Monday, 21 July 2014

. . . and Ledbury Photos

Ledbury is a lovely little town, full of "Magpie"half-timbered houses.  This is Church Street and the Church is St Michael and All Angels.  In the 8th C, the Bishop of Hereford deemed it necessary to send some of his clergy to establish a church on the site of a pagan shrine and by the 11th century there was a large and important Minster church on this site, which was rebuilt in the 12th C and altered down the centuries.

On the right is the old Grammar School (now a local history museum).  It has the most enormous inglenook fireplace I have ever seen.  Imagine the last few feet of a room, spanned by a beam and then open to the roof behind it, literally from floor to chimney, the width of the house.  It dates from around 1480.  Inside is a good guide to Ledbury's interesting history and famous people, who include Poet Laureate John Masefield, who was born here, and Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, who lived with her family at the curiously-designed (by her father I believe) Hope End.  It had turrets all around it at intervals, extending above the roof of the house, and looking for all the world like Smartie tubes . . .  The Barrett fortunes were tied up in Sugar Plantations in the West Indies, and income declined (around the time of the death of Elizabeth;'s mother in 1828).  By 1832 the house and 500 acre estate had been sold, much to Elizabeth's distress, and the family relocated to Sidmouth in Devon.

Illustration from a book, copied from an internet link, originally on a blog called Tinsmith's Cuttings. Weird Weird house!  Had it been still standing, they would have used it in the Harry Potter films I'm sure!

This lovely building, Butcher Row House, is now a Folk Museum (and free entry too).  Apparently it was removed from the High street, where it originally stood, and rebuilt here, many years ago now.

Next month when we are there again, we will look around it.  My husband thought I was just taking a couple of quick photos, so I couldn't linger too long.

Another lovely building close to the Church.

At the top of Church Street.

I can never resist peeks along alleyways and into back yards . . .

No time for tea and cake today, but what a lovely spot for it.


  1. Lovely! thanks for sharing your photos. Like you, I can't resist shady alley ways leading to secret gardens, I wonder what Freud would have made of us LOL

  2. Definitely dodgy Kath! I always want to explore. In Hay-on-Wye there's a little shop which has a beautiful yard-garden at the back - SO much crammed into it there is hardly room to wander. He has some of his garden stock there so you CAN go through and explore. It is SO peaceful. The shop is next to Booth's Bookshop, if you are ever in the town.

  3. What a very beautiful place BB. Hope House was just bizarre and so interesting about Elizabeth B-B; I always picture her in London and had no idea a bout her earlier life here. Just catching up - sorry to be such a rubbish follower at the moment! xx

  4. My home town :) It IS lovely there. Please do drop in for a cuppa next time, if you like :)

  5. CW - fancy that - I'm glad I was complimentary about it then! Would love to pop in for a cuppa when we are over your way again.

    Em - Bizarre is the word. Sadly when they moved to Sidmouth, her brother was drowned . . .

  6. I love ledbury and haven't been for years so thanks for the tour. All those beautiful timbered buildings... Poor EBB- even though the house is odd it must have been very distressing for her to leave it.
    Church street is beautiful- Romsey Abbey near us is said to have been built on or close to the site of Celtic springs, as with so many churches.

  7. CT - Glad you enjoyed the tour up Church Street. Hope End was certainly . . . different, but I guess if you grew up there you would come to love it. My parents were married in Romsey Abbey, and it is a lovely place. I'm not surprised it is on or close to the site of a Celtic spring.

  8. A really great post - love the photos. I haven't been to Ledbury for years and its such a beautiful town. Interesting to read about EBB I didn't realise she once lived there. The house is really quite strange but she must have been so sad when it was sold.

  9. Every photo you share here has its charm, the old pub, the hanging baskets of flowers, the cobblestone streets and that eccentric mansion. How sad it was torn down.

  10. RR - glad you enjoyed it. I'd like to do more like this. RR With Terra - it was demolished after there had been a bad fire, I understand.