Sunday 23 August 2009

Cadfael's Home Town

On my trip to Ludlow, I stopped off at Shrewsbury, to look around a town I like a great deal. The last time I went there was for a legal case, and it’s been a few years since I’ve had the chance to wander round the old streets at leisure. It was good to be back.

I visited somewhere I hadn’t, oddly enough, gone to before. This was Shrewsbury Abbey, an ancient place made famous to crime fans by Ellis Peters’ books about Brother Cadfael. Needless to say, the books were on sale inside, but it’s also right to say that there’s a lot more to the Abbey than just the literary connection. It has a fascinating history, which Peters chronicled faithfully in her best-sellers about the twelfth century sleuth.

Cadfael was, of course, a herbalist, and I couldn’t resist taking a shot of a shop window advert for one of his modern day successors. I also wandered down the Abbey Foregate, which is now by-passed by most of the traffic, and which is thus rather more tranquil than the bustling place described in the books.

There was also time for a quick look at the Castle and its very attractive gardens. But because of the need to press on towards Ludlow, I couldn’t stay long, and I’m hoping to make a return visit to Shrewsbury before too long.


seana graham said...

Your recent posts are sure making me want to revisit England, Martin. And to revisit Cadfael, by the way. The series has fallen a bit out of vogue here, probably for no other reason than that it was so much in vogue for awhile.

Martin Edwards said...

Thanks, Seana. I hope you will come to the UK - and do remember that quite apart from London, there are plenty of wonderful places to visit in the North!

seana graham said...

Yes, I did a loop north in my youth, but circumstances have dictated only visiting London these last few trips. Not complaining, though. I love London.

James Fulford said...

Shrewsbury is where Cadfael spent twenty years of his life, and where the novels were set, but it's not really his home town. That would be Trefriw, sixty odd miles away in Wales, where he was born.

Martin Edwards said...

Hi James. Yes, Cadfael's Welsh origins are important to the stories, not just because he can act as an interpreter, but because, like the borderland setting, they add texture to the Chronicles.