Clun Castle

Clun Castle is a ruined castle situated on the north bank of the River Clun and the western edge of the small town of Clun in South Shropshire close to the Welsh border. Clun is located 9 miles west of Craven Arms and 7 miles north of Knighton in the area known as both the Marches of Shropshire and the Welsh Marches.

Clun Castle

Clun Castle

Following the Norman invasion in 1066, William the Conqueror granted lands on the Welsh border to some favoured subjects who became Marcher Lords granted the rights to build castles and rule their feudal estates as if they were kings – provided they remained loyal to the English monarch.

Although ruined the remains of the rectangular keep and the two baileys do make the castle well worth visiting.

Clun Castle Keep

Clun Castle Keep

Many castles were constructed along the Welsh Marches including Clun Castle established by the Norman Lord Robert de Say.

Nowadays Clun Castle is a Grade 1 listed building and a Scheduled Monument owned by the Duke of Norfolk (who also holds the title of Baron of Clun) and is managed by English Heritage.

The castle ruins and grounds are open to the public and are free to enter.

Here are some links to more in depth information about Clun Castle:

a Wikipedia article about Clun Castle

the English Heritage Web page about Clun Castle

the Castles of Wales Web page for Clun Castle featuring lots of images

Clun Castle is well worth the visit and Clun itself also has a museum and places to eat and drink.

Shropshire Hills – Shropshire’s Beauty

Back in September here at Folly View Let we blogged about Sheer Folly from Wood’s Brewery that we have included in our Welcome Pack for guests.

Now that Sheer Folly is no longer available we are including another beer from our closest local brewery, Wood’s Brewery at Wistanstow, a beer called Shropshire Hills Beauty.

Wood's Brewery Shropshire Hills Beauty

Wood’s Brewery Shropshire Hills Beauty

On the back label Wood’s provide some useful tasting notes for this 4.2% abv beer:

Shropshire Hills Beauty pours with a pleasing, mild amber colour and a well-rounded, malty flavour. This wonderful mouthful is backed by a pleasantly bitter aftertaste, achieved through a fusion of fruity hops.

There is also some helpful information explaining the rationale behind the beer:

The Wood Brewery sits on the edge of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and we first brewed Beauty in 2012 to mark 30 years of the AONB.

We’re really lucky to live and work in this part of Britain with Folly View Let situated just a few miles from the southern edge of the special place that is the  Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

You can use Folly View Let as a base to explore the region and the wealth of natural attractions that it offers including:

The Long Mynd

The Stiperstones

Titterstone Clee Hill

all of which lie within the Shropshire Hills AONB.

Blists Hill Halloween

The Witches Cat

The Witches Cat

Blists Hill has an annual Halloween Fright Night, this year on Saturday 29th October starting at 6pm. Dress up in your scariest Halloween costume for the Victorian Towns Ghostly Gaslight Night and enter into the spirit of the occasion.

Blists Hill streets, shops and cottages will be transformed into an eerie, creepy Victorian Town with the help of lighting and pyrotechnics. Who will you bump into round the next corner or fleetingly see in in the window of the cottage across the street.

This years event is based on the theme of the 1980s cult film Ghostbusters. So watch out for characters from the films and if you are doing ghostly haunting be prepared to sucked up by a Proton Back Pack.

A fire work display will take place in the Brick and Tile Works.

There is plenty of parking available in the museum car parks or follow the signs for Ironbridge Park and Ride.

Ghostbusters Logo

Ghostbusters

Blists Hill Ghost Story Trail

Blists Hill Victorian Ghost Story Trail where you can learn about the customs and rituals of Halloween this year from the 22nd October until the 30th October.

Ghostly Apparitions

Ghostly Apparitions

Writer’s in the Victorian era wrote popular stories about ghosts and spirits. Charles Dickens gave us the Signal Man and MR James wrote too many ghost stories to list here. Some of these stories will be included on the Ghost Story Trail.

Explore Blists Hills many shops, cottages and work places and hear more about these games and traditions. See how ‘Trick or Treating’ has developed from children and adults dressing up and going door to door singing and offering prayers for “the souls of the givers and their friends”. Souls cakes would be given to the callers as ‘alms’. Soul Cakes, which are really biscuits will be for sale in the Bakery.

The history of Halloween goes back a lot further than the Victorian era but they were able to build on customs from previous generations with the advancement of technology bringing items into the more humble home.

Halloween was thought to be a night for prying into the future, conjuring up the super natural or ghostly apparitions. We do however still enjoy these parlour games on Halloween.

The Prince Albert Players will be performing each afternoon during the week. They will be including Shropshire Ghost Stories in their enactments along with scenes from Sweeney Todd.

Enjoy your Ghost Story Trail at Blists Hill and learning about a Victorian Halloween.

Folk Down the Track

The Heart of Wales Line

The Heart of Wales Line

The Folk Down the Track takes the Heart of Wales line to the Castle Inn, Knucklas. Enjoy a train journey with beautiful views (in Summer) and real ale and live music. Trains to get there leave Shrewsbury at 18.25pm calling at Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Broome, Hopton Heath, Bucknell and.Knighton. Catch the train from Ludlow at 18.17 pm then change at Craven Arms.

The Castle Inn hosts the Folk Music session in three rooms showcasing local bands and singers with a ‘session’ anyone can join in. There is real ale handed out over peoples heads in jugs so you don’t have to keep returning to the bar. There is also food available at the Castle Inn.

The train back from Knucklas leaves at 21.50 but don’t worry you won’t miss it, a call will go up giving you time to finish your drink and head off up the hill to the station. Don’t expect a quiet journey home, song sheets will be handed out at the station and once the train is under way the sing along starts. You will know many of the songs but I can’t remember them presently.

Next trip for Folk Down the Track will be on October 20th 2016, with a pre-Christmas  session on December 15th 2016.