Out and about on Sunday - yes we decided we would go out for a drive - so two of us and the dog headed off towards the Wrekin - we have never climbed to the summit yet and so this was an option - but B cried off on that one - saying is back might not be up to it - so we turned off the other side of Atcham - past Wroxeter - another place to visit with its history and onto Ironbridge - fully intent on making a stop there - but anyway due to circumstances - parking etc - I was driving! we came through on the other side and found we were heading towards Much Wenlock.
We have never been to the Abbey - so that is what we did - we parked up and off we went - the Abbey belongs to English Heritage so in we went audiotapes at the ready - it was a bright sunny day so ideal for a few pics.
The abbey according to the records was founded in the seventh century and its first abbess was St Milburga - daughter of King Mercia - it is very impressive - in the summer plays are held in the grounds - that must be magical - we spent quite a long time listening to the tapes and imagining what it must have been like in those times - we looked at the Lavabo - this is where the monks washed - out in the cold - it must have frozen their bits off in the winter!
The plants in the grounds were beginning to come alive and the catkins and snowdrops gave a promise of Spring
On the way to the Abbey we passed the Church of the Holy Trinity - walking through the grounds - we gazed up and saw the owl on the roof - I couldnt resist a pic of that one - well it was the rspb bird count weekend - i somehow think he will be there next year for the bird count!
In the grounds there was a remembrance plaque for Mary Webb - presented by the Mary Webb Society at the Millenium - I came home and searched in my books for the connection - Mary Webb lived locally at Leighton as a child and was confirmed in Holy Trinity Church at Much Wenlock
As a child she was taken out by her father a retired teacher to many places of note - one of them being Wenlock Edge nearby - legend tells of a spot on the Edge called the Majors Leap - where many years ago Major Thomas Smallman was being chased by Cromwells men on horseback he came to the Edge and jumped his horse over - the horse was killed but he managed to grab a bush and was saved - it is said that this story so influenced the young Mary - that the ending in her novel Gone to Earth epitomises this story - I am going to try a link - it probably will go wrong so I will apologise now -
The link should be http://www3.shropshire-cc.gov.uk/etexts/E000284.HTM#X36
Much Wenlock has many old buildings and much history including the Olympic Trail - many book shops and coffee shops - we shall return another day to explore further - we then started home - we stopped off at Venus Pool - a nature reserve just out side Crosshouses - a lovely spot and well worth a visit -