Shrewsbury~ Nov 2018 ~ part 3

The main recreational park in Shrewsbury is called The Quarry. Created in 1719 and encompassing 29 acres it’s in a location within easy walking distance of Shrewsbury town centre, Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and Shrewsbury School, it is the most heavily used public park within the county. Who knew that measuring park usage is a thing?? Is someone in every park in Shropshire sitting counting how many people are there all day, every day? Well anyway, the centrepiece of the Quarry is called The Dingle, a former stone quarry, but now a landscaped sunken garden.

The Dingle



I think only my British readers will recognise the name of Percy Thrower (MBE) who was a gardener, horticulturalist and broadcaster He became nationally known through presenting gardening programmes, starting in 1956 with the BBC’s Gardening Club, then the BBC’s Gardeners’ World from 1969 until 1976. His final career move was to Shrewsbury in 1946, as the Parks Superintendent, becoming the youngest parks superintendent. He had a staff of about 35. He had reached the top of his profession at just 32 years of age and it was his sole ambition in life. He expected to stay only four or five years, but in fact remained in post until 1974.

The Shoemakers’ Arbour associated with the pre-Victorian town festival, and originally sited in Kingsland, was moved to the Dingle in 1879. It dates from 1679 and includes statues of Crispin and Crispinian, the patron saints of shoemakers.

Shoemakers without feet!

A statue of the goddess Sabrina was presented by the Earl of Bradford in 1879. The inscription on the statue is based on a poem by John Milton (1608–1674). In myth, Sabrina was a nymph who drowned in the Severn.


Shrewsbury’s main civic war memorial, the focus for Remembrance Sunday, is situated within the Quarry. near St Chad’s Terrace. It consists of a bronze winged and armoured statue of St. Michael under a canopy designed like a classical Greek temple in the form of six Ionic columns supporting a circular dome. It is inscribed: ‘Remember the gallant men and women of Shropshire who gave their lives for God, King and country 1914-18 and 1939–45.

St Chad’s Church was built in 1792, and with its distinctive round shape and high tower, it is a well-known landmark in the town. It faces The Quarry area of parkland, which slopes down to the River Severn. The church is a Grade I listed building.



The River Severn (Welsh: Afon Hafren, Latin: Sabrina) is the longest river in Great Britain at a length of 220 miles (354 km), and the second longest in the British Isles after the River Shannon in Ireland.


School & Boathouse

Stay tooned, see you next week!

St.Pauls Church and Monastery~ November 2017

Following on from visiting Bede’s Museum and the Anglo~Saxon farm and village  Sophie and I walked down the road to visit St.Pauls Church and Monastery ruins.  The monastery site is under the care of English Heritage, but the church is still in use.

A bit more history 

St Paul’s Church and Monastery was built on land given by King Ecgfrith of Northumbria in AD681.It was founded by Benedict Biscop, who seven years ealier had built the church and monastery of St. Peter’s at Wearmouth (Sunderland).The chancel of St. Paul’s is the original Saxon church, built as a separate chapel and possibly dedicated to the Virgin Mary.A large basilica was built on the site of the present nave and dedicated on 23rd April AD685.The present nave and north aisle are the work of the Victorian architect Sir George Gilbert Scott.The monastery to which the Venerable Bede came as a boy, thrived in the 7th and 8th centuries. It was here that Bede lived, worked and worshipped. His bones now lie in the Galilee Chapel of Durham Cathedral. In AD794 the Vikings sacked the church and monastery.In 1074 the church was repaired and the monastery refounded by Aldwin, Prior of Winchcombe Abbey in Gloucestershire. The monastery then became a daughter house of the Benedictine Community at Durham.  At the Dissolution of the Monasteries, St. Paul’s became a Parish Church.

And English heritage have Kindly put up a plaque to show which bit of the church is which.

The Church wasn’t open, so we wandered the site of the Monastery ruins just behind where I stood to shoot the church. The monastery’s reputation had spread throughout Europe, chiefly because of the scholarly writings of the Venerable Bede. Bede entered St Peter’s in about 680 at the age of seven, and spent his life in the twin monastery of Wearmouth–Jarrow, which he described as ‘one monastery in two places’.

Unfortunately we were not alone,  two ladies (I use the term loosely and have deleted my original description) and their loud and (deleted) children were also enjoying the site, they on their smart phones, the children clambering over the ruins.

they didn’t seem to be going anytime soon so I took my shots with them in it as the light was going. I suppose they give it scale 😀

The River Don runs along the side of the Monastery, so we wandered down to the river to take a few shots before going home (and to escape the shouty brats)

and were lucky to find a bevy of swans on the river

and it was lovely and peaceful, until guess who turned up and started yelling and throwing sticks in the water, not at the birds at least, the swans and us  made a rapid exit and Sophie and I went home.

Over the past 3 posts I’ve used the following pages for reference

Jarrow Hall

and there are extra photo’s from all 3 posts on my site HERE 

Hope you stay tooned for the next adventure when we’ll be visiting the Diwali Festival in Sunderland.




Jarrow Hall, Anglo Saxon village and Bede Museum ~ November 2017 ~ Part 1

The History Bit

Known as The Venerable Bede,(AD 673-735,) Bede was an author, scholar, skilled linguist and translator who also composed works on astronomical timekeeping and the motions of the sun, Earth and Moon. He was widely regarded as the ‘father of English history’ as his most famous work, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People is one of the most important original references on Anglo-Saxon history. This work also played a key role in the development of an English national identity. He was an English monk who lived at the Abbey Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, Wearmouth-Jarrow, a double monastery at Jarrow and Monkwearmouth, England. and the Bede museum  tells the story of Bede and his time, from the beginnings of the Anglo-Saxon period through Bede’s life, death and extraordinary legacy.

Sophie and I wanted to go somewhere nearby, and as the museum had recently been reopened after a year of being shut down for lack of funds, this is where we went.

When we arrived the chap at reception asked us if we’d come to hear the lecture on that day, we hadn’t known there was one but said yes anyway and went in to see what it was all about. It was a fascinating talk by the Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at the University of York and director of the Sutton Hoo Research Project Professor Martin Carver, and his talk was on the Anglo Saxon buriel site at Sutton Hoo. He was really interesting and humorous with it. Afterwards we had lunch at the cafe and then went around the Bede Museum itself.

The Venerable Bede


The museum takes you through the times that Bede lived in

One of the statues by a timeline display showing Bede’s vision of English origins.


6th-century inhumation grave from Norton, Cleveland,


replica of anglo Saxon helmet


replica of the Codex Amiatinus, the earliest surviving manuscript of the nearly complete Bible in the Latin Vulgate. Three versions were originally produced in the double monastery of Wearmouth-Jarrow in around 700AD, and it is believed Bede had a personal involvement in their creation.  Commissioned by Ceolfrid in 692  the double monastery raised 2000 head of cattle to produce the vellum pages of these huge, beautifully illuminated manuscripts. Two versions have been lost and the only survivor, from which the Jarrow Hall copy and only one other have been made, now resides in the Laurentian Library in Florence.


The Franks Casket is a small Anglo-Saxon whale’s bone chest from the early 8th century, The casket is densely decorated with knife-cut narrative scenes in flat two-dimensional low-relief and with inscriptions mostly in Anglo-Saxon runes. Generally reckoned to be of Northumbrian origin, it is of unique importance for the insight it gives into early Anglo-Saxon art and culture. Both identifying the images and interpreting the runic inscriptions has generated a considerable amount of scholarship. The imagery is very diverse in its subject matter and derivations, and includes a single Christian image, the Adoration of the Magi, along with images derived from Roman history (Emperor Titus) and Roman mythology (Romulus and Remus), as well as a depiction of at least one legend indigenous to the Germanic peoples: that of Weyland the Smith. It has also been suggested that there may be an episode from the Sigurd legend, an otherwise lost episode from the life of Weyland’s brother Egil, a Homeric legend involving Achilles, and perhaps even an allusion to the legendary founding of England by Hengist and Horsa. The inscriptions “display a deliberate linguistic and alphabetic virtuosity; though they are mostly written in Old English and in runes, they shift into Latin and the Roman alphabet; then back into runes while still writing Latin”. Some are written upside down or back to front. This is a replica, the original being in the British Museum.


There are several pieces of medieval stonework on display

This is a fragment of cross arm and cross head dating from the first half of the 8th century.


as well as stained glass from the same time period.

Next time we’ll visit the Anglo Saxon farm and village, so stay tooned!

Pow Hill Nature Reserve ~ Sept 2017 ~ Part 1

Pow Hill is set in moorland overlooking the Derwent Reservoir. The word Pow comes from Old English and means ‘slow moving stream’ which refers to the waterlogged boggy area in the north of the site. Conserved for its special wildlife interest, the area is home to goldcrests, coal tits, roe deer and red squirrels. The western end of the lake is protected as a nature reserve although there is access to the water’s edge in some places.

Needless to say Sophie and I went for a visit here, though we didn’t spot any red squirrels sadly, plenty of sheep though!

We parked in the carpark and followed the signs to walk around the lake, passing some beautiful heather on the edge of the path

It was a warm day and we were hounded by squadrons of mosquito’s hovering around the pathways waiting to dive bomb any walkers in the vicinity, so kept ourselves covered and got to open space as quickly as possible.

The park is pretty popular, lots of people enjoying the fishing opportunities.


Sophie and I were a bit disgruntled that only fishing people are allowed at the water’s edge, so we had to deploy the telephoto lenses.  There seemed to be lots of activity at the Sailing Club on the far side of the lake..

but only one boat on the water.

The water was so pretty it was hard to remember the scenery behind us, but when we did we were treated to bunny rabbits.

and sheep

We got to the far end of the lake where the ‘Pow’ meets it

There’s a picnic area and another car park

and views across the moors to the heather covered meadows.

so we turned around and walked back, following some dog walkers.

Stay tooned for the return journey and further explorations.










Day 225~366

Yellow is the most luminous of all the colors of the spectrum. It’s the color that captures our attention more than any other color.

In the natural world, yellow is the color of sunflowers and daffodils, egg yolks and lemons, canaries and bees. In our contemporary human-made world, yellow is the color of Sponge Bob, the Tour de France winner’s jersey, happy faces, post its, and signs that alert us to danger or caution.

It’s the color of happiness, and optimism, of enlightenment and creativity, sunshine and spring.

Lurking in the background is the dark side of yellow: cowardice, betrayal, egoism, and madness. Furthermore, yellow is the color of caution and physical illness (jaundice, malaria, and pestilence). Perhaps it’s no coincidence that the sources of yellow pigments are toxic metals – cadmium, lead, and chrome – and urine.

Global Meanings of Yellow

In almost every culture yellow represents sunshine, happiness, and warmth.

Yellow is the color most often associated with the deity in many religions (Hinduism and Ancient Egypt)

Yellow is the color of traffic lights and signs indicating caution all over the world.

Unique Meanings of Yellow in Different Cultures

In Japan, yellow often represents courage.

In China, adult movies are referred to as yellow movies.

In Russia, a colloquial expression for an insane asylum used to be “yellow house.”

Bright “marigold” yellow may be associated with death in some areas of Mexico.

Those condemned to die during the Inquisition wore yellow as a sign of treason.

A yellow patch was used to label Jews in the Middle Ages. European Jews were forced to wear yellow or yellow “Stars of David” during the Nazi era of prosecution.

(info from


Day 47~ 366

Had to work in Cumbria again today, 7 hours driving in total, so a tiring day. I didn’t have time really to stop and do good photo’s but I pulled off on the A66 to get a shot of the bit of sunlight that was shining on the snowy mountain.


That was it as far as sunshine went! Loved the sky today though, interesting clouds for most of the day.

Day 46~366

Managed 2 shots while out and about at work. This morning I was in the wild lands Darlington County, seeing people in little villages with miles of surrounding countryside, so a nice drive, though snowy in parts.

Firstly, had to be done, I do love the photogenic qualities of wind turbines.


and later further down the road I got the snowy landscape, but boring sky, and I don’t do replacements!