I went to the town of Shrewsbury for a day. No particular reason, except Shrewsbury Abbey was the location for the Brother Cadfael books, and it seemed like it might be a nice place to go.


Considering it's basically in the middle of nowhere, Shrewsbury has an awful lot of railway lines. (I guess they intersect here from wider points of nowhere.) After leaving the station, I turned right away from the historic town centre and under a linked sequence of railway bridges. Interestingly for railway geeks, it looks like they still use semaphore signals.

Gap between two bridges...
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°42′43″N 2°45′1″W
...and gap between another two bridges.
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I was heading north toward an old mill, once called Ditherington Flax Mill; it was going to be turned into flats, but I guess the financial crash gave it a stay of execution. It used to be a flax mill and is the oldest iron-framed building in the world. Anyway, it was about a mile north past some other stuff.

This very large building used to be a nightclub, although it was probably something else before that. Now it's a pigeon roost.
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Buildings next to the music shop.
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Once I reached the mill complex, I didn't manage to get a decent photo of the actual old bit, but hey, some of the newer buildings were pretty neat.

Seriously tall white thing (1).
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Seriously tall white thing (2).
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Other buildings. Sign shows the most recent use of the site.
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One of the fences that prevented me getting a closer view. Complete with teddy bear playing Superman.
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I got lost, er, I mean, took a slightly roundabout route to the Severn, where I stopped in a riverside park to eat my sandwiches.

Round about here.
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Following the river, I found more enormous railway bridges (for the same lines that crossed the road earlier). It looks like an original brick bridge with impressive metal extensions on both side. The station platforms run out some way onto the bridge.

North-east side.
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Walkway in deep gloom under the bridge.
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South-west side. Top part is presumably the platform roof.
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I continued to the English Bridge. (Yes, there's one on the other side of town called Welsh Bridge.)

English Bridge; URC church in background.
1/250 at f8, 23mm, ISO200 52°42′25″N 2°44′55″W

The abbey itself is - well, most of it was knocked down back when Henry the whateverth had a bit of a disagreement with the Catholic Church. Only part of the abbey church remains, although it was extended again in the nineteenth century.

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Shrine of St. Winifred (the top part is basically all that's left of the original shrine; middle figure is supposedly her).
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The abbey has zillions of carved figures lying down around the place (the type that go on top of tombs). I think they got some from other places, as well as their own. Odd. Anyway, here's a couple other pictures of the abbey exterior which I actually took later on.

Sticky-out side wall; presumably, five hundred years ago this joined onto the rest of the abbey.
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Abbey front. Somebody didn't know their roman numerals; you can't really see it at this size, but the clock uses F instead of X (IF, F, FI, FII).
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After visiting the abbey I continued out of town, reaching the council building which has a giant column outside; I think it's slightly taller than Nelson's Column, but the lions are a good deal less impressive. There are steps up inside it, but presumably it's only open on special occasions.

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Column reflected in council building.
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After that I went back to the abbey a different way around. I had a look at the vet's which, according to Wikipedia, used to be a nuclear bunker. The building is a slightly odd shape, but it's made of ordinary brick and looks like it wouldn't survive a hit from a cannonball, never mind anything more modern.

But opposite, there's a rather fancy terrace.
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Building on north side of abbey; betting shop.
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I walked back to the English Bridge, taking a few pictures on the way.

Nice doorway.
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Another railway bridge.
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Side of some building or other.
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Riverside park with lion ring and outlet pipe.
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Finally it was time to go to the town centre, which has steep slopes and quite a few genuinely old buildings. It also has hat shops, embroidery shops, antique shops, you get the picture.

Side street.
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Some kind of consultancy firm in another side alley.
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Steps. (Plenty of those around.)
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Grope Lane. (You get a bunch of flowers to go with your grope.)
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I left the centre toward The Quarry, which (disappointingly) is a large riverside park and not a quarry. Probably it was once.

Empty shopfront.
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My sentiments exactly.
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St. Chad's church from The Quarry.
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Statue of water goddess in a pretty landscaped flower-garden called The Dingle.
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A footbridge led across the river (it swayed impressively, entertaining small kids as well as me). I followed the riverside path around the peninsula.

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Sculpture (it looks kind of like a dinosaur spine).
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A cluster of buildings by a car park attracted my attention, so I went over to look.

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Red and blue.
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Sign says 'closed', and yes, it can't look much more closed than this until somebody sets fire to it.
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Bill's Café. Also closed.
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It was about time to go back to the station.

Impressive library.
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Even more impressive station frontage..
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That's it!

All images © Samuel Marshall. All rights reserved.