Saturday, June 28, 2008


In May, Auntie Gill and I went for a day trip to Shrewsbury to see sights and shop.

Shrewsbury castle. Don't know if is the real thing or a new one, but it looks great.

The locals pronounce it "Shroosbury", if you're from anywhere else, it's "Shrohsbury" with the first bit rhyming with "clothes".

This is the church of Shrewsbury Abbey, Br. Cadfael's abbey. It is in the middle of town now, but in the 12 century, it was in the country outside the city walls. Across the street from it, there is quite a nice nature conservancy place with a garden and a gift shop where you can buy nature-oriented things. Part of the nature place is the abbey's former guest lodge and the stone work looks very ancient and beautiful. I bought a flower identification book there.

Cool old buildings in Shrewsbury.

When I die, I want a stone plaque and an epitaph in verse.

The ceiling of St. Mary's church. Original bits built in the Norman period, a lot of re-building and great neo-Gothic stuff in the 19th. Those Anglicans really know how to take care of our stuff.

St. Mary's church was sort of the main church in Shrewsbury and is certainly one of the loveliest I've seen in England so far.

The lighting wasn't ideal to take this pic, but I thought it was worth it. The window is 14th century, and was moved to St. Mary's after the other church it was in was falling down. It is enormous and extremely detailed and beautiful.

But of course, nothing good came out of the middle ages. It was all just wallowing in filth, ignorance and superstition until the glorious revolution...but I digress.

Very nice arches. The pointy ones are the 19th century neo-Gothic ones,

and the round ones are the original late Norman ones.

"New" tile floor. 15th century.

A loving couple. 15h century, the height of weirdness in medieval women's clothes.

The main altar: tres tres William Morris.

A "sedularium"? Something like that. Anyway, it was one of the original Norman bits and is where the subdeacon's chair goes during Mass...which they don't have any more of course.

This side chapel was as big as H-Fam in Toronto and a gorgeous late 19th century medieval revival.

There were three little alcoves with these alabaster carved things in them. 14th century. This one represents the Trinity with Our Lady holding the infant Christ and a supplicant. The long ribbony things are where there used to be mottoes carved, like the talking balloons in comics. No one knows what they said, but they're probably supplications to the Trinity.

Behind the altar of the Lady Chapel


For some reason, I got the impression that in Britain, builders in the 15th century may have heard of the invention of the plumb line, but were having no truck with it. All the houses were wobbly and kind of leaned out over the streets.

The 15th century pub we had lunch in. Now called Poppy's. Really really good grub and not expensive. The stairs were interesting; all different heights.

Auntie Gill.

All the pictures you see of the beautiful 16th century timber frame houses with black timbers and whitewashed plaster are recent. At least, the paint is recent. In honour of Queen Victoria's bereavement, the towns of England painted all the timbers black. Except in Shrewsbury, where they are all the nice original brown with off white plaster.

Note the upsidedown lizard on the corner.

Good advice from the town fathers. One gets the impression that even the yobs in previous times were more civilized than our modern yobs.

The Drapers' lane.

Inside the Draper's lane. In the 18th century, no doubt a den of iniquity. In the 21st, a "highly desirable property".

That's it.


Anonymous said...


Mark S. Abeln said...

Great photos.

"The locals pronounce it Shroosbury". Ah, we have one nearby and that is also how our locals pronounce it.

Anonymous said...

"When I die, I want ... an epitaph in verse."

Would you mind sharing the epitaph with us please?