Almost four decades of marriage and a sunny day out .

19 Oct

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Celebrating almost 40 year’s of marriage this weekend so headed off in high spirits and even higher winds to Benthall Hall near Much Wenlock, Shropshire. (I still say Salop. Is that OK?) Benthall Hall is so good, they named it twice, rather like New York.
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Despite the wind blowing unhindered across the flat fields of Shropshire, it was very warm when we arrived. After a short walk from the car park and my wife dragging me away from a lovely old Morgan plus 4 sportscar, we arrived at the Hall itself. The path looks too narrow to take a car but in reality it would easily accomodate your dream ” Downton Abbey” vintage car. The light was brilliant for October with the sun low in the sky but showing the sandstone of the building at it’s best.
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Neither the tea room nor the Hall was quite open, so we waited for a short while, looking around the gardens and enjoying the warm summery weather. I alarmed and surprised some kind National Trust folk by bursting into the kitchen looking for the entrance. The last time a forced entry was attempted was by Cromwell’s troops in the Civil War , quite some time ago. Probably even longer than my wife and I became betrothed……..
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The front door was opened promptly at 1.00am and we enjoyed a couple of hours looking around this gem of a National Trust property. Still tenanted by a branch of the Benthall family, it originated in Anglo Saxon times. Damage from the Civil War can still be seen and is well documented. The guides were some of the friendliest we have come across on our tours of N.T. properties and that is really saying something!
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This pic shows some of the “five gables” on the frontage. If you blow the picture up by clicking on it you will make out high tension electric pylon and cables from the nearby power station. Very apt but inobtrusive when considering the industrial past in Iron Bridge, Coalbrookdale and more recently in Telford itself.
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Is it worth a visit? Oh yes! The Church is being revamped by the N.T. following 3 years of negotiation with the Diocese. We shall be going back in February for a first look round. The Hall closes for Winter so check opening times before trekking too far.

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