Alright, class, in case no one was paying attention last week, ;-) Shropshire is NW of London and borders Wales on the west.
Besides enjoying the picturesque village of Much Wenlock itself, we were fascinated by the ruins of the 12th century Cluniac Priory. There had actually been an Anglo Saxon monastery built either on or near this site in 680 AD by the King of Mercia. In the 12th century, monks from Cluny (pronounced Kly-nee, I believe, and if I'm wrong, PLEASE inform me. I just hate pronouncing things incorrectly!) France arrived and founded a Priory here. This was a 'daughter abbey' to the one in Cluny, France which was founded in 910 AD.
Perhaps it's because the oldest building where I live is from the 1800s, that it seems amazing to be able to walk among the ruins of a structure that was built in the 1100s, and also know that there has been a Christian influence in that area at least since 680 AD - possibly as early as the mid fourth century AD or even earlier.
It's also humbling to realize that these buildings were constructed without all the modern equipment that we now have. I hope they got coffee breaks.
Standing in the nave.
Notice the pointed, Gothic arches above the columns...
...and the rounded, Romanesque arch here. Looking onto the carved arches of the back wall of the Chapter House and the adjacent Infirmary, which is now a private residence.
Some of the remaining floor tile. This is a bit of floor tile my husband has not been asked to remove. He's a contractor.
I think this is my favorite photo. The lively, fresh flowers and greenery were in such stark contrast to the cold, hard stone.
Outside the site of the Refectory, the lavabo, or washing fountain, where the monks would wash their hands before eating a meal - presumably, or maybe an occasional water fight when no one was looking!
Close-up shot of stone carving on lavabo. I think this is Jesus walking on the water and disciples in a boat, although the boat looks kinda like a coracle, doesn't it - like those used in early Britain. I thought that was interesting.
Topiary. I was so relieved not to find Mickey Mouse among them.
A small, out-of-the-way village of approximately 2600, Much Wenlock should be on the itinerary of anyone who wants to see more than the fast-paced life of London or Manchester.
We'll move on to another location next week. Be sure to bring your walking shoes and notebooks! :-)
This post is linked to Outdoor Wednesday