St Mary’s Church Conwy

A very pretty church with a large  graveyard which contains (according to the guild booklet) some poignant epitaphs, we only found one, that being the ‘We Are Seven’. The inspiration for Wordsworth’s poem.

St Mary’s was once a Cistercian abbey church and a mausoleum for Welsh princes. It was built around 1190 for the monks of Aberconwy Abbey  and many early medieval princes were buried here.

After Edward I’s invasion of north Wales the abbey was moved to Maenan, and St Mary’s was rebuilt to serve as the parish church for Edward’s new  town at Conwy.

Most of the present church is 13th century, restored in the 19th century.

We Are Seven

BY William Wordsworth 
———A simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death?
I met a little cottage Girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.
She had a rustic, woodland air,
And she was wildly clad:
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
—Her beauty made me glad.
“Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?”
“How many? Seven in all,” she said,
And wondering looked at me.
“And where are they? I pray you tell.”
She answered, “Seven are we;
And two of us at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.
“Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My sister and my brother;
And, in the church-yard cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother.”
“You say that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven! I pray you tell,
Sweet Maid, how this may be.”
Then did the little Maid reply,
“Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of us in the church-yard lie,
Beneath the church-yard tree.”
“You run about, my little Maid,
Your limbs they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then ye are only five.”
“Their graves are green, they may be seen,”
The little Maid replied,
“Twelve steps or more from my mother’s door,
And they are side by side.
“My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit,
And sing a song to them.
“And often after sun-set, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.
“The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.
“So in the church-yard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.
“And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side.”
“How many are you, then,” said I,
“If they two are in heaven?”
Quick was the little Maid’s reply,
“O Master! we are seven.”
“But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!”
’Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said, “Nay, we are seven!”

 

 

Photos

Tilly

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I love a Bridge

Conwy has three iconic bridges right next to each other just outside the city walls, and another not to far away from that.

The Thomas Telford suspension bridge is one of the earliest surviving suspension bridges although now it is closed to  traffic you can walk across it. It is now a Grade I listed structure  and sits between the modern A547 road bridge  built in 1958 and the  Robert Stephenson’s iron box girder railway bridge built in 1848. All three bridges  cross the River Conwy.

In 1821,  improvements to the road between Chester and Holyhead, were needed so money was allocated for a bridge across the River Conwy. The engineer for road and bridge was Thomas Telford with William Alexander Provis as  engineer.
Work on the bridge began in 1822 and was finished in 1826.  The castellated towers deliberately echo the turrets of medieval Conwy Castle.

Conwy Suspension Bridge was originally a toll bridge, replacing the ferry that plied between Conwy and Anglesey.  In 1896, its timber deck was replaced by a 2.5m wide roadway of iron plates. The bridge carried traffic until 1958.

In 1848 Robert Stephenson designed the  first ever Tubular railway bridge, the bridge was built by stonemason William Evans, it is the only remaining Tubular bridge left in the world and still carry’s trains.

In 1958 the road bridge was built, a single arch bridge. It was faced with stone to blend in with the castle.

In 1991 and Immersed tunnel, The North Wales Expressway was built to cope with todays heavy traffic. Made form pre-fabricated tube it was floated out and sunk into the river bed, it was the first of it’s kind in the UK.

 

I love a good bridge

Tilly

Photos

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Smallest House

10 Lower Gate Street
Conwy
North Wales
LL32 8BE

Admission Adults  £1 children 50p

The Smallest House in Great Britain can be found on Conwy’s quayside. Once inside (maximum of two people at a time)  a short audio history of the property is played.

The Smallest House is just 72 inches wide by 122 inches high. It was occupied right up until May 1900 by   a local fisherman called Robert Jones (who was  6 foot 3 tall) – before Mr Jones an elderly couple lived there. Up stairs there is room for a single bed, down stairs has just enough room for a fireplace, a coal bunker, table and chair.

All I could think was cleaning would be a doddle 😀

It really is  sweet little place, but I couldn’t imagine living there, where would I put all my books.

 
photos
Tilly

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Conwy castle and walls

Conwy walled city

North walls

Free to walk

 

If arriving at Conwy by car park in the long stay car park Morfa Bach LL32  8FZ This car park as a little shop and toilets and you enter the city via a very prettily  painted underpass.

The circuit of the wall is 3/4 of a mile in length, with 21 towers at regular intervals.  The wall is  9m high, with towers rising to 15m. Don’t go to the top if you have vertigo, we don’t but found that the top of the tower made us both feel ill.

The wall can be walked around but you do have to keep getting on and off it to make it all the way around. It’s not easy walking if you can’t cope with steep inclines and declines and the stones under foot and be slippery in wet weather. That said it’s a nice walk with good views

Conwy castle

Addmission

Adult – £7.95
Family – £21.50
Senior citizens, students and children under 16 – £5.60

Conwy Castle is a gritty, dark stoned fortress which has an authentic medieval atmosphere, and sits on the
rocks  above the Conwy Estuary. Conwy was constructed by the English monarch Edward I between 1283 and 1289 as one of the key fortresses in his ‘iron ring’ of castles to contain the Welsh.

The views from the battlements are breathtaking, it  looks  out across mountains, sea and down to the roofless shell of the castles 125ft Great Hall. From the battlements  the town walls in all their glory can be seen. The castle boasts a set of unaltered medieval royal apartments with the kings head still in residence, be it a wire construction. From the east barbican you can see the three bridges that cross the river, the 20th century road bridge, the Thomas Telford suspension bridge and Robert Stephenson’s tubular railway bridge.

The castle is also home to two friendly Dragons and a sculpture  made from swords and shields, and a very board looking solider.

Conwy castle/wall photos

Tilly

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St Mary and All Saints

Deciding to make the most of the last of the good weather we decided to take a look around St, Mary Kidderminster. We followed the walk from earlier this year up to the church, to find a funeral in progress. We took back to the towpath and continued our walk with the intention of popping in on our way back. This didn’t work either, the church was locked up when we got back. So we took a look around the outside instead. It is a very impressive building.

The building is Medieval and Grade I listed, with a seating capacity of 350 and is the Parish Church of Kidderminster and has been a centre of Christian Worship since the 15th and 16th centuries. The names of the leading clergy from the 12th century onwards are listed at the west end of the church. The present dark sandstone building dates from the 15th and 16th centuries, but significant restoration was carried out during the 19th century. The outside of the building has fine architectural features, with a tower dating from the 15th century which now contains a chamber with a peal of twelve bells. I really want to get inside this church, I will try again.

photos

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Old Mill Antiques Centre

Old Mill Antiques Centre
49 Mill St,
Bridgnorth,
Shropshire
WV15 5AG,

Tearooms up stairs

Happy birthday to me, I wanted something a little different. So we headed off to The Old Mill Antiques Centre.

The tearoom is on the first floor of the antiques centre, and is a nice small room that serves meals and drinks. They also do a Mad Hatters Tea Party for £15 a head.  As you can see from the photos they go to town on the decorations, the table is a chaotic array of cards, toys, mirrors, fluffy balls giant dominions and beautifully  crockery.

Exactly what you would think a Mad Hatters Tea party should be like. Sticking with the fun each place setting had a party hat, with the head of the table set with a big chair and the Mat Hatters Hat to wear, yes I did wear it and happily  all my guests also played along and wore their hats.

Each place setting had toys in the cup to play with. Which just added to the fun.

 

The food was unbelievable sandwiches,  pork pie, sausage rolls, chips, scones, butter, jam, clotted cream and soooo much cake, and as much tea, coffee, soft drinks as you liked.

If you love the unusual and something very different, this is a definitely one to try.

Tilly

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Back to Moseley this time for Moseley Folk Festival

Moseley Park

Birmingham

Admission £45 a day £79 two days £99 weekend.

Another wonderful weekend filled with good music, good food and good drink at Moseley line up here.
We decided to take folding chairs this time, firstly because last time the ground was very uncomfortable and secondly it had rained quite a lot. The plan was to start out early, arriving just before the concerted opened to get the best place to sit. Chairs are kept to the back and side and floor sitters right in front of the stages. This plan didn’t work as the bus got stuck in a side road due to some very stupid van and taxi drivers. We eventually got off the bus and walked the last mile or so to the park. Needles to say by the time we had arrived all of the best places to sit had gone. I have a plan for homemade cushions for next year.

Enjoy a jig around (I did) to these golden oldies

Fairport Convention

Tilly

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