A spot of winter sightseeing in Shrewsbury

Sometimes I think it’s easy to forget just how pretty our county is. And whilst I love the rolling hills and stunning countryside surrounding our county town, Shrewsbury itself has a lot to be proud of! As the Town of Flowers, Shrewsbury blooms in the summer (excuse the pun!), but this photo of a snowy morning in the park reminds me just how beautiful our town is whatever the weather.  

I think it’s fair to say that if you’ve lived in Shrewsbury for some time it is quite easy to stroll past so many landmarks in the town without taking them in. This picture, from our shop in Wyle Cop, shows Shrewsbury's main civic war memorial, the focus for Remembrance Sunday, which is situated within the Quarry, near St Chad's. You’ve probably walked past it countless times, but, like me, you may rarely look up close.

The neo-classical, open rotunda surrounds a bronze statue of St. Michael under a canopy and holds the inscription 'Remember the gallant men and women of Shropshire who gave their lives for God, King and country 1914-18 and 1939-45'. Built in 1922-3, in honour of the men and women of Shropshire who fell in the Great War of 1914-18, the memorial was designed by George Hubbard and Son and was made from Portland stone. The bronze figure of Saint Michael beneath the canopy was made by A G Wyon. It has an embellished floor with the County and Regimental arms on a gold mosaic background. If you look closely you will also see that the seals (or arms) of the six boroughs of the County are embossed on the inside frieze. The war dead of 1939-45 are also commemorated by this monument.

The visual focal point of the memorial, St. Michael (the Archangel) is viewed as the field commander of the Army of God. In late medieval Christianity, Michael, together with Saint George, became the patron saint of chivalry. In many Christian circles St. Michael is considered to be the patron saint of the warrior, all making him a particularly apt choice for the commemorative piece.

Beyond the memorial you can see a row of trees flanking each side of a pathway. I had no idea that this traffic-free road is called ‘Gloucester Avenue’ (it leads down to Victoria Avenue which runs along the river from Victoria Quay). Apparently it was first called Central Avenue, but in 1974 Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, came to the Shrewsbury Flower Show and from then on the avenue was dedicated to her. You learn something new every day!

The Quarry has been somewhere I have used so often, from the lazy afternoons lying on the grass avoiding GSCE and A Level revision (quite some time ago now!), to walking the dog, which I currently do every afternoon with my Mum and our dogs Jasper and Alfie. There’s a lot to learn about the Quarry, so much so that another blog dedicated to the subject may well be in order in the future.

So, I‘ve decided to take a bit more notice of what’s around me and not just be curious when sightseeing on holiday. Whilst looking at this picture I remembered that, as a teenager, my uncle told me that he thought the statue of St. Michael appeared to be quite intimidating, and almost frightening, from afar, but incredibly serene when you come closer. During my walk yesterday I revisited his theory and think it’s very true!

Why not venture for a walk through the Quarry one frosty morning this Christmas and see if you agree?!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Victoria Crook

It’s a nomad life

The framed picture shown above is available in our Wyle Cop shop, It’s a nomad life, in both colour and black and white. Priced at £36.

It’s a nomad life, 14 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury

www.itsanomadlife.com.

Twitter @itsanomadlife

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Vicky Vicky

Vicky runs local antiques business It's a nomad life with her partner Sam Handbury-Madin. The shop, which moved from Wyle Cop to Green Lane in 2015, sells Tribal and Asian art and collectables from around the world. Vicky is a Shropshire lass, who moved back to Shrewsbury in 2008 after time spent in Italy, London and St. Andrews (where she studied archaeology and ancient history). She met her husband Sam on her return and they opened It's a nomad life in 2012, combining their love of travel and old things! Vicky also works as a Freelance Fundraising Consultant.

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