A bench with many views and a windmill

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This bench is only a short walk from our house, although a bit of a steep haul up Windmill Hill. The windmill itself is quite a landmark in Much Wenlock, although much about its history, and how it looked when in use, remain to be discovered by the stalwart Windmill Trust whose members take care of it.

There is always something to see from this bench, quite apart from the views across Shropshire. Even the vegetation is interesting. It is a rare remnant of limestone meadow, and in late spring there will be cowslips and orchids here, wild thyme and primroses. Later there will be agrimony, giant  knapweed, St John’s Wort, yellow bedstraw and hare bells. Sometimes the miniature ponies graze here, all part and parcel of preserving the meadow.

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Recently some of us combined dog walking and watching the eclipse from here. And while we were doing that…

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… we also caught a glimpse of local marathon hero Jimmy Moore, apparently eighty years old this year, and still out training.

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He, more than most, has done so much to uphold the values of the town’s erstwhile physician, William Penny Brookes (1809-1895). Brookes reinvented the Olympic Games in Much Wenlock in the 1850s, and provided the inspiration for the modern Olympic Games.  The Wenlock Olympian Games are still held every July on the field below and at the nearby William Brookes School. The three-week series of contests attracts athletes from around the world. Jimmy has also coached many youngsters  participating in the Wenlock Games.

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And finally, I thought I’d pass on some Olympian glow on this Monday morning. You can just see the windmill in the background, the William Penny Brookes Academy on the left, and the community’s own Linden (Olympian) Field in the centre ground. Besides, it is not good to linger about, sitting on benches, splendid though their views may be. Latest medical opinion informs us to keep standing up.  Or to quote Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers  “if you don’t run, you rust.”  Walking, however, is probably best for most of us.

Copyright 2015 Tish Farrell

At Travel Words during April, Jude is looking for benches with a view

62 thoughts on “A bench with many views and a windmill

  1. What a wonderful post Tish! I found out things about the olympic games that I never knew and actually before reading the post glanced over the pictures and thought well there is a 20-30 ish year old man running in the beautiful countryside, egg on my face as you say he is 80!
    Your post has a name in it that reminds me of a David Austin Rose (after writing this note to you i will go to the David Austin site and see if i am correct.) “Shropshire” What a wonder place to linger and view all that is to be seen, both on land and the heavens above, you are so lucky Tish to live in such a beautiful country! As always a great post and great photography! I always look forward to your posts, writing and photography!

    1. Yes, I am lucky to live here, along with 2,700 others or thereabouts. David Austin Roses is another wonderful place to visit, and not very far from us, just on the border with Staffordshire. Thanks for calling by today, Mitchell, and for all your kind words 🙂

  2. what a great bench with a view – and the way your write I could almost smell the aromas…

    “cowslips and orchids here, wild thyme and primroses”

    and the texture of that little pony was so vivid it brought me back to petting farm days – thx

    1. Oh well, you will have had a good time, Rebecca. I missed it this year for one reason and another, but enjoyed seeing the gathering of poets and poetry lovers around the town.

  3. Tish your meadow flower diversity almost versed into Ariel’s song – always great to catch up with the goings on on wenlock edge – although that bench must feel the wind chill, the views look worth every shiver

  4. I enjoy seeing photos of benches. They always look so inviting.

    If I live to be 80, I hope to be active and out-and-about like Mr. Marathon Man. 🙂 But first, I need to get back on track again with my fitness life. Nice pictorial storytelling, as usual, Tish.

    1. Benches cover so many emotional needs: places to meet, to be alone, to commune with views, to be plain nosy while appearing to be otherwise engaged (that would be me). They do say ‘welcome’ too, don’t they. Some invisible someone has offered you a nice sit down, just when you needed one 🙂

  5. What a fantastic informative post Tish – and no I haven’t been here, but now I must if only to see that view! The wild flowers sound so lovely and who can resist that little fluffy pony. Time I think for a proper visit to Much Wenlock. Thank you so much for sharing this 🙂
    Jude xx

  6. What views where you live! I saw one of these stone towers at the Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins in St. John, USVI some 36 years ago……and had NO idea they were the bases of windmills. Now I’ll know what their significance is the next time I see one. Sadly, we’re lacking other countries’ crumbling stone history here in the mainland States.

    I love the charming place-names in England. Here we have places called things like “Possum Hollow”:0)).

    1. They are so self-contained, although sometimes if you sit quietly on the bench they will gather round and stare at you, which is a bit unnerving. Makes one wonder how one is being weighed up by this inscrutable equine minds.

    1. Dr. Brookes is amazingly little known about, yet he not only bothered the town into activity, he also pioneered physical exercise in National Schools. For those of us who hated P.E. it’s all his fault. He even conducted trials to prove that exercise benefitted children’s development. And on top of that he was a botanist and herbalist. Our Museum still has pages from his magnificent herbarium. From it we can document what plant species have been lost in area since the 1850s.

  7. Interesting post Tish topped off with a Tom Petty quote (which I didn’t know) – superb. Song lyrics sneak up on me all the time – I’ve got a head full of ideas that are driving me insane 🙂

    1. Sometimes, though, Shimon, I do wonder if I’m walking around in a waking dream, while trying to capture it in images – a bit like trying to capture and keep soap bubbles.

      1. for me, it’s more like notes to myself… now and then it’s more than that. It can capture the tones and reverberations… sometimes the essence… but when in the flow of adventure, it starts out being very subjective… a pleasure in either case.

  8. Much to see and much to do in Much Wenlock. I don’t suppose the amazing Dr Brookes would approve of my desire to sit on that bench and do nothing much, except gaze at the wildflowers and the adorable ponies.

  9. I so love your posts about your home town Tish; I learn much and am reminded of how lovely the English countryside and its towns can be. But they are also setting the bar very high in terms of places to live! The Big T and I are looking for a place to move when we leave Auckland and I fear that I’ve found will be able to compete with my vision of your idyllic town. 🙂

    1. Ah now. It does have its downsides. Big trucks past the door. Rubbish parking, and a tendency for parts of it to flood. But yes, small niggles compared with the advantages. Good luck with your search. It can be fun, but nerve wracking too.

  10. Beautiful vistas, Tish! And I vote for walking too, running is for those soon in their 80s 🙂 My dad ran with the Olympic torch once, but now he’s gone back to walking. He’ll be 92 in September.

  11. Thank you for visiting my blog via Laura’s Nature Notes post. Beautiful area to be able to walk in and how cute are the ponies..You have a wonderful blog as I took some time to look around…Michelle

  12. Do you know how lucky you are to be living there – at the reach of ponies and be able to count on a bench like this to watch eclipse. Beautifully presented, Tish!

    1. Now that you mention it, nothing worse than a know-all bench, when all you want is quiet sit down to admire the view, and off it goes – jabber jabber jabber 🙂

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