Heading For The Light ~ Wenlock’s Linden Walk In Winter


I consider myself well blessed to have this avenue of venerable lime trees within a stone’s throw of my house. The Linden Walk is one of Much Wenlock’s treasures. The limes on the right were planted in October 1869 by the town’s physician and philanthropist, Dr.  William Penny Brookes. He apparently had help from his friends to do the job. Forty two trees were planted and forty two trees still thrive. Thank you Dr. Brookes.

The limes on the left are possibly older, and our local tree expert surmises that they may have been planted by the railway company in 1860-ish to demarcate the railway line when it first arrived in Wenlock. Dr. Brooks was a prime mover in bringing the railway to town. It’s only a pity he can’t bring it back to us.

The avenue forms the southerly boundary of the Gaskell aka Linden Field, where from the 1850s  Dr. Brooks held the Annual Wenlock Olympian Games, an event of his devising for improving the health and wellbeing of the general populace of Wenlock and beyond. He even designed the ornate medals and paid for them himself. And it was these games that went on to inspire and inform the modern Olympic Movement. A crown of laurels to you, Dr. Brookes.

The good news is that, according to an international lime tree specialist, who was brought in to inspect them,  this avenue has another good century and a half of life left in it – as long as we continue to care for it. I’m sure we will.

In this winter view, taken in Lumix monochrome mode, the walk looks very mysterious. In summer, though, it is so flush with leaf vigour and the soothing notes of linden blossom that you can walk beneath the trees and get high as kite: so much juice and joy – to misquote Gerald Manley Hopkins.


Over at Paula’s Black & White Sunday the theme is ‘convergence’.  Please go and see her work, and others’ converging interpretations.

30 thoughts on “Heading For The Light ~ Wenlock’s Linden Walk In Winter

  1. The photo is remarkable. Or commentable, as it were. So happy I had a chance to peek at your place, there. And maybe another time, if we’re all lucky! Next time, I will have a glass of beer. Bill

      1. I know what you mean. Saw a plum tree for £9 in the supermarket the other day – sooooo tempted. Just the joy of planting a young tree and watching it leaf, produce fruit, knowing it will do so for years to come. Lovely

  2. Lovely image! I had to google linden lime, as, although I’ve heard the term, I didn’t actually realise what it was. You are good for my botanical education Tish!

  3. It looks so wintery and bleak in monochrome, but still grand and distinguished. I remember a post you did in spring last year and I’m sure you will show us again when they blossom forth in their spring foliage.You must be looking forward to the end of winter…

    1. Winter is certainly hanging on today – gloom, cold and lots of rain. Supposed to be a bit better next week. I’m waiting to plant my spuds. The ones I have put in will be shivering.

  4. Do the trees actually provide fruit? I didn’t know lime trees could grow that big. I’ve only seen little ones in orchards in the southwest and Florida. Elegant in black & white!

    1. They have rather small winged seeds, nothing remotely spectacular compared to the size of the trees. The blossom is pretty inconspicuous too -greeny- yellow and tiny, but smells wonderful, and is used by herbalists as a powerful sedative. Dr. Brookes was also trained in Padua as a herbalist, so he was probably thinking of the soothing qualities of the trees when he planted them.

  5. Linden blossom! Now you’ve got me wondering what that looks like. I detect a bit of a theme going on. 🙂 Best take myself off to friend Google. 🙂

  6. Sorry, I could not come sooner. I would adore it in any season. Tish, I am thrilled with your choice for this theme. Apropos Padua, I will stop there for a visit in a few weeks 🙂

  7. I love this avenue in all its seasons and history. What grand trees – and so much grander in 150 years (as you will be too.) “Linden” is such an evocative word for this southern hemispherean. J found linden buds yesterday, so we’ll be able to mark the tree and watch it develop.

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