Much Wenlock, Shropshire is just a short drive from where I live, a place I visit frequently. As such it was about time I visited Wenlock Priory an English Heritage property located in Much Wenlock, these are the kind of decision I enjoy making on one of my none working days.
Having arrived just after one o'clock my sister and I sought out a light lunch from the aptly named Priory Tea Rooms. The decor was a little mismatched and lack an identity but boy you could not fault the food at all. I enjoyed a brie, cranberry and grape panini with a light salad - very nice indeed.
|Priory Tea Room - Much Wenlock|
It was followed by a devilishly light slice of Victoria sponge, one of the nicest pieces of cake I have had in a very long time accompanied with a refreshing cup of tea. I made enquires to the owner and following a discussion it turned out the cake was gluten free! I was stunned, not by the fact that just because it is gluten free it would be nice but that it was so, so nice. Certainly means I will be adding making a gluten free cake on my list of bakes, if you have any recipes you can recommend please do let me know.
|An array of vintage china|
Bull in a China Shop?
For me no visit to Much Wenlock would be complete without nipping into the antiques shop, just few doors up from the Priory Tea Room. Now there are a few rules to bear in mind before entering this shop, watch where you walk, watch how you turn around and keep control of your coats, bags, hair and children. Every shelf, table and floor space is cram full of silver, china and cutlery . All of which is stack rather precariously, but this just adds to the fun. On this occasion my other sister asked for us to keep our eyes peeled for a tea strainer - yes the fascination with afternoon teas extends to all my female siblings. Success, they had the perfect one.
Onto the priory.
We now moved onto our visit to Wenlock Priory managed by English Heritage. A Cluniac monastery dating from the 13th century, it blows my mind trying to image how things must of been like at this time in history. Which is where English Heritage play their part in helping to eduction us as visitors.
Welcomed in the entrance hut come gift shop, we paid and gathered up our audio tour. We headed to the site of the priory ruins, dodging the dead mouse lying in the footpath, it is amazing what you remember about a day out!
|English Heritage - Wenlock Priory|
|Peeking through the gates to a nearby garden|
We pressed number 1 to start the handheld audio unit. Whilst the audio tour was very good, I did find it did not spark my imagination - not like the Stokesay Castle tour. You should bear in mind that if you chose not to do the audio tour, you will find very little information displayed around the site. Though I am sure their must of been a book in the gift shop.
There was an information board that showed several drawings of how the monastery would of looked back in the day, however they were both from different view points and not from the view point of the visitor standing in front of the board in relation to physical layout of the monastery remains before you. I really think that English Heritage could do better in relaying this to visitors, please take note English Heritage!
There were plenty of benches to sit and enjoy your surroundings including the interesting topiary within the grounds. Perfect if you have decided to bring a drink and a sandwich with you. As we move into the Autumn and Winter tourist season,the opening hours reduce, so be sure to check before you visit.
The site is well suited for anyone with mobility problems, there are gravel paths and they are on the flat too.
|Beautiful stone carving - Wenlock Priory|
- Entry to the property is free if you are a member of English Heritage, otherwise your should check the admission charges on their website.
- There is no tea room, however there is a good choice in the town, just a short easy stroll on the flat.
- Car parking costs £1
- Wenlock Priory is located in Much Wenlock, Shropshire and is well signposted.