Thursday, 29 October 2015

Ellesmere

Despite the forecast, the weather was good enough for a short walk around the town and nearby mere.  My route took me back down the canal towpath to the tunnel and then around the western side of the mere before returning to the boat via the town.

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Ellesmere has a castle, although all that remains is the Motte (earth mound) on top of which is a bowling green.  The castle was probably a Motte and bailey built by the Normans in the 11th century as part of their strategy of pacifying their conquered Anglo-Saxon subjects.  This area bordering Wales was the domain of the March Lords who were rather ruthless Norman barons.  They probably had to be to keep the dastardly Welsh in check.  Edward I might have claimed to have conquered Wales and made his son the Prince of Wales but that didn’t stop the Welsh rebellions.  Henry VIII (him again) reduced the power of the March Lords and created a union between Wales and England with the Laws in Wales Acts 1535.   When this happened Ellesmere became part of Shropshire.

The noteworthy architecture in the town is a mixture of Tudor, Georgian and Victorian. By 1805 the canal had reached Ellesmere.  The plan was for the canal to continue to the coast near Chester terminating at Ellesmere Port.  Which was named after the town!   The arrival of the railway made construction of the final part of the canal from Trevor (Trefor) to Ellesmere Port financial unviable.  Interestingly the railway connection to Ellesmere was subsequently abandoned but the canal lives on.

Ellesmere & the mere

The main attraction in Ellesmere is ‘The Mere’, one of nine glacial meres in the area.  A mere is a large shallow lake.  A glacial mere is formed when a large block of ice remained in the location after the last ice age.  Because a mere is shallow, the water tends to be the same temperature at any depth.  This is caused by wind acting on the surface moving and mixing the water.

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The land to the left/middle of the above photo is an island.  Initially I thought it was natural but have now read it Is man made having been constructed in 1812 from land excavated for the construction of the nearby gardens at Ellesmere house.  It was named Moscow Island after Napoleon’s disastrous campaign into Russia the same year.

The public park is on the west and north edge of the mere.

IMG_8528IMG_8530I found the northern section of the park particularly attractive.

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A lovely time of year for the colours

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Canal link

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A large bottle of insect repellent was required near here.

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On the way back into the town I passed Ellesmere Cemetery where I happened to notice the Commonwealth War Graves plaque beside the main gates.

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The war graves website states “On Ellesmere Cemetery are 5 Commonwealth war graves from World War I and one (and 2 Polish war graves) from World War II.”  My assumption is these deaths are similar to those at Whitchurch and a consequence of accidents or wounds.

The centre of Ellesmere looks very similar to any other small market town.

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1 comment :

Ade said...

Hi Tom, Good flavour of the place there.
You must be getting close to seeing the infamous young Dan Brown of you tube fame soon, upon "dear old narra bote Tilley" ! .
Cheers for sharing
Ade