News From The North ~ First Day Of Spring?


The lesser celandines have been flowering since December, and never mind three lots of snow dumped on them. It’s all very confusing. To me the opening of these sunny little flowers has always signalled the start of spring, so I’m posting this photo to mark its official, if not the actual arrival on our side of the planet. Am also hoping that Siberia will recall her wind-hounds, and double-quick. Enough icy blasts already.


Some slightly wonky circles in a square for Becky’s March Square #20

Raynald’s Mansion ~ The Grandest House On Wenlock’s High Street

Raynald’s Mansion has seen several phases of development. It began as a medieval hall. In 1600 it was given a face lift with a new frontage. And in 1680 it was made grander still with the addition of three bays. Its owners certainly knew how to make their presence felt in the town.  Rather amazingly the house was still owned by members of the Raynald family into the late 20th century, and today it remains a private house. Directly across the street is our much treasured book shop, also housed in a very ancient building.


March Square


Skew-Whiff And Time-Slipped In Much Wenlock’s Square

We have three tea rooms and a smoothie bar in Much Wenlock. Also two old pubs and three hotels, a Chinese Take-Away and an Indian restaurant. We’re well served all round.


Here’s more of the Square – on the right is the sixteenth century timbered Guild Hall where Town Council meetings are still held upstairs once a month and Rod and Viv’s vegetable market features downstairs several days a week. The parish church behind dates from the early Middle Ages. The Museum on the left used to be a market, and then it was the town cinema. Now it tells of Wenlock’s glorious past as the origin and the source of the modern Olympic Games.

The Wenlock Olympian Games began in 1852, founded by the town’s physician Doctor William Penny Brookes. He inspired Pierre de Courbetin who visited him here to pick his brains on who to run the games, and then went on to found the International Olympic Committee.  One of the events in Penny Brookes Olympics included races on penny farthing bicycles. This chap (below) turned up at one of our Christmas Fairs a few years ago, and was attempting to mount his vehicle in a high wind. He never quite managed it, at least not while I was watching. But I did appreciate his fine bicycling costume.



All this squares in squares and circles in squares shenanigans is down to Becky. Here’s the place to find out more: March Square


A Bucket Full Of Blue ~ Mad March Square 10


This was a heartening find outside our High Street florists on Wednesday. I love the blue of hyacinths, though their scent can be overpowering indoors. Anyway, it made me think how lucky we are in our very small and ancient town to have so many independent shops. As I may well have mentioned before, our traders’ roll call even includes two book stores. Also extraordinarily, we have a vicars’ outfitters where men of the cloth can have their cloth, well, customized. Who’d’ve thought…

I’m thinking I may feature more of Wenlock in squares over the next few days. I shall have to schedule same as we’re about to go to the dark side. That is to say, changing our internet provider. The last time we did that we were worldwidewebless for nearly a fortnight. So if you don’t hear from me over the next few days, do not be surprised.

March Square Pop over to Becky’s to get square with this squares and circles lark.


Round And Round The Circle In Bishops Castle With A Few Squares And A Steam Roller Thrown In

Bishops Castle is another favourite Farrell destination – a sleepy rural town in the Shropshire-Welsh borderland. It is full of quirky and ancient houses, though this one at the top of the town must surely take the prize for being the most smile-inducing. I thought this pared down photo would tick all Becky’s boxes (square ones naturally).

But I was sure you would like to see the full picture too:


And the houses at the bottom of the town, sporting their Michaelmas Fair-Steam Rally banners:


And a taste of the Steam Rally:


You can see more about Bishops Castle at Summer Came Back On Saturday And Took Us To The Fair


March Square 8