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  • Day61

    Shrewsbury, Dickens, and Darwin

    June 8, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    Today we moved on from Ludlow and parted company with Pat. After our usual breakfast of local eggs (this time Welsh from a road side stall) we packed our bags and headed to Shrewsbury. Here we dropped Pat at the train station for his trip back to London. We then drove just down the road to the Lion Hotel where we have booked in for two nights. It was too early to book in so we walked back to the station to say a final goodbye to Pat. As we walked back we saw a statue of Charles Darwin. On investigation, we discovered that the building behind was the school he went to (now a library) so we went inside and had a good look. Amazingly, there were scratched names and dates of former pupils all over wooden cladding and both upper floor rooms retain original features though now being used as library study areas. Further up the road was St Mary's Cathedral which is the oldest church in Shrewsbury dating from the 11th century. Shrewsbury was one of the few medieval towns not to be impacted by the industrial revolution so it's original layout and many buildings are still intact. There are funny little alleyways and cobbled streets and ancient wooden framed buildings everywhere, each with its own distinctive features. Remarkably and wonderfully most are still in use for contemporary purposes and you can often venture in and wander upstairs for a meal or a geek. Great fun!
    The Lion Hotel turned out to be where Charles Darwin stayed before he left to join the Beagle for his world voyage. It is also where Charles Dickens wrote The Pickwick Papers. So we are staying in the middle of history.
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