City of Winchester Trust
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To the Pullers-Down - TrustNews Dec 2005

This poem, author unknown, was found recently at the Chesil Rectory, Winchester's well-known restaurant, by its owner Carl Reeve. Written exactly 100 years ago it has an obvious resonance today.

THE OLD CHEESEHILL RECTORY

[To the Pullers-down - To the Mayor and Corporation, and to everyone concerned]

Such house is sanctified by time,

This renders it unique,

About it antiquarians

With reference all speak.

If such a quaint old house as this

Were levelled to the ground

It would in my opinion, be

Stupidity profound.

For what attracts to Winchester

The folks who come your way?

What makes them lavish money there,

And in your hotels stay?

What makes the Yankees trot around

And spend with you their gold?

Because they're sick of what's brand new,

And want to see what's old.

What makes a hardened globe trotter

Your ancient High-street climb?

To see old houses such as these,

That sanctified by time,

As firmly stood on mother earth

As when their bricks were laid

As when their footings were dug out

By men with pick and spade

Five hundred years or more ago,

And yet in your old town

An ancient edifice like this

You talk of pulling down.

22nd April 1905