And There’s Not Only An Extraordinary Ancient Hedge In Brampton Bryan There Is Also…



…where book burrowing souls can spend lots and lots of time while being sustained by coffee and delicious home made cakes.

You can find Aardvark Books just up the lane from the 300 yard cloud hedge (see previous post) – a barn full of books – old and new – on a working farm with butterscotch coloured cows out in the yard and fine country views all around.


And it’s not only the books, but the inscriptions inside some of the volumes: handwritten words that speak of previous owners, or heartfelt sentiments expressed to long ago friends in the gift of a very particular work, and you the late-comer voyeur can only guess at why it was chosen and wonder at the kind of person for whom it was meant.

But there are also disturbing thoughts beyond the ghosts of relationships past. Standing among these mountains of books, you are also left feeling that if all of them have been well read, shouldn’t we be more enlightened and wise than we often seem to be. Or does the fact that so many books can be discarded like this (hopefully, if doubtfully to be reclaimed by somebody sometime) tell quite another story about our present condition? Time to get thinking perhaps?


Time Square #18

48 thoughts on “And There’s Not Only An Extraordinary Ancient Hedge In Brampton Bryan There Is Also…

  1. Yay books and a cafe, my type of place . . . . . . . if you heard some of the things people say to secondhand booksellers (ie my hubby!) you may not be so surprised about the lack of wisdom.

    1. Yes, they’ve become a bit industrial these days. In Wenlock we’re lucky. We have one and half second hand book stores. The half is the upstairs of lovely Wenlock Books which has new books downstairs – so the best of both worlds.

  2. I enjoyed this post. I too ponder why so much written wisdom does not seem to make it off the page and into practice. I have spent the past month reading American history. It seems we have grappled with these same issues before. I guess the term cycle applies. Let’s keep reading and hoping for improvement.

  3. Alas, as we age and move from houses to flats, many of the books have to go. Thankfully second hand bookstores take them, ink- and mold- (UK mould?) stained inscriptions and all. As for the content, I have no patience anymore for writing (non-fiction) whatever its age, which takes a chapter to say what could have been said in a page. Out they went. End of rant. Nonetheless, I’d visit your Aardvark and Cafe!

    1. I do have to agree with you, Bunty. I too have had to dispose of many books, and I try very hard not to acquire new ones. And I know if we’d all used our UK libraries more and let them keep the books on our behalf, our library services wouldn’t be on their last legs, and it would make for a lot less dusting of overburdened shelves at home. eBooks sort of serve the purpose, but they are a pain to move around in, should you need to. And yes, overwordy tomes – can’t be doing with those either.

      1. Libraries over here are treasure troves Tish, going from strength to strength, incorporating technology and very user friendly with fantastic staff always willing to help. I must admit I troll through book stores checking latest titles then request them from the library. If they don’t have them they will get them in for you. I LOVE the library. But I do have shelves full of art books for reference

      2. One always needs reference books (that’s my story anyway!) But how lovely to hear your libraries are thriving. We have lovely librarians too but one does feel they are manning sinking ships.

  4. Great, I have marked this place on our private map of things to do and visit. Thank you for introducing Aardvark Books to us, Tish – the bookfayries are all smiles now. 🙂 🙂

  5. Oh no! Now the guilt trip! We had to get rid of so many books to enable us to move here without sinking the carrier. 😦 😦 Not sure what it says about me but I couldn’t part with a hefty compendium of Winnie the Pooh 🙂

  6. Many years ago when we lovingly chose books to give the grandchildren for Christmas we were told they only read books on the internet. How sad to not discover the joy of holding a real book

  7. I wish I had known about this place when I lived in Ludlow – then again probably best I didn’t! I still love books and we frequent our local library every week. They are very good at reserving books for free here so I can look up the authors I like and then see if they have the books. We also got rid of a lot of books when we moved – to Oxfam. And I buy the Aussie grandbabies a Cornish book every Christmas – they love them, but I know there will come a time when they’ll prefer the tablet / phone / x-box.

      1. Yes, it’s not bad. The council keep threatening to close some branches though, it would be such a shame as there are many groups who use the libraries here and they perform a lot more roles than just lending books.

      2. Yes, they are real community centres, aren’t they. Our Wenlock library struggles on, but only because the town council has taken most of the costs on from Shropshire Council.

      3. I imagine if the councils don’t get more money soon, we’ll have to fund some of these places ourselves. A shame to lose them as they are a vital community hub.

  8. Oh my, the magic of bookstores! I remember Garry and I finally had to make rules about book stores. We simply couldn’t go in. We always spent a lot of money because there were all those books!

  9. Just love your story Tish, what a wealth of books, would just love to spend time there. I have, however, a while ago landed a voluntary job looking after books donated to a charity here in town, all 4500 of them….some quite old too. Your story reminded me of the joy I find in my work with the books 🙂

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