Wednesday was a lovely day and I suggested visiting Hay on Wye a place I have always longed to visit so it was a bit of a "book pilgrimage" for me! Hay is just under an hour way and most of the journey is on A Roads.
Hay has been called the first book town in the world and is famous for all its second hand and antiquarian bookshops founded by a Mr Richard Booth in 1961. He had bought Hay Castle and I'll write more about him in the post on Hay Castle. Hay in Powys,Wales, is the National Book Town of Wales and also famous for the Annual Hay Literary Festival.
The name Hay is an English form of an old Roman-French name "La Haie" meaning "a fenced or hedged enclosure". The Welsh name for the town is YGelli Gandryll which means "the grove".
Francis Kilvert, the Victorian diarist lived nearby in the village of Clyro where he was vicar for many years. In fact we passed the turn to Clyro and I would so loved to have visited - one day I hope I will.
In Kilvert's time the town was called Hay and the name was changed to add "on Wye" in 1946.
The C17th Jacobean mansion at Hay castle was home in Kilvert's time to the Vicar of Hay, the Reverend William Latham Bevan. His friend Francis visited many times for afternoon tea and to play croquet on the lawn.
Hay on Wye is on the edge of the Black Mountains and there are lovely views from the car park.
A weather vane with a witch - it was so hard to get a decent photo and D had left his camera at home. He always gets better pictures than me of things like this.
St John's Well was one of the wells serving the town of Hay and supplying baptismal water to St John's Chapel.
Salem Baptist Chapel established 1649 and rebuilt in 1878 It is the second oldest Non Conformist chapel in Wales.
The Town Hall whch was built on the site of an older one constructed in the reign of James I. The present building dates from 1840 and the lower part was onced used as the cheese market. The town hall is by the market square used for the weekly market. (I had deliberately avoided market day as I thought it would be packed as it was the town was heaving with people!!!!). It was like Ludlow on a bad day :(
On the wall of the Town Hall is a sculptured figure of Henry VII (Henry Tudor 1485 - 1509). It is the work of Edward Folklard and was installed in March 1995.
Hay Castle - the keep and to the right the Jacobean mansion. I'll write about the history of Hay Castle in the next post including the tragic tale of Matilda de Braose and the eccentricities of Richard Booth.
Market Square - plenty of room to park but time was limited to two hours so we had used the large car park round the corner.
The Clock Tower by J C Hadden and erected in 1884 at a cost of £600.
Richard Booth's bookshop - there are some lovely tiles on the beautiful frontage. We did go inside - it is huge and there is a massive selection of old and new books.
We had a look round a lovely shop full of hand made items - there were some lovely things but it was expensive as were a lot of the bookshops!
The Butter Market
There are quite a few antique shops in Hay too.
The Clock Tower bookshop was my favourite - a good selection of books old and new including a lot of tempting New Naturalist books. I somehow avoided temptation although D did make a purchase.
Sadly, with the visit to the Castle we ran out of time to explore as well as I would have liked. I certainly missed the motte and bailey which I was and truly miffed about and the almshouses and bridge and river. There is nothing for it we shall have to go back - the tickets for Hay Castle are also valid for a whole year :)
I didn't realise but on the way we had gone over Whitney on Wye bridge where you have to pay a toll. It only became apparent on the way back! The bridge was built in the 1770's and is now a privately owned toll bridge. Sorry only the one photo as I couldn't get out and take more as there were several cars behind us.
Blogger Problems - I don't know if anyone can help solve the problem but I have found myself unable to edit "My Blog List" in layout. I can edit it as such but it won't save the changes. I've had the problem for a few months and been unable to add some recent blogs I follow. Now a blog has suddenly apppeared in the list where the blogger hadn't blogged for years and I suspect the account has been hacked as its suddenly posting every day and the blog title is not in English and looks very suspicious! Needless to say I haven't clicked on it! I have tried several times to remove it from my blog list in case anyone clicks on it but yet again blogger does the change but won't let me save it.
All photos taken by me with the Pansonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.(I don't particularly rate my photos but if anyone wishes to use one I would be grateful for an email first - thanks).