Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sunshine, a Baby Lamb and Shugborough

Sorry I have been missing in action.  We got to Great Haywood on Sunday and due to the weather (beautiful) and a certain nameless someone who felt a need to spend an inordinate amount of time on the computer, I just couldn't get a blog post in edgewise.

As I mentioned, the weather has been gorgeous!  I have been taking long walks exploring the area and soaking up that Vitamin D.  On Monday during one part of my walk I even got to see a baby lamb be born (with a little assistance since he was stuck with his head out and his body still in).  Momma and baby wooly are fine and both felling a lot more comfortable now that is over. :)

The little lamb was born on the grounds of Shugborough Hall which is just outside of Great Haywood and connected to it by an ancient packhorse bridge built in the middle ages.  It is a beautiful place to walk.  Very calm and serene (except for mommas giving birth).

Shugborough Hall was the home of the Earls of Litchfield until the death duties owed following the death of Thomas Edward Anson, 4th Earl of Lichfield in 1960 forced the family to gift the estate to the National Trust in lieu of death duties owed. It must have been heart breaking to have to give up this beautiful estate.

The estate is now run like a mini Williamsburg.  Costumed individuals run and interpret the estate as it would have been run in the 1800s.  The season does not open until the 21st of this month so we have not had a chance to go there yet but plan to when we arrive back at Great Haywood after completing the Four Counties Ring.  For a history buff like me it is something to look forward to.

Another place I like to walk and explore in the towns we pass are the churches and cemeteries.  Although Great Haywood is not a very striking or large town (one post  office, one pharmacy, one newsagent and off liscense, on surgery) it does have two churches: Roman Catholic and Anglican and two primary schools run by these churches.

In the cemetery of the Anglican church, St. Stephen's, you can find the graves of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Earls of Lichfield marked by plain stone gravestones that would never catch your eye if you weren't looking for them.

Today we are off and heading towards Stone.  We might make it all in one day or we may not.  Stay tuned.

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