Trip Report – Ludlow (Aug 2107)

Town tour of Ludlow and guided tour of St Laurence’s Church

August 24 2017

Members of Clent History Society were pleased to be able to join friends from Belbroughton History Society on the trip which they has organised to our local treasure of Ludlow. We were blessed with a day of fair weather which enabled us to do our exploring without being incommoded by wet weather gear or heavy coats.

We were fortunate to have three guides for the town tour so groups were small enough that we could all gather round and hear. What a fascinating story of the role of the town in the history of the area and the nation those glorious Georgian buildings tell and how interesting it was to be learn of the timber buildings behind those brick facades. When you start to look it is surprising how many of the facades are not symmetrical in true Georgian style but doors and windows are off set to serve the pattern of the timber building behind. Our group was particularly taken by the lovely Georgian one time bank building with a magnificent porch but with another close to one side. Apparently the wife of the bank owner who occupied the premises refused to enter the property using the same door as the customers so a much less grand door was installed for them!

The market square had the usual trendy stalls with artisan foods featuring heavily and providing a modern contrast to the evolution of the space with the encroachment on what had been a very sizable area. The role of the guilds was very evident. There was just so much to see and lots of return individual visits are being planned.

In the afternoon we had the chance to tour the church, a very substantial and much extended building. Again we were fortunate to be able to split the group and learn with two hugely knowledgeable guides. We began to understand the various periods of expansion, with the 1199 building on view, replacing earlier development but then being the over topped and added to. The glass, especially the restored and the non restored medieval glass is very special. So too are the enchanting misericords, the carved screens and linen fold panelling. Some intrepid folks climbed the 200 steps and enjoyed a sunlit panoramic view ending the day beautifully being able to locate the town in its geographic as well as historic context.

Many thanks to the organisers in Belbroughton for a super day.

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