22 July, 2011

Egham Surrey

A rather whistle stop visit to Egham but I missed out Royal Holloway with its art collection. The College was up a hill and I didn't fancy the walk.

The late Georgian church was locked when I called but was quite pleasant outside.

The high street contained sculptures and plaques about King John and the Magna Carter, which was signed - where? Can anybody tell me? Yes Joe it was at the bottom. The Magna Carta was signed at Runnymede, near Egham. Time was limited so I didn't try to find this guarantee of the rule of law (and therefore lawyers). The museum has a reproduction of the copy in Salisbury Cathedral as well as memorabilia from the two Royal Holloway institutions.

There is also an old grammar school (now a sixth form college) curiously with an almshouse attached, although I don't think the almshouse is operational any more.

A prosperous and charming little town.

21 July, 2011

Bracknell in Berkshire

Another new town to add to my portfolio - a visit on a dull day to Bracknell in what used to be the County of Berkshire. Bracknell was designated a new town in 1949 so is one of the later ones. Like Crawley the church is the existing village church (built 1851) although locked when I called. Unlike Crawley the old high street was pedestrianised and made the main thoroughfare of the town centre.
There are a few old inns although I didn't take any refreshment there, including one with a milestone outside showing 28 miles to London and 11 miles to Reading (pronounced to rhyme with beading by the railway information person on Waterloo Station). The town had a quiet dignity about the main town centre and a fine historic former co-op store. There was a fountain which told the time every five minutes, although I watched it and I wasn't sure when it was in its time telling phase, also some of the jets were not working.

There were some fine sculptures and murals, good charity shops and a good library which gave me the location of the former co-op store: CRS so maybe formerly LCS. I didn't see any of the residential areas of the town but the town looked fine.

17 July, 2011

Llanthony Priory and Newport

A visit to Wales in the fantastic company of Bud and Keith - cheers for a great time guys!

Llanthony priory is located in a very peaceful spot in the black mountains, so peaceful I nodded off to sleep for a few minutes. The priory church was completed around 1280 and ruined in the 18th century, to leave a charming spot for us to enjoy.

Newport is a little town with a good art gallery and museum - the collections looked pretty good for the size of the place with a good selection of periods and styles. I didn't have time in Newport to see the Cathedral, or the Castle but did take a picture of one of its oldest buildings - the murrenger's house.  A murrenger is an official charged with keeping a city wall in repair.
Newport also, like Middlesbrough, has a transporter bridge.

Newport is probably worth coming back to...