"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

Monday, 6 March 2017

A Day Out in Warwick

We had a day out in Warwick on Saturday - I was very keen to visit the recently re-opened Market Hall Museum.

We parked by St Nicholas Park under a blossom tree.



The church of St Nicholas - good to see some "neglected areas" in the churchyard

"Plants in Walls" - Chickweed

Warwick, the County town of Warwickshire, was once a walled town - the only remnants of the wall remaining today are the West and East Gates - the latter which dates back to 1426 can be seen in the photo below.



A peek inside the Court House

St Mary's, Warwick - sadly no time at the weekend to re-visit.

The Market Hall - a 17th century building which contains collections showing the story of Warwickshire from hundreds of millions of years ago up to the present day. It has only recently re-opened following a £1.5 million re-development. Highlights include the Warwickshire Museum Brown Bear, an Irish Giant Deer skeleton, the Warwickshire Dinosaur, the 16th century Sheldon Tapestry map of Warwickshire, historical musical instruments, an observation bee hive and the second largest early Roman coin hoard in the country.

Meet "Oisin" an Irish Giant Deer who is around 11,000 years old. He was probably put together from the bones of several skeletons found in a peat bog, Limerick, Ireland, in the mid 19th century. Megaloceros giganteus became extinct around 8,000 years ago and they were the largest deer that ever lived. They may have died out at the end of the last Ice Age when they failed to adapt to the warmer climate. Oision can be found on Twitter @OisinTheDeer where he tweets about events at the Museum.



I loved all the geology and fossil displays - there was a superb timeline showing the history of Warwickshire starting with its formation 600 million years ago.

This is a fossil insect closely related to modern bees and wasps (Apiaria antiqua) from 150 million year old Jurassic limestone layers from Solnhofen, Bavaria. The earliest bees found as fossils are found in rock layers from 100 million years ago.

A fossil Dragonfly Cymatophlebia longialata also from the 150 million year old Solnhofen limestone layers

Fish fossil

Fossilised fern fronds - around 310 million years old from Carboniferous coal measures.

I loved these colourful bowls.

"A Flutter in Nuneaton" - butterflies and moths made from stamps during a drop-in session at Nuneaton Library

Reverend Brodie's Pebbles - the stones are a type of rock called Conglomerate and were collected from Rowington, Warwickshire, in the 19th century by the Reverend Peter Brodie. His research led to the reconstructions of ancient rivers that once flowed across the Midlands. Today, investigations of these pebbles is providing information on ancient climates and environments.

The South Warwickshire Roman denarii hoard - over 1100 silver Roman coins were found in a pot at Edge Hill. They were buried around 1900 years ago.

I was thrilled to see quite a few herbarium sheets on display. (Sorry not the best of photos - it was difficult to get the right angle due to the display cases glass)

The Sheldon Tapestry


We then went in search of lunch at the Brethren's Kitchen in Lord Leycester's Hospital. Sadly, it was closed for refurbishment!


We finally found a little cafe that served vegetarian Pieminster pies and chips and then had a look round some of the independent shops.

Couldn't resist another visit to the olde worlde sweet shop and

I could have spent a fortune in here!

Rain finally arrived just as we were about to leave.



Rain followed by sunshine and rainbows.

If you would like to see posts on my last trip to Warwick which included visits to The Mill Garden, Lord Leycester's Hospital and St Mary's - please see here here and here

Photos marked with an asterisk were taken by D with the Canon Bridge HS50 - I have included them because they were a lot better than mine of the same subjects!


Bovey Belle said...

I know very little about Warwickshire - having only really travelled through it a few times. The new revamp seems to have produced some interesting and eclectic displays. A shame it's too far for us for a day trip.

amanda peters said...

It looks a nice place to visit, spending many hours looking at at the exhibition. Like the butterfly's made from stamps. Don't think I have seen Herbarium, did have to look the word up when you first mentioned it. Then I googled what they have a the Botanical gardens in Edinburgh, they have some there, so hope to go and see them.
Might have to have a go at making my own.
Lovely post.
Amanda x

Ragged Robin said...

Bovey Belle - Thanks - I love Warwickshire but there again I am biased! :) I've not been to the museum before but so glad I've now visited - some really interesting items there :) If you manage to move to Herefordshire one day - Warwickshire will be closer :)

Amanda Peters - Thanks Amanda - very interesting museum. I have recently got really interested in Herbarium sheets so was so pleased to see so many there. They are usually old and just delightful. I would imagine they have a much bigger collection somewhere hidden away in the items not on display. Sounds like Edinburgh's Botanical Gardens would be well worth a visit :)

Rosie said...

What a wonderful day out in Warwick, it's a shame the cafe you found on your last visit was closed but it sounds like you found another good one. The churchyard looks lovely and the exhibitions at the museum very interesting. I remember visiting that museum many, many years ago and all I remember is the huge bear with its ragged staff. Love the fossils and the stamp butterflies:)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks Rosie. The museum was excellent and yes the huge bear with its ragged staff is still there right by the entrance!

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

Speaking of plants in walls the yellow cordyalis (???) will be blooming soon, I shouldn't wonder.

Ragged Robin said...

Simon Douglas Thompson - We have some corydalis in one of the walls in our garden - not yet in flower here though. Pretty little plant.

Midmarsh John said...

That was interesting. Although I spent 3 years at college in Canley, Coventry and saw much of Coventry and some of Birmingham I never did get to look round Warwick. Looks to be a great museum there.

Ragged Robin said...

Midmarsh John - Thanks very much John. Yes, Warwick is lovely. Castle a bit over-commercialised for my taste but plenty elsewhere to see! :) I must return to Coventry - and have another look round cathedral(s) - haven't been there for a few years. When we last went it was for a Dr Who exhibition and a quick look round Spon Street.

Coquetnaturelover said...

What an interesting post with so much information! I'll have to look out for herbariums - haven't come across them before. My blossom photos aren't sharp at all. Yours are lovely. Must have another go before we have a frosty night!

Ragged Robin said...

Coquetnaturelover - Thanks so much for your kind comment. I am developing quite a fascination with herbariums! :) I took some flower photos at the weekend in the garden and my grape hyacinths and pulmonaria pics are very blurry! :(