Richard's Retirement Blog

Ebury Hill, continued

April 2011

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Sunday 11th April

Partly by reason of a poor connection, and partly by reason of the production of The Memory of Water this week, I haven't updated for eight days. My apologies, and here goes:

Monday

I meant to bike to Shawbury and do a little shopping, but turned left instead of right, crossed the A53, passed this pretty church at Astley and emerged onto the A49 at Hadnall. So I did my bit of shopping there, then continued north for a rather unpleasant couple of miles, turned right after Grinshill and joined the B5063 near Moreton Corbet Castle.

I then returned south via Shawbury, and then through the lanes to Ebury Hill - remembering to turn left at Bings Heath, where I should have turned right earlier. For company I had a series of RAF helicopters - noisy beasts - I don't remember from previous visits to the area that their noise was continuous, but today, there's one in the sky at all times, and as soon as it lands, there's another up which was audible on the ground.

Tuesday/Wednesday

Spent mostly at the theatre.

Thursday

Went into Shrewsbury en touriste, following the line of the old canal from Sundorne, but lost it after an underpass (under the A49) at Ditherington, and instead, following signs to Town Centre through a housing esate, came to this weir: a major feature of the Severn, of whose existence I was completely unaware. The signage then took me back across the main road, and down a side path (part ot the tow path again) and past the Canal Tavern.

When I did the research for Exploring Telford I chose to stop at Uffington on the Shrewsbury Canal, and have never expolored the last few miles into Shrewsbury. I think I might remedy that omission one day soon.

Central Shrewsbury churches:

In addition to the circular church of St Chad on the town walls, there were once three churches in the centre of Shrewsbury. St Mary's is a beautifully proportioned Norman foundation with a collection of rare and valuable stained glass and a four-manual Binns organ which they not only allowed but encouraged me to play. I am not sure they made the best decision in making this church redundant rather than St Chad's, if one of them had to go.

St Alkmund's, adjacent to St Julian's and still in use, is in a different style - It was rebuilt in 1793-5, but the medieval tower and spire remain.

St Julian's was closed some years ago and was for a time a craft centre; but now there is an Italian restaurant in the vestry, whilst the church itself appears to be in use again as Shrewsbury Evangelical Church. If the Craft Centre is still in being, it wasn't open.

The nave of St Mary's: note the very fine carved roof, and the splendid East window. (Stained glass is not by thing, but if it's yours, don't miss this church.

The organ console.

The organ case.

Later in the day, from Mount Pleasant, I took this of the Shrewsbury skyline showing the spires of St Mary and St Alkmund with the Long Mynd behind. Pity it was so misty, but I couldn't resist it even so.

Friday

Went to Shrewsbury again, collecting another pic of the canal on the way - here, it runs parallel to Sundorne Road. Looking west.

Saturday

Walcot Mil

I have often crossed over the River Tern at Walcot and wondered what went on there - there's a big sluice and various channels and gullies - and today I went to find out, and was fortunate enought to get into conversation with the lady who lives there.

The confluence of the Tern and the River Roden is below the sluice, and nothing to do with it (I had wondered). The Roden is the small channel to the left of this pic.

The main flow of the Tern tumbles over the sluice.

The two rivers combined, as the Tern, continue under the bridge and through Attingham Park and Atcham to a confluence with the Severn:

There used to be a mill here, and the reason that's not obvious is that the mill stood between the river and the millrace, and all that remains of it is some brickwork of the foundations. The area below the brickwork was the millpond, now silted up.

Where you might expect the mill to be, in the foreground of this pic, there's no room. The fine house at the top of the hill was the mill owner's; the building in the foreground is said to have been offices. Note the use of expensive Ruabon brick: in 1892, when it was built, the business must have been doing well.

The smaller channel on the left bank (right of the pic) of the Tern was the mill race.

In this second photo you can see where the wheel was, between the stone walls.

The lady told me of two more mills on the Tern - project for another day!

Sunday

Took my spare car to storage, with a friend to drive it there; we made a day out of it, and had an excellent pub Sunday lunch.

This way of keeping this account really is too tedious and time consuming. Expect to find I've changed it all, sooner rather than later!

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