We came across this lovely park area in Shrewsbury. Here you can take a lovely walk alongside the river Severn or bring along a picnic on a bright sunny day. There is a great looking playground here for the Children, a bandstand and a statue of Hercules alongside the river. There is a lovely secluded area at the top of the park called the dingle. Here we found ornamental ponds and beautiful gardens and a statue dedicated to Percy Thrower - formally the grounds man at Shrewsbury Park but later went on to be a star of the television on programmes such as blue Peter and Gardeners World. On leaving the park, you can see the house where he lived just before the gates.
Shrewsbury has a lovely shopping centre, It has a great combination of high street shops intertwined with local independent shops. There is a surprise around every corner. If the weather is a bit dreary outside, there are plenty of indoor shopping arcades and malls. There is also an abundance of lovely looking café’s and coffee shops for you to re-charge your batteries in after a good look around the shops.
The Heart of Wales railway line runs from Shrewsbury England to Swansea Wales, takes an hour and a half longer than the main line, but the scenery is lovely.The train is a one carriage and was very nearly full and stops by request at tiny stations.
Rowley's House Museum has collections of fine art, costumes and ceramics, displays about Shrewsbury's geology, local history and archaeology and there are also many temporary displays throughout the year. All this is located in the Mansion of a Merchant [Brewer & Draper] named William Rowley who lived in this house that was built in 1618.
IS THERE A GHOST IN THE MUSEUM?.....
A lady in period costume has been seen to rest upon a bed displayed upstairs. The other visitor is a male who seems oblivious to the lady, perhaps a quarrel?
He is in a costume of the same period but was seen long before her arrival and was "attending" the house long before it became a museum.
The ground floor of Rowley's House is now the temporary home of Shrewsbury's Visitor Information Centre where they help find Accommodation and give info. Gift's, Postcard's, Map, books and Darwing gift's can be bought, and tour's can be booked.
The museum and TIC are open Monday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Sundays from 1st May - 25th September, 10am - 4pm
All Bank Holiday Opening is 10am - 4pm.
Admission is FREE
When I saw the Train Station, I couldn't help but think it looked like a large Manor House, it really was architecturaly beautiful!
The building style is imitation Tudor, complete with carvings of Tudor style heads around the window frames. This was done to match the Tudor building of Shrewsbury School almost directly opposite.
The station was built in 1848, and has been extended several time's. It has platforms that extend over the River Severn.
GHOST AT THE STATION......
Did you know VIP's often travelled between Wales and the North. A Shrewsbury Councillor, who made the same journey to platform three since 1887, was killed by a falling roof, which also crushed his carriage and injured his horse.
Now, a shadowy figure stands or sits near the ramp entrance from Castle St.
The beautiful arched English Bridge was built in 1770, and is one of many Bridge's that cross the River Severn in Shrewsbury.
The original Bridge, thought to date back to the Norman era, became known as the Stone Bridge in medieval times. It had a huge gate tower and drawbridge, accommodation for a gatekeeper and his prisoners and a number of houses and shops. This bridge collapsed during the great flood in 1546, and it wasn't until 1774 a new one was built.
There were two major problem's, so in the 1920's it was taken down stone by stone and the masonry was carefully numbered to be re-used in the new structure.
I don't know, but I should think this would be the only Bridge to be opened by a member of the Royal Family whilst a coffin carriage was passing over a Bridge.
How on earth did this happen?
On October 26th 1927 a souvenir programme was produced in anticipation of the royal visit by Edward, the Prince of Wales, who would officially open the Bridge, only 2 days beforehand, the Marquess of Cambridge, Brother to the Queen died.
The visit by the Prince of Wales was cancelled, how-ever the coffin of the Marquess passed over the bridge which had an honour guard of the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry and the Shropshire Yeomanry on its way to Windsor for the funeral!
Butcher's Row, and have you guessed this street was where the towns butchers would ply their trade.
Flesh Shambles, Double Butcher Row, to distinguish it from Single Butcher Row on Pride Hill and finally Butcher's Row, are all names it has been known by.
Up until the 19th century, animals were still being slaughtered in this street, which would have been very unpleasant for the inhabitants.
For the hardworking Butcher's, there were 6 Inn's, all ready and willing to provide and Ale!
Imagine all the meat in the fresh air, no refigeration, I wonder what it was like in Summer, I don't think I would have wanted to live nearby! I bet all the dog's were fat
I thought this interesting, that when the aldermen went to meetings, they had to pick the safest area to walk, as part's and leftover's of meat were thrown out into the street.. Against the buildings was the safest bet and the worst, in the middle of the street.
Walking this street wasn't a problem, unless I ran into somebody while gazing upward's!
More fantastic Tudor building's and plenty of shop's to browse, another interesting street!
Wyle Cop is the name of another street to look at. This was a little different to the other's, as there were quite a few Craft and Specialist shop's, also a Chocolate shop!
The Cornupia shop on the corner sold lot's of nice gift's.
Along the way are some old Inn's like the Nag's Head situated in a very old timber-framed building, parts of which date back to1421. The top storey of the building hangs out over the second floor. .
This Inn is also on the site of where the old Gullet Inn once stood in 1527.
It was interesting to read, this narrow building in 1630, had it own indoor tennis court for "Real tennis" as played by Henry VIII.
The inn was sold in 1788 and was closed by 1793.
The Inn I saw, is from 1863 which is written on the building. It's been known by a few name's, including Market or the Market Vaults, but to the locals it was also known as the Blood Tub.
Yuk! That would be enough to put me off having a drink there, but why that name?
Perhaps the colour and texture of the beer, or some local's thought that it was once a good place for a fight!
The naming of the Inn is clever, as it was named this way because its location is in a confined space and because it was the local nickname for the inn.
This Inn also had historical finds of clay pipes, pottery and a letter about the Black Death dated 1660.
Did the unearth a Ghost?
Lady Sarah, makes after hour visits smiling whilst walking through the pub before vanishing.
Is she the daughter of a local 14th Century family who died under tragic circumstances?
And, The Inn today is still going strong!
There were several thing's that grabbed my attention about this Inn!
First was the lean on the building, as each level lent over more and more and even though a substantial looking building, it looked like one day it might just topple over! I'm glad they didn't add another story!
The other was the sign, with a painting I presume of, King Henry VII, stating first Tudor King, this was interesting!
The Inn has stood here since 1404, and is very historical. It's been altered many times during its history, and it was during one of these times in 1962, that workmen discovered several interesting finds, including a priest's hole, part of which was being used as a broom cupboard, a bundle of sulphur matches, a scissor shaped candle trimmer and snuffer and several clay pipes.
Another find when the part of the lounge wall was removed, was a letter in excellent condition and dated January 9th 1826.
Addressed to the landlord, it reads.....
"Sir will you have the goodness to look at the head of the bed ware I slept. I left my watch thare. If you will have the goodness to take care of it for me and send me word whether it is safe."
Even in 1987, when more refurbishment's were being carried out, workmen removed brickwork from the front of a ground floor fireplace to expose an older chimney breast. There they found a wall painting hidden from view for several hundred years. It depicts the scenes of the Last Supper and the Annunciation. The figures are well preserved and are thought to date from the late 14th to the early 15th century. Further artwork of a later date was found in a room on the second floor and is made up of two stencilled patterns.
During the 19th century, the lower end of Mardol, Roushill and the Quay area was the "Red Light" part of the town and the "ladies of the night" often brought the landlords of the King's Head into conflict with the law.
In February 1843, the Landlord was charged with "Suffering notorious bad characters to assemble in his house."
" P.C. Thomas informed the court that after hearing a great commotion at the inn around midnight, he entered and found about a dozen women entertaining around thirty men. The ladies left by the front door only to enter by the rear door after the police had left. When the police retuned an hour later the party was still going on "fast and furious" and several of the women were arrested, taken to court and fined £1 plus 9s-6d costs."
I really loved reading the history of the Inn, and isn't it amazing still finding item's after so long!
The inn is situated in one of the most attractive timber-framed houses in the town.
When I first saw this sculpture in the garden's, I wondered what on earth it represented!
It was located over a pathway, so I walked through it. I have since discovered, it weigh's more than 100 tonnes!
To me, it looked like Whale bone's, perhaps a human vertebrae, somthing like that!
Evidently, that is what they want you to do, look and see in different ways!
The Quantum Leap scultpure, which is made from cast stone, was built to mark Darwin’s bicentenary in 2009. The sculpture represents Darwin’s ground breaking scientific ideas and his impact on the scientific world.
Certainly and eye-catcher & different!
I must admit, I do not know if the "Bear step's" are a short flight of historical steps opposite Grope Lane, or the building's at the top in the garden, which is an Art gallery and Cafe with medieval shop front's.
The "step's" are meant to be named after a pub called ‘The Bear’, which no longer exists.
I read that this small street is one of the most photographed in Shrewsbury, this meant that I had to go and judge for myself!
I must say I was impressed as I walked along the narrow cobblestone lane admiring the Tudor building's. One of them was the Tudor House, built in 1460, ever so pretty with the window boxes in full bloom.
Yes, I had to agree!
The Darwin Gate, is a sculpture made of cast glass, copper, bronze, stainless steel and stone and is made up of three columns surmounted by metal sculptures.
The design of the sculpture combines the form of a Saxon helmet with a Norman window and was inspired by features of St Mary's Church which was attended by Charles Darwin as a boy.
I was lucky that a local told me to view the sculpture from a certain direction, as then it appears as a single solid structure.
The Market Square, and as you would expect, this is where the Market's are held.
On the 2nd Saturday of the month, Art's, Craft's and food is for sale.
Shrewsbury Farmers Market, is when you can buy quality local food and drink, this is usually held the 1st Friday of the month.
Outdoor entertainment is often held in the square, and in September, the International Street Festival is held here, and the Cartoon festival in Spring.
If you see the statue, and notice the name Clive, and wonder who on earth he is, well, it is Clive of India. Clive of India was Shrewsbury's MP and mayor in the 1700s.
In the middle of The Square is the Old Market Hall built in 1596 for the Drapers Guild, built to show the wealth and confidence of Tudor Shrewsbury.