Tuesday 30 June 2020

Warwickshire Places (7) : Lapworth

The village of Lapworth is located between Dorridge and Hatton. The village's origins lie in one of the estates owned by Debeberht, Bishop of Worcester, in the 9th century. After the Norman Conquest the manor was granted to Hugh de Grentemaisnil. In the following centuries the manor passed through a number of hands until finally in the 16th century it was the seat (and birthplace) of one of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators Robert Gatesby. For the next two centuries the manor was owned by the Holte family of Aston.

Nowadays Lapworth is an affluent village well situated for transport links for commuters to the nearby cities such as Birmingham, Coventry and Warwick, which include the Stratford-upon-Avon and Grand Union Canals which meet at nearby Kingswood. Lapworth railway station is also actually in Kingswood though is only a short walk away from the village. The M40 motorway is also nearby.

Saturday 27 June 2020

Berkswell (not really)

Today i headed on the train to Berkswell in Solihull. However, the station is actually in Balsall Common, the village of Berkswell is some way away so i will save that for another trip. Balsall Common has plenty of interest though including some nice old pubs and the wonderfully named Frog Lane. You can see my photos here.

Thursday 25 June 2020

Model Week : The Heron

The latest model kit, Project #088, a De Havilland Heron is taking shape. After only building two kits last year we want to at least double that in 2020. However, even when the Heron is completed we'll only be half way there so we will need to speed up a bit in the second half of the year. Its all a far cry from 2012 when sixteen kits were completed!

Wednesday 24 June 2020

Through Castle Bromwich

A Cross Country passes through the remains of the former Castle Bromwich railway station.

Tuesday 23 June 2020

Cathedrals (5) : Gloucester

Construction of Gloucester cathedral began in 1089CE on the site of a seventh century abbey church dedicated to St Peter. The Norman heart of the cathedral being added to in the following centuries. The original roof was replaced by a vault in 1242. The South aisle rebuilt in the early 14th century.

In the 15th century the central tower was rebuilt and the South porch added. The Lady Chapel was rebuilt in the 16th century. The cathedral has seen a number of restorations in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Monday 22 June 2020

Curdworth at last

Finally a day off work, although i have been working from home since March it is still work and i thought it was time i started taking some annual leave. I drove the short distance to Curdworth, the nearest part of Warwickshire to where I live. I have walked the canal in Curdworth before but have not visited the village itself. Naturally it has a lovely medieval church and a few other old buildings of interest! You can see my photos here.

Saturday 20 June 2020

Back on the (iron) horse to Albrighton

It has been three months since the last rail adventure (to Carlton), today - suitably masked up of course - i ventured onto the rail network again. Rather quiet it was too, which i suppose is the point? I went to Albrighton in Shropshire, which is near Cosford. It is a lovely little village with the usual collection of nice old buildings including two parish churches. You can see my photos here.

Friday 19 June 2020

Castle Bromwich Hall

Nowadays a hotel, Castle Bromwich Hall was a mansion built in 1599 by Sir Edward Devereaux. The Jacobean original was extensively changed by Sir John Bridgeman in 1657, changes included adding the third storey. His son extended the mansion further. The Bridgemans continued to live in the mansion until 1936.

The building was used for storage and later a training centre for GEC. Next to the hall is Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens, an 18th century style English formal garden.

Wednesday 17 June 2020

Model Week : More rail goodies

Highlight of last week on the model railway was the arrival of the HO scale Class 33. However there were a number of new arrivals on the railway last week including a HO scale flat open wagon to accompany the Class 33, some isolation track for the tram line to increase operational flexibility and a HO scale digger. This may be used in the corner of the layout by the goods yard, perhaps as part of a small industrial scene.

Tuesday 16 June 2020

Cathedrals (4) : Hereford

Hereford has been the seat of a Bishop since Saxon times, as far back as 680CE. The first cathedral dates from the 7th century though by Norman times was in ruins. The oldest part of the current cathedral, which is dedicated to St Mary the Virgin and St Ethelbert the King, date from the reconstruction begun by Robert of Lorraine who was made Bishop in 1079CE. The surviving parts of the church from this time include the Bishop's chapel and the nave arcade.

Further additions and reconstructions, as is common with most churches of any vintage, took place over the following centuries. The central tower was rebuilt in the 14th century. A Western tower added in the 15th. This tower collapsed in 1786 devastating the Western parts of the cathedral. The cathedral was restored in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries.

The cathedral of course is filled with historic artefacts (including the 13th century Mappa Mundi), tombs and monuments. 

Saturday 13 June 2020

Meandering around Maxstoke

This morning I headed down to Maxstoke, which is a hamlet between Coleshill and Meriden. Maxstoke has a lot to offer, a lovely church (of course), a former priory, a former station and a castle (though i didn't see that today). I also headed onto the Warwickshire village of Fillongley to take a photo of another church. You can see my photos here.

Thursday 11 June 2020

Model Week : HO Loco

One of the aims for the model railway this year was a HO scale locomotive to haul engineering trains on the tram line. Today that has arrived, in the form of a Lima HO scale Class 33! Lima produced this model in the late 1970s, an oddity in British outline as of course it was incompatible with the usual OO scale models. I've always wanted one ever since i saw a school friend's (at primary school) layout. Now a second hand example has been bought cheaply. It does run though is a bit hesitant, it hopefully just needs a bit of oil and cleaning.

Wednesday 10 June 2020

Halt in Harborne

My trips around the country (or around the West Midlands at the moment) are usually at weekends but last night i had the opportunity to go to Harborne on the other side of Birmingham and take some photographs. The South side of the city is generally older than the North (where I live) and was more affluent in the past so there are more historic photographic opportunities. The parish church in Harborne is rather fine, though parts of it were a building site! You can see my photos here.

Tuesday 9 June 2020

Cathedrals (3) : Manchester

Manchester Cathedral has it's origins in a parish church which was built in 1215CE. This was built on the site of an earlier church which existed in the early Norman period, an earlier Saxon church also once stood nearby. The parish church became a collegiate church, which was granted a licence by King Henry V and Pope Martin V, dedicated to St Mary, St Denys and St George in 1421CE. The collegiate church became a cathedral in 1847.

The cathedral has a relatively modern appearance due to extensive reconstruction and modifications in the 1860s including a new tower which was taller than the original. New porches were built replacing the medieval originals and the nave interior was replaced in the 1880s. Further restoration was needed in 1940s following bomb damage during the blitz, damage included the demolition of the original medieval lady chapel, the roof was also badly damaged.

Saturday 6 June 2020

Meeting in Meriden

Today I visited Meriden, it is a place i visit now and then as some relatives live there but for the first time i went there today to see the church. St Laurence's church is a great medieval church on top of a hill. Meriden is of course traditionally the centre of England, although there have been other pretenders to this crown (including Lillington i visited last year). I believe the actual centre is more accurately located somewhere in Leicestershire nowadays. You can see my photos here.