Hello, everyone. This is a late post for our May 9th experiences in Shrewsbury (which has become a favorite word of Taylor's to pronounce...it's futile to ask why) We took a train to the city. When we arrived in Shrewsbury, we took a short jaunt to St. Mary's and got to experience our first Jesse Window of the trip, which shows the lineage of Jesse according to Christian history. St. Mary's is also the only complete medieval church surviving in the city. The stained glass was beautiful and came from several different countries, including Denmark. The guide at St. Mary's was from the East Coast originally and seemed very excited to see American tourists.
Next, we visited Shrewsbury Abbey, founded in 1083, which was featured in a popular book series in the 70's and 80's. It began as a Benedictine Abbey and through the actions of Henry VIII, it became a part of the Church of England. According to site information, its Chapter House held one of the first democratic parliaments in England. We saw the shrine to St. Winefride, a martyr for the Christian faith. It was very nice, not as impressive as some we have seen, but there were a lot of interesting memorials and grave sites.
At this point, we split into groups to scavenge for several sites and eat lunch. A small group of us ate at a local Italian chain. Melinda and I indulged in olives and calamari, and we all enjoyed pasta, pizza, and sugary desserts.
Our first site after lunch was St. Chad's, which houses a fake tombstone for Ebenezer Scrooge, featured in the 90's version (NOT Muppets) of the Christmas Carol. The inside arrangement reminded me of an East Coast Church, the choir was circular and the pews outlined in circular fashion. Afterwords, we crossed the street and enjoyed the Dingle, a lovely garden with fountains and beautiful flowers. Although it was cold and windy, the atmosphere was fantastic. We explored a few streets and spots before heading back to Leominster. I found a French shop and bought my first Le Creuset stoneware piece, a small baking dish called a coquette used for small casseroles, soups, and souffles. We also found a super hero-themed coffee shop and another Appy Feet chain (where several group members were treated to a spa day by special fish).
We all had a fabulous time exploring the city and look forward to our free day tomorrow. More from others later...