridge. The streambeneath it is only a few inches deep, and Maria Gibson’s revolver with its string and weight attached would show up clearly on the sandy bottom.” “Sergeant Coventry would then lead his colleagues past the house and out along the avenue to the main entrance to the grounds which is on the road from Itchen Abbas, about half a mile south of the village. Hereabouts the River Itchen flows in two branches, each of which is crossed by a bridge.” “The other (second) has low brick walls with stone cappings, and it is this which I take to be Thor Bridge. It is the right distance, about a mile, from the house. Though not in the grounds of the house it is still well within the bounds of the 300 acre Avington Park estate,where Mrs. Gibson’s body had every likelihood of being discovered by an estate worker. The water below is deep and murky, and a dragging operation would be needed to turn up the missing revolver(or revolvers, for Watson’s is down there as well.”

     

    Contemporary illustration copyright Winchester City Council Collections. Provided by Hampshire Cultural Trust.

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