Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Staffordshire - 5 August 2007

The Ancient High HouseStafford has a very attractive town centre. We spent time wandering round the centre and looking at the country's largest timber framed building, before a brief detour to see the Castle that turned out to be just the ruins of a gothic replica castle.

Before the day got too hot Shruborough Mansionwe did a 5-mile walk though the Shrugborough Estate and Channock Chase. Shruborough Mansion is very splendid, as is the Essex bridge, an attractive packhorse bridge of 14 arches across the Trent. The bridge connects the Estate to the pretty town of Great Haywood.

Essex bridgeAfter the walk, we did a tour from there which took in several attractive towns, old ruins and two Stately Homes.

Lilleshall AbbeyFirst was the romantic ruin of Lilleshall Abbey. Following this, one of the best-presented country homes we have seen; Weston Park.

Another very handsome Country church at Tong, sparse ruins of White Ladies Priory and Boscobel House where Charles II hid, from the Roundheads, in an oak tree. Hence, ‘Royal Oak’ and thus the name of many a pub in England and a suburb in NZ.

Chillington HallThe final stop was Chillington Hall; built on a site that has been occupied for over 800 years by 29 generations of the Giffard family. Great-great-great-great …. originally came over with William the Conqueror in 1066.

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