"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Friday, 2 October 2015

Herefordshire/Shropshire - Part 2: Ludlow and Westonbury Mill Water Gardens

Friday, 25th September

When we visited the Medieval Fair in Ludlow last December we all said we'd like to return to the town when it was quieter. So on Friday morning (another gloriously sunny day) we returned.

Ludlow is a flourishing medieval market town located on a cliff side above the River Teme and surrounded by the countryside of the Welsh Marches.

The Buttercross situated in the centre of the town at the junction of Broad Street, High Street and King Street was built in 1746. It was designed by William Baker and built in the classical style. Originally, a butter market was held on the ground floor and today it is still used by traders on market day. The upper rooms have had a variety of uses over the years - a meeting chamber for the Town Council, a boy's charity school and a museum.

Friday is a market day and I was really pleased to find that the Heron Cross pottery stall was there again and yes I did make a purchase :)

Parts of the castle date back to around 1086. No-one else seem interested in visiting again - I think they'd seen enough last December :(

There are lots and lots of small independent shops in Ludlow.

D and I spent an enjoyable 10 minutes or so in this shop. In the end I had to beat a hasty retreat as I was being tempted by far too many books!

A few photos taken by D with the Canon Bridge camera.

St Laurence's Church. (I did manage to escape for 45 minutes to revisit while the others were looking round the town. When I went in at Christmas there was a market on and I wasn't able to get as many photos as I would have liked but this time it was much quieter. I'll do a separate post on the church as I appreciate not everyone will want to look at countless pictures of stained glass and misericords!!).

The Feathers - the oldest part of the hotel including the timber front was built in 1619.

In the afternoon we went to Westonbury Mill Water Gardens near Pembridge. Thanks so much to Pete (from Quacks of Life) in recommending them. They were delightful and totally unique.

The 3.5 acre water gardens have been developed over the last 15 years together with the construction of various follies. The latest addition is a wildflower meadow to which has been added a Spiral Mound.

The Stone Tower (the first folly) was built when the owner, Richard Pim, found a small iron water wheel. Water gushes from the mouths of gargoyles and the Tower is home to white doves.

The Glass Dome is built from 5000 wine bottles - when its sunny a stained glass effect is created.

Monet Bridge

The Spiral Mound

African Summer House

Giant Cuckoo Clock powered by water.

There's a lovely tea room - I had Lemon Drizzle cake :)

We had a look round the plant sales area before leaving. The sedums were covered in bees and butterflies (Small Tortoiseshells and Commas)

I treated myself to one of the Sedums which is a deeper pink than the plants I have at home.

A few more pictures taken by D with the Canon showing a different perspective to the garden and the zoom came in handy again :)


Margaret Adamson said...

Another wonderful post. I love looking round at all the lovelyy goodies on the market stales. Good selcetion of cheeses and lovely veggies. TheMill gardens looks great also, very peaceful with a lovely water and that interesting dome. A lovely day out for you both. Have a lovely weekend.

Bovey Belle said...

Gosh, you have done Ludlow proud with this post. You've made me want to go there again - ages since we were last in Ludlow. The water gardens looked lovely too.

Ragged Robin said...

Margaret Adamson - thanks so much again Margaret. Would love to live near a town with a market as good as the Ludlow one! The gardens were lovely - sadly I didn't think the photos did it justice. Sometimes its difficult to get good pictures when there is a lot of vegetation and greenery.

Bovey Belle - Thanks so much. I rather like Ludlow - in fact, daughter is keen on going to the Medieval Fair again this year although the thought of the parking problems is putting me off!! Well worth visiting the water gardens too if you move nearer to them.

Millymollymandy said...

What a lovely town! I'd have been really happy visiting that market and that pottery is to die for. Ditto the cheese shop - I don't care for French cheese very much but love English cheese (not the English French style ones though). The garden looks really pretty and overall looks like a wonderful day out. And the butterfly photos are great!

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks so much. I love the Heron's Cross Pottery and the fact that its still made here in England. Could have bought several jugs! Contented myself with one this time - have 4 now :)

We saw quite a few butterflies while away but I haven't seen one since we came home although its gone colder.

Deb said...

Ludlow looks like a lovely town and it's great that there's still a lot of small independent shops there. I love the Heron Cross pottery and the gardens look beautiful. :-)

Ragged Robin said...

Deb - Thanks so much :) Ludlow is a really lovely town - they have Food Festivals there too! I first bought a Heron's Cross Jug some years ago second hand which I call my "Blue Lady jug" and now have about 4. I use them for flowers :)

Pete Duxon said...

really pleased you enjoyed the garden it's a cracker eh! BTW go back to that cheese shop and buy the St Eadburgha it is AMAZING :D Trish loves it and when I brought some back from the Cotswolds for a colleague the next day at work he was singing its praises :D

Ragged Robin said...

Pete Duxon - Thanks so much Pete especially for the tip off re: the gardens (I was determined to visit!! :) ). I still have a problem with English cheese (badger culls and not knowing where the milk in the cheese comes from i.e. it could come from a badger cull farm!!) but one day if the slaughters ever end I will try it! Did come back with some Welsh cheese though :) Having said all that I have a feeling I did buy some St Eadburgha years ago from that Cheese shop in the Cotswolds (Chipping Camden??) and yes, it was delicious!

Ragged Robin said...

Pete Duxon - On 2nd thoughts Cheese Shop might be in Stow on the Wold? Interestingly, I have checked out the St Eadburgha cheese and they use milk from their own farm by the looks of it which is in Worcestershire so their cheese may be ok to consume (at the moment!).

Kevin and Seri said...

Lovely place, we viaited a few years ago to shoot the salmon leap...

Ragged Robin said...

Kevin and Seri - Thanks so much for the comment. I would imagine seeing the salmon was a wonderful experience. Hope you got some good photos :)

Pete Duxon said...

the cheese is very local and they use own milk. you would have probably got it from cotswolds cheese company.... want some :D

Ragged Robin said...

Pete Duxon - Yes it was the Cotswold Cheese Company. I yelled the name in glee when I saw the shop and made B park immediately! Spent a small fortune! Yes please I do want some - send me a virtual slice when you get home along with a glass of wine! :) Will check and see if there any stockists in Warks - now I know its ok to eat (badgerwise!).

David said...

Another enjoyable post Caroline though I particularly enjoyed the tour of the Westonbury Mill Water Gardens, what a beautiful place. I love all the lush vegetation whilst all the little follies have blended wonderfully into their surroundings. The Glass dome is also rather awesome, especially inside with all the lovely colours, and it reminds me of a place I was lucky enough to visit many years ago in America (somewhere in New Mexico or Arizona I think). Lovely pics of the butterflies too :-)

Kindest regards :-)

Ragged Robin said...

David - Thanks so very much. The Gardens are a real gem and again well worth a visit if you are in the area. I would imagine they look lovely at any time of year and they are so different. I was a bit disappointed in some of the photos but I think its hard at times to capture gardens like this with a lot of green vegetation. The camera doesn't capture what the eye sees!

Best wishes Caroline