They’re feeding the deer at Attingham Park this afternoon – and the deer have accurate internal clocks – they’re ready and waiting. Alert and watchful, they’re much more photogenic than when the feeding has begun – that’s the time for us to continue around the park, through the woodland, before heading homewards.
…and home for tea. It was a last-minute decision – let’s go to Wenlock on the bus (the no. 18 double-decker – top deck, front seats) and walk back – via Benthall Hall for refreshments, of course. It’s not the most encouraging weather photographically – there’s some sunshine, but also some grey skies and a shower or two (which we weren’t expecting). It’s a pleasant outing anyway, calm before the storm perhaps (Aileen is coming tonight, apparently)
View OS map on Streetmap http://www.streetmap.co.uk/map.srf?X=365070&Y=301486&A=Y&Z=120
Shropshire is well-known for its role in the industrial revolution, with the iron bridge at – er – Ironbridge being both world-renowned and a very popular venue for tourists and others. That bridge was built in 1779, the first iron bridge in the world. Seventeen years later, Thomas Telford completed what is now the oldest iron aqueduct in the world (a much smaller aqueduct, completed just a month earlier on for the Derby canal, no longer exists). The aqueduct at Longden-on-Tern carried the Shrewsbury canal over the river Tern. It continues to cross the Tern to this day, though the canal is long-gone, and is both a scheduled ancient monument and a grade I listed building. Shame to say that, though we’ve lived in this area for more than 40 years, and driven past many times, we’d never taken a closer look. Until last Sunday, that is, killing time before seeing the Duchess (previous post – yes, we’re out of sync again…). Unlike Ironbridge, we were alone.
It’s only open to the public six days a year – and as today is one such, we thought we’d better go and have a look. The 2nd Lord Berwick, of nearby Attingham Park, had it built for a friend, a little over 200 years ago. Gosh! – here he is in person, looking sprightly despite his years, explaining those things which might not be obvious. John Nash designed the house to be a little corner of Italy in the Shropshire countryside. Is that Vesuvius over there? (No, it’s just the Wrekin).
Thurs. 25 May: a visit to Boscobel House. It’s where King Charles I hid in the oak tree in 1651. The oak’s no longer with us, but a descendent is there for visiting. It’s looking decidedly tired, though beside it stands its successor, grown from one of its acorns and planted there 350 years later by the chap who may one day be King Charles III. We have to bide our time outdoors, until a guided tour has finished, and then we can explore this interesting old house.
Fri. 19 May: can’t remember when we last looked around the house at Attingham. Have we ever?
Tues. 9 May: a short outing to Dudmaston, near Bridgnorth. We’ll have a look around the house (no photography), then wander down through the gardens and around the lake. The rhododendrons are coming into flower, and the Canada geese have young (skulking in the long grass) so they’re keeping an eye on us.