Friday, 19 February 2010

Merrie England!

Hi Folks. I got out today, on my own, at just after 3.30pm which is pretty brilliant for me. And I walked round taking photos for over 2 hours. Unfortunately it was overcast and even started hailing at one stage so the atmosphere of the photos is a little grim. Which may cause some of you to wonder why I have called this post Merrie England!

It's because the time when the timber framed buildings below were built is traditionally thought of as good times in our history. Why? Well the black death, otherwise known as bubonic plague, wiped out about a quarter of the population in England in the middle of the 14th century. Before the plague life was very hard with food shortages and much of the population living in serfdom. Landowners were able to set low rates of pay and treat the peasants (labourers) in any way they pleased. The peasants were not free, they were serfs in that the landowners could make demands on them they could not refuse. After the plague the shortage of labour pushed wages up, there was enough food for everyone, and plenty of abandoned land for individuals to take over and work for themselves. The absolute power of the landowners was broken and the feudal system was all but over by the end of the 14th century. The peasants had never had it so good (to coin Macmillan's phrase).

The plague gave those left alive the opportunity to prosper, work for themselves and generally make merry.

These are some timber framed buildings from the 15th century. The timber used is oak which naturally ages to a dark grey colour. The infilling would originally have been wattle and daub - woven wooden panels which were covered in a mixture of earth, straw, animal hair, clay, sand and possibly even some dung thrown in! Now of course, although the original wattle (woven panels) may still be there, the daub has been replaced with plaster - more durable and probably smells better!

The pathway up the hill is medieval being made more of pebbles than cobbles. There's also an old gas lamp now converted to electricity. Many original gas lamps can be seen around the city (you'll have seen them on other photos of mine) as this was one of the first places in England to have gas light - in 1815.





















I went down this way to call in at the charity bookshop seen here on the right. On the left, the shop is a business owned by one of the Bear's sisters! The stone supports on which the first floor currently stands were put in at a later date presumably to stop the whole thing from collapsing.
Next door is a beautiful church built in the 15th century from the local red stone. I should say rebuilt as there has been a church on that spot since the 12th century.
Across the road is another timber framed building where you can see the original ground floor structure. It is called "The House that Moved" because it was moved to that position in 1961 when they built a new road. The whole building, being mainly wood, was rolled about 90 metres to its new position quite easily! It's now a bridal shop.
Previously some of the timberwork had been plastered over but this was stripped off revealing the original structure in all its glory.
 
Many wood framed buildings were remodelled in later times. This is an example of a property which has been entirely plastered over but you can still see each storey jutting over the one below.   
 














Here is another example of original timber framing on the side of a building.


















But  the front of that building is entirely Georgian including the perfectly preserved shop front.


















I have many more photos, but to finish today here are some photos of the converted pub from the last post showing the gallery with original pews, the main floor and the bar.





































































And the Regency gothic chapel next door

















44 comments:

  1. Fantastic photos and very good explanations to go with them. You are lucky to have so many of those buildings left in your country. They are almost all gone here. We have one left in our town. All the others have been replaced with stone buildings. Also pretty, but not nearly as quaint. Thanks for sharing these.

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  2. Beautiful pic's, your making me homesick :)

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  3. I would like to see things that old someday...as it is I have never been on the east coast in the US so when we think old here its like 100 years old...ancient like 200.

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  4. More amazing photos - it looks like a beautiful city.
    You're getting out and about so much more lately, do you feel its getting easier the more you do? It sounds like it, especially as you're able to go out and about on your own as well!

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  5. This is one of the reasons I LOVE living in England! :o)

    I'm SO proud of you getting out and about on your own... I know from first-hand experience just how difficult it can be...

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  6. beautiful beautiful pictures dear it is lovely to have such ancient buildings around its like feeling connected with old times and thoughts of the people of it,thank you for sharing attraction ,and for amazing explanation ,glad that you are reaching to your targets take care

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  7. Beautiful pictures. The pub looks amazing on the indoors. The timber framing on the other buildings look great too.

    Have a nice weekend!:)

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  8. Gorgeous Bearfriend! Thank you so much for going out and taking those pictures to share with us. I was very curious to see that pub after you talked about it. I love your blog, I can live in England vicariously through you!

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  9. Wow - those buildings are beautiful :) It really makes me proud to be British!

    Carly xx

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  10. I never tire of viewing your photos, and I love the explanations that you give. It's awesome to know the history behind the architecture. And the stained glass in the last post is just gorgeous! :)

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  11. That's great bear friend that you're getting out on your own and taking in your surrounding and wow... love the pictures you post. I've never been anywhere other than Mexico. So I appreciate the pictures showing the rich history and architecture.

    You have a great eye for picture taking by the way.

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  12. Great that you're getting out and about during the day. Good for both body and soul. And I love the pics. I am very intrigued by that pub!

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  13. Glad you are on the run :D

    Wish you all the best with whatever your doing :)

    I like their accents --the British :)

    Have a blessed day:D

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  14. Lovely photos as usual. Thanks for sharing them here.

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  15. I love the pictures and history! It's so fascinating to me. I hope to make it over there someday!

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  16. Beautiful - and you give an excellent historical background with the photo tour, BF. I was thinking how these photos look like someone came in and set up scenery and props to look like England - like a Hollywood crew or something.

    Before we had kids, Tom and I did a trip to England, Scotland and Wales. One thing we did in England was rent bikes in a little town in the Cotswolds named Moreton-in-Marsh and rode about 30 miles that day through the hills. I had the same sense there - that it was done up to look like quintessential England. Only it was the real deal. So beautiful, with charming names of towns like Stow in the Wold, Bourton on the Water, etc. You're a little farther west, aren't you?

    Great to see you continuing to get out and about, and to get these vantage points into your world. And thanks so much for the thoughtful comments you've been leaving on my posts. We're all coming along, I think.

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  17. neat photos! and fun history lesson :-) i can't imagine what it must have been like to live back then. glad you got outdoors too! Have a beary good evening!

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  18. Hi Bear Friend,
    I'm so glad to hear that you got out for another trip. Doesn't it just lift the spirits?
    I LOVE your photos!! And you do such an amazing job with your detailed descriptions of each and every one. I am beyond enamored of the pub. I so want to go there now!!:-)
    Thanks for another wonderful adventure-
    hugs-
    amy

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  19. Your photos are WonDerFul:o) I love the commentary with them, you would make a great tour guide author.
    Thanks for your lovely comments, especially about the water;o) I think I just need to up my intake bit 3 litres is like an Olymic sport and I don't think I'll be in the team never mind compete...

    I think I need to come and have a tour with you as a guide!!!

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  20. Thanks for the wonderful photos and the fascinating history lesson!

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  22. Wonderful pics! I went to Europe to sing at Oxford University and I regret that when I was there I only saw the "tourist" stuff. Thanks for sharing!

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  23. OMG those buildings are so beautiful!

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  24. Just checking in! Hope all is well...

    Patsy x

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  25. hello dear friend i hope and pray that you are doing fine and exploring the beautiful world in your great way have a blessed life take care

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  26. Where in the world are you girl??? I miss you. :(

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  27. Hey bearfriend... just checkig in to see where you are???? Missing you.

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  28. Hey there my Beary Friend, how are you? Just dropping by to check in. I hope all is well with you and that you are ok. I'm missing your posts and pics! Love from Judith

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  29. Hello Bearfriend. This is the first time I am dropping by your blog. This was a lovely post. I liked the Timber framed buildings. They look beautiful. Great pics!

    I invite you to enter your blog in a contest at my website. Its at the Homepage under the Get featured tab. I am sure, you will fetch many votes.

    Have a blessed day!:)

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  30. Hi Bearfriend--

    Thought I would drop by and see how you are doing. I've been missing your posts and comments. Hope all is well and that we hear from you soon!

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  31. Bearfriend,

    I miss you. everything ok? Say something, anything---just let me know you're ok, ok?

    just concerned.

    My best always,

    Sean

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  32. Same here, just wanna know you're okay. Missing your posts & comments...

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  33. Me too sweetie! I miss you and hope you are doing okay. If you want you can email me privately at katiejisonherway@gmail.com if you need to vent.

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  34. Bearfriend? Where are you? Hope there is nothing wrong, we miss you out here in Blogland.

    Please let us know you are ok?

    Love n Hugs

    Sheilagh

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  35. Please let us know you are okay! We are worried!

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  36. Bearfriend...

    Oh bearfriend??? Please give us a glimpse of you?? Let us know you're ok.

    Pretty please?

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  37. We miss you friend. I'm very worried. I've sent you several emails. I just hope you're so busy with looking for a new flat, etc.

    Please just let us know how you're doing. Missing your..

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  38. Bearfriend, pleae let us know what is happening with you. even if it is to tell us to mind our own business, just say something.

    Missing You

    Sheilagh

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