Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Much Wenlock, Shropshire, Part 2

So here we are, Part 2 of Much Wenlock in Shropshire, England

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

18 comments:

Denise said...

Very much enjoyed todays tour, and the tour guide.

linda said...

I loved this. Old places like that are amazing, and so beautiful.

Caution Flag said...

You are the best tour guide ever! I, too, am amazed at the craftsmanship which can't seem to replicate WITH modern tools. Beautiful even in the ruins.

Love Bears All Things said...

I was just pondering how they built these...I'm sure the bricks were made on sight but I see a few modern looking ones in one picture...was that done more recently to shore it up or something? I love looking at the detail of older buildings...so much time went into this.
Thanks for sharing with us.
Mama Bear

SomeGirl said...

Great tour... beautiful photos!

Cranberry Morning said...

I think the original structure was limestone, cut into blocks and also some sandstone tiles. That may account for the difference in appearance.

Wenlock Priory is an amazing place. There are ruins of castles, abbeys, and priories all over England.

Marie said...

The ruins are fantastic to see. The lavabo with the priests is just amazing! Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos. Stopping by from OW.
-marie

Diana said...

Enjoyed the tour!!

GoodyGirlRed said...

On my list of places to see--thanks for the tour!

Michelle said...

Thanks for taking us along on the tour!! I'm an architect or was before becoming a SAHM so I love old buildings. It is very humbling indeed how they created these amazing churches without all the technology we have today. I also love to travel but with two preschoolers its mostly to the beach these days...Thanks for letting me live vicariously through you-

Linda said...

Thanks for inviting us on your tour. I learned a lot and the photos are amazing!

Mama Hen said...

These pictures are great! I love the topiary and you are right, Mickey Mouse would not be what I would expect! :) Thank you for sharing these!

Mama Hen

The Paint Splash said...

OH HOW BEAUTIFUL! When wee lived in Europe we loved the smaller out of the way places to visit. If we ever get to England this will have to be on our itinerary. Thank you for sharing these wonderful photos. Have a blessed week. Debbie

partialemptynester said...

I always love going on mini-vacays with you! They're free and I'm home in time to take the boiling lasagna noodles off the stovetop, lol!

Seriously, though, I've pondered the amazing craftsmanship myself...I've heard it just isn't cost-effective these days...all that says to me is that no one has enough pride in their work anymore to truly create something magnificent like that over time...it's simply not cost effective bc no one is willing to wait to have it made...makes me sad :(

Candace said...

Thank you for allowing me to join you on your tour. I want to go there!

Sue said...

Your favorite picture with the flowers growing on the stone is truly beautiful. I would have loved to see it in person.

(By the way...I fed and played with little Muker in your sidebar for like ten minutes! - Too fun!!!)

Mary said...

Beautiful! I would love to visit some day!

Thanks for sharing!

Lisa said...

So fun! I love your details. Did I miss something? Are you there now? I am going to have to re-read your post again. Enjoyed it that much!

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