Category: Midlands

St Mary’s Church Stafford – Historic inside and out

Way back in around the year 700 AD, Staffordshire was such a different area. The River Sow valley was one huge marsh, with what is now Stafford as a bare island, a dry sandy peninsular. The very beginnings of St Mary’s Church means going back to the beginning of the town and beyond. Today the area around the church is a popular spot for many escaping the shopping centre or taking a lunchbreak in the sun, but lots to be learnt inside…. Legend has it that in the 8th Century St Bertelin, a Mercian Prince, set up a hermitage...

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The Ancient High House of Stafford

The Ancient High House in Stafford, the largest timber framed town house that survives in England. This Tudor, Elizabethan house sits in Stafford High Street and amongst the shops of the modern era. It has seen far more than shoppers in its long history, from prestige beginnings to Royal guests. In 1595 the local and wealthy Dorrington family wanted to build a house in Stafford full of grandeur. It is fair to say that when built, the house would have been visible in the skyline for many miles along with Stafford Castle as a backdrop. There was once a...

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Stafford Castle – Dominating the skyline over 900 years

For over 900 years there has been a castle or ruin of in some form here in Stafford. Dominating the area for many miles around on the part natural/part man made hill, the low ground of the county here is punctuated dramatically by this vantage point. On the M6 south for instance passing Stafford, take a look left, you cannot miss it. It is not just a small ruin on a mound that some imagine.. You can see the detailed earthworks of Norman times, it has a terrific and informative Heritage trail plus an extremely delightful woodland walk surrounding. When the...

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Hope Valley Circular Via Bamford Village

Hope Valley in Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park derives its name from the village of Hope. The area was mentioned in the Doomsday Book in 926ad recording that a local battle was won by King Athelstan, and it was also mentioned that Hope village had a church and a priest, quite a rare occurrence at that time in Derbyshire. The nearby Win Hill Pike and Lose Hill are said to be named so after a battle with King Edwin of Northumbria and King Cuicholm of Wessex in 626ad. The ancient trading route The Portway is nearby, and the river...

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Wanders around Snake Pass

Ashop Clough and the Snake woodland are magical places at any time of the year. This wonderland is hidden from view until you venture through the woodland. Snake Pass has a magical feel to it and is surrounded all around by rolling hills, pine trees, heather, and bracken and in higher points moorland and babbling streams. The Snake Pass road itself is not open in severe weather during the winter for safety reasons because, as the name suggests it snakes through the valley and can become treacherous in icy and snowy conditions. The Snake woodland is Just off the...

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Shining Cliff to Alderwasley circular walk via Cromford Canal

On this journey I met so many animal friends, my Favourite has to be this sweet foal, so of course the Foal and all the other animals had to dominate my photos on this occasion, the whole area is filled with natural beauty which hopefully shines through with a touch a spring time. Shining Cliff woods is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and full of natural diversity, birds range from warblers, bramblings and fly catchers along with my favourite the little robin and many many more woodland residents. In mediaeval days “Schymynde-cliffe” woods was one of seven royal...

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