Shelter-shirking or shelter-seeking sheep?

Trip Start Mar 21, 2005
Trip End Apr 16, 2005

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Wednesday, March 23, 2005

After leaving Conwy sans pyjamas, we took the train down to Abergavenny via Shrewsbury. It's known for all its Tudor buildings. Tudor is the time period on Henry the Eighth, of Six Wives fame, and it's the classic black and white half-timbered look. It was also a good break from the train journey. We walked around admiring the 500 year old buildings, because at that time, we didn't know Britain's dirty secret with regard to Tudor buildings. The Victorians loved them and built scores of imitation Tudor buildings. So, don't assume that what you see is the real thing. But, they still look picturesque, and Shrewsbury is known for having a lot of real ones.

We visited the Abbey there, and found out why it was a bad idea to get on Henry VIII's bad side (same king as above). He went around after breaking with the Roman Catholic church tearing down abbeys (big complexes with monks) and churches. If the local people attended church there, he'd only tear down half the church- leaving just enough space for the local congregation, and gaping hole in the building at the front or back. Then, it was up to the locals to patch up the wall so that the building was useable again, but there were still many buildings that were destroyed altogether. It must have been pretty rough for all the folks who weren't involved in the big debate between Catholic and Protestant, having their churches half demolished. This means that there are a lot of patchwork churches where you can see a distinct change in style at some point in the building. Some ruins of the demolished parts are left, but sometimes they were used for peoples' houses or other purposes.

To be continued...
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