Thursday, December 12, 2013

Wenlock

Wenlock
Wenlock
About twelve miles south-east of Shrewsbury is the village of Much Wenlock, where there are remains of a magnificent abbey founded by the Black monks, and exhibiting several of the Early English and Gothic styles of architecture, but, like most else in these parts, it has fallen in ruin, and many of the materials have been carried off to build other houses. Portions of the nave, transepts, chapter-house, and abbot's house remain, the latter being restored and making a fine specimen of ecclesiastical domestic architecture built around a court.

An open cloister extends the entire length of the house. There are beautiful intersecting Norman arches in the chapter-house. There are some quaint old houses in the town—timbered structures with bold bow-windows—and not a few of them of great age. Roger de Montgomery is credited with founding Wenlock Abbey at the time of the Norman Conquest.

The site was previously occupied by a nunnery, said to have been the burial-place of St. Milburgh, who was the granddaughter of King Penda of Mercia. This was a famous religious house in its day, and it makes a picturesque ruin, while the beauty of the neighboring scenery shows how careful the recluses and religious men of old were to cast their lots and build their abbeys in pleasant places.