On the morning of our ‘days holiday’, I asked my husband where he would like to go. He replied, ‘I’ve always wanted to go to Much Wenlock! It was featured on an episode of ‘Homes Under The Hammer’ which I recorded ages ago and have only recently watched!” My response to this was, ‘Much Wenlock?, is there much in Much Wenlock?’ (Oh, how we nearly laughed at my poor attempt to make a joke!!!). After about 20 minutes of deliberation, I agreed to give it a try. We packed a small snack and off we went.
As usual, I ended up driving with my husband navigating. Forty-five minutes into the trip, nearing Shrewsbury, I asked ‘I hope we’re not going through Shrewsbury town centre?’. Defending his (not so good!) navigation skills, husband reassured me that we were not. Guess what?….we did end up going through the town centre and the traffic was terrible! Note to self, check the route myself before we set off!
Places of interest on the way to Much Wenlock – Percy Thrower’s Garden Centre
Eventually, we found ourselves back on the A458 making our way to Much Wenlock. On our path we passed Percy Throwers Garden Centre. Some of you may not know this, but Percy John Thrower was a nationally recognised presenter of various gardening programmes. He was very famous in his day and even presented on the BBC’s Gardeners World for many years. He was described by many as ‘Britain’s first celebrity gardener’. As a result, Percy accepted many other offers for presenting jobs, including gardening slots on Blue Peter and another television programme called ‘Out and About’. Percy was also famous for his trusted doggy companions – his beloved black labradors.
In 1970, Percy Thrower bought the firm Murrell’s of Shrewsbury and renamed it “Percy Throwers Garden Centre” but in 1988, Mr Thrower sadly passed away and the business was passed on to his daughters. This garden centre is definitely worth a visit!
Continuing on the A458 we passed many small garden nurseries and a grand looking ‘public house’ called The Riverside Inn, which we decided we would visit for a meal on the way home. There were fantastic open fields, buttercups and fantastic views to enjoy throughout the journey! After about 1hour and 15 minutes, we arrived at Much Wenlock where we pulled in to a public car park, had a slurp of coffee from our flask and strolled into town.
From the research I carried out before setting off, I knew there were a couple of garden nurseries that we would be interested in seeing and the first one was indeed very interesting. There was a good selection of flowers and even fresh produce, such as eggs. We could hear the chickens clucking happily in the afternoon breeze. The prices were extremely reasonable and, as usual, I couldn’t resist the Gazania, which my husband insisted on buying for me. (He’s not that bad I suppose!)
From there we went further into the small town, where we were welcomed by an array of historical buildings. The Guildhall is beautifully presented with large wooden beams and ancient architecture. Unfortunately the building was closed when we visited but it is usually open to the public during Summer months – definitely worth a visit! We later found the the Produce Market offering a vast array of fresh flowers and fruit and veg, all grown and served and by the locals of Much Wenlock.
A short distance from the town centre are the dramatic ruins of the Wenlock Priory. The priory is protected by English Heritage and, according to the English Heritage Information Board, the Priory prospered until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539!
A very Interesting fact:
The 2012 Olympic Mascot was named Wenlock, to honour Dr. Brookes. It was Dr. Brookes set up the Wenlock Olympian Games in 1850 and also the Shropshire Games in 1866. He has been credited as the founding father of the Modern Olympic Games. As a result, the Wenlock mascot was formed!
Much Wenlock Architecture
The architecture in Much Wenlock can be described as Medieval, Georgian and Victorian. You can click on the images below, if you wish to get a better view:
In summary, Much Wenlock is a beautiful medieval little town with lots and lots of character. In our view, definitely worth a visit! Turns out my husband’s idea wasn’t such a bad one – after all!