The hamlet of Easthope lies a few miles south-west of Much Wenlock. To reach it you travel along Wenlock Edge towards Church Stretton, then drop down a winding lane, too narrow for comfort. At the village heart is St. Peter’s church and the meadows of Manor Farm. The houses are scattered round: old limestone cottages, some ancient timber framed buildings, some modern homes built last century, a gracious rectory no longer ecclesiastically engaged. Most look out on the Mogg, a darkly forested hogsback ridge whose trees hide the the remains of an Iron Age hillfort known as The Ditches.
You can just see the conifer tops of the Mogg between the churchyard trees in the next photo.
I took these photos one bright December afternoon. It was something of a pilgrimage. My good friend and artist Sheilagh Jevons resides in this peaceful graveyard, the perfect spot for a woman so in tune with the Shropshire landscape and its liminal spaces and much in love with the Mogg. Her house and studio were just down the lane from the church and she called her home The Mogg.
Here is another hill topped with a conifer plantation. It lies on the easterly side of Much Wenlock, and this is the view I see as I come home from the allotment, stepping out under the big ash tree that guards the unofficial ‘gateway’ through the field hedge.
And naturally, one of the most peaceful spots in the town are the ruins of Much Wenlock Priory whose origins, in the charge of Saxon princess and abbess, St. Milburga, go back to 670 CE. The remains you see here are much later, dating from successive building phases in the 12th and 13th centuries. In its day, Wenlock Priory was among the grandest monastic houses in Europe, its monks belonging to the Cluniac order and brought here from France. It’s a mysterious thing to think of now, a French community ruling the lives, body and spirit, of Shropshire folk. All dissolved in 1540 of course, with the protecting lead stripped off the roofs by Thomas Cromwell’s team of asset strippers.
Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: peaceful
24 thoughts on “Quiet Scenes On The Edge”
Interesting.. Peaceful isn’t necessarily how I would see those liminal spaces…tinged as they can be with unease
That’s a good point, Sue. Dormant rather than peaceful perhaps.
I love these fascinating vignettes of your local area. So full of history and a sense of place. Lovely writing ❤️
Thanks for popping down to Shropshire 🙂
Beautiful part of the world
Those are stunning Tish. In the second shot there’s a halo effect around the tree on the right. I just love that one so much, thanks for seasoning with the history too. Words like priory are truly from another time, to me.
I always enjoy your take on my posts, Bill. Big thank you.
Lead on the roof? could be a health hazard.
Back in the day, the wealthy lined their roofs with lead sheets, under the tiles, to keep out the rain. When the monasteries were ‘dissolved’ by Henry VIII the accumulated lead haul was so valuable it apparently depressed the price of mined lead for many years. And without their lead protection the monasteries were literally quite quickly dissolved by bad weather.
Beautiful images and narrative Tish! You sent me back to a different place and time.
Many thanks, Anne. Happy to provide time-machining elements 🙂
I love these tours of your own area from Shropshire’s Leading Tourist Information Officer!
I’m taking a bow, Margaret. Thank you.
These scenes are so peaceful. Love the lighting in the first two photos 😀
Thanks a lot, Cee. V.pleased you like these.
No profound words from me (all already taken) but I just enjoyed the photos and the English names so different from ours that give me pleasure.
It’s just good to know you’re visiting, Janet. All that matters 🙂
Beautiful in B & W, Tish.
HI TISH, LOVE YOUR POSTS & PICTURES, LOVE THE TREES!! GIVES ME IDEAS FOR PAINTING. LIKED READING ABOUT MUCH WENLOCK PRIORY. I IMAGINE IF “WALLS COULD TALK” THEY WOULD HAVE A LOT TO SAY! 🙂
these trees look great in B&W. Thanks for sharing your explanations.
Wishing you all the best
The Fab Four of Cley
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Many thanks, Klausbernd. Happy June to you Fab Four.
You are a master at creating ambience! Your use of B&W really builds the quiet.
What a lovely comment. Thank you.