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.
I do it myself of course when I’m walking along Much Wenlock High Street. The windows of Raynald’s Mansion are just too tempting for those disposed to be nosy. There are always interesting artifacts and pieces of unusual antique furniture inside. The place appears to be some kind of shop, but it is never open. The extraordinary timbered facade, built in 1682, was apparently a later addition to a fifteenth century hall. The Victoria County History for Shropshire rather sniffily suggests that this kind of construction was both crude and ‘old hat’ for a time when everyone who had money was going in for smart townhouse frontages in brick and stone. But never mind the architectural snobbery. It is still one of the town’s most picturesque buildings. There are also said to be ghostly apparitions at these windows. Just the job for Halloween. I must look out for them the next time I’m out and about on the High Street.
copyright 2016 Tish Farrell
Black & White Sunday: Couple(s)