Friday, 14 February 2014

Out and about in Church Stretton

Acorn Cafe Church Stretton   I had a recent walk with a friend around the market town of Church Stretton in the wonderful county of Shropshire.wall growth
I came across a pretty old wall, crumbling and covered in  the froth of a small herby plant in contrast with the railings and dramatic landscape of the Shropshire Hills in the background as weather quickly changed from sun to showers every half hour.Victorian house pretty worn wall Fortunately there were plenty of cafes to dive into and charity shops to explore. We sat for a while over a pot of tea - proper tea leaves as that's the only way to serve it around here.Holly Bush cafe Church Stretton chinese window Church Stretton hillsPlenty of history around here. If you stop to read a plaque, a local will also stop to tell you more -as we found throughout the morning. A very friendly place.

From Iron Age hillforts to amazing geology of plateaus and wooded scarps.When you look around at homes nestled into hillsides, it is easy to see why the place was nicknamed 'Little Switzerland' in the Victorian/Edwardian era.
Church Stretton hotel The Hotel that once had a tragic fire in the 1960's, a building of beauty but also great sadness. I'm sure it is just a reflection but when I look at the picture of the hotel I see two ghostly blurs stood in the window.Memorial Stone  A lovely deli that sold huge cloud-like meringues, which reminds me.....I did make some at home.....tried to make them pink by adding food colouring but it sort of trickled out of them whilst in the oven and they didn't really set too well inside. I must try again.pretty deli Love a pink cottage
I did my A Level Geography field trip nearby in the streams that run down from the hills. Wellies on, measuring flow rate by timing orange peel floating down from one point to another. A great starting point for hill walkers to explore this lovely heather and bilberry filled landscape.Shropshire landscapeDown a passageway I spy the iron gate to the churchyard of St Laurence's Church. My friend is a very knowledgeable historian that knows so much about church architecture so I had a lovely informative yard at Church Stretton church The church has Anglo-Saxon origins. The stone carving you can see is a fertility symbol called a Sheela Na Gig - a funny little rude character which nobody knows the true reason for them although there a several theories as to why you can find them on churches from being a warning against lust to a masons joke. I also learnt how to recognise Medieval stained glass and came away feeling a lot more knowledgeable.
fertility symbol Church Stretton Medieval window
Have you been to this area of Shropshire? Hopefully we will go back soon to explore some more. It is just near Ludlow so there is plenty to do.


Jen Walshaw said...

Great pictures. I adore the stained glass sheep the most!

Vaichin @Rambling Through Pare said...

Looks like the place is packed full of character. It looks picture perfect, as if straight out of a story book.

Orli, Just Breathe said...

I love meringues :) It looks like such a splendid place to visit, so packed with history and view and wonderful things. Must go! Will definitely add it to my list :)

AnnieMammasaurus said...

I've not been to Shropshire before - it looks so beautiful, just the sort of place I'd like to amble x

Aby Moore said...

Looks like a lovely place to visit. I would like to go to that coffee shop :) x

mummyoftwo said...

What a pretty place to have a wander - loving the little cafes!

Priya Tew said...

Looks like a great place to visit.

Kara said...

looks so quaint and olde world - would love to visit one day

spicers1976 said...

I've never been, looks lovely though

Helen Peakle Pie said...

Some of these photographs are very atmospheric - it looks like a very intersting place to visit :)

Anna said...

It's always fun to explore new places! Looks like a lovely day

Charlotte said...

I've never been, but it looks like a wonderful place!

Ivory Faces said...

Oh my goodness. Such a wonderful adventur. Thank you for adding it to our link up. X

Agata Pokutycka said...

Never been and to be honest I don't even know where Shropshire is :-(
Feeling silly now so I am off to Google it

Keri-Anne said...

Oh darling!!! So so wonderful. thank you for linking up. I LOVE those hanging dresses x

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