On Saturday we had planned a return trip to Ludlow, but after my busy week in Oxford I was overtired, and frankly didn’t fancy ruining it. So we decided to enjoy an easy weekend, only venturing out into the world to do a spot of food shopping. For a change of scene we decided to forgo the usual trip into sunny Knowle, and instead do our shopping in Henley in Arden, a very picturesque town we drive through often and always comment upon.
There are two churches at the centre of Henley’s history, the first, on the main street, being the 15th Century St Johns. This was built on the site of an older church, of which nothing now remains. The church has been altered many times over the centuries, and shows scars from wounds inflicted by religious changes through the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
700 yards down the lane, at the foot of the Mount, stands the Norman St Nicholas Beaudesert church.
This is recognised as a Norman church, built around 1170 by Thurston de Montfort, who also built the fortified manor house/Norman castle on the Mount. Although the church is Norman, the site is thought to be older, and there are traces of Saxon imagery in elements of the stonework.
Of the fortified manor house on top of the Mount, no trace remains:
Back to our shopping, we found a butchers from which to procure sausages, bacon and mince, and a bakery from which to procure fresh bread and cakes (ahem), but no green grocer. We did, however, pop into the ice-cream parlour for a quick lick. Dapper indulged in blueberry frozen yoghurt, and I in Turkish Delight ice-cream in a chocolate dipped cone! Yum!
See this duck egg blue door frame? Well, it’s nothing special. I just happened to fall in love with it, and insisted I had to have my photo taken in front of it. Because it’s pretty.
Henley is a beautiful town, well looked after and lovingly preserved. If you’re passing through I recommend stopping for a brief walk, and potentially an ice cream…