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Britain, places to visit, attractions, heritageThis is the place to search for places and things of interest to visit in Britain, by name, location, type, keyword – or just have a browse.  It is a growing directory – over 750 entries as of February 2020.  Most entries have links for further information.

West Midlands

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Hereford Cathedral was founded in the year 696 and is dedicated to Ethelbert, a young late 8th-century king of East Anglia who was murdered on the orders of King Offa of Mercia (or his queen) and who was interred in the church. There is no trace of the earlier buildings; the current structures date from the 11th and 12th centuries and there is a magnificent Norman nave, with massive Romanesque arches. The Cathedral is famous for its chained library and its many treasures, not least the Mappa Mundi, a graphical representation of the medieval world, physical and spiritual, made (possibly for the Cathedral) by Richard of Holdingham in the early 14th century. The Chained Library, an early form of security system whereby books are literally chained to shelves in such a way that they can still be read, dates from 1611. Among its many manuscripts is an 8th century gospel and a copy of Magna Carta from 1217.

Location/Address: Cathedral Close
County: Herefordshire
Post Code: HR1 2NG
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Useful Website Address: Hereford Cathedral's website
Tip/Nearby: Ledbury, Ross-on-Wye
Primary Management: Church authorities

A small museum dedicated to Violette Szabo GC, British SOE agent during the Second World War, who worked against the Nazis in occupied France until her capture by the Gestapo. She was shot in Ravensbruck Concentration Camp in 1945, aged 23. Violette's story was told in the 1958 film, Carve Her Name With Pride. The museum is in the grounds of a small house where Violette stayed several times and was established by her aunt, Rosemary Rigby MBE.  The museum also covers the work of SOE, the Special Operations Executive, in general as well as the stories of other agents.

Location/Address: Cartref
Tump Lane
County: Herefordshire
Post Code: HR2 8HN
Main Historic Period: Modern
Link to featured article: A bit about Special Operations Executive
Useful Website Address: Violette Szabo museum website
Tip/Nearby: Hereford, Ross-on-Wye
Primary Management: Other

Blists Hill is an open air museum, recreating a Victorian town on an industrial site that included mines, blast furnaces and a section of the Shropshire Canal. Some of the buildings are original, others have been relocated and some are replicas. It's a 52 acre site.  There's a fascinating range of things to see, from shops, a bank and public house, to industrial premises. Costumed staff keep the whole thing themed and there are various demonstrations and events etc. It's a good day out for all ages.

Blists Hill is one of 10 museums in the area run by the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.

Location/Address: Legges Way
County: Shropshire
Post Code: TF7 5UD
Main Historic Period: Victorian
Link to featured article: Blists Hill
Useful Website Address: Blists Hill website
Tip/Nearby: Ironbridge and various other museums
Primary Management: Independent

17th century farm, extended and refurbished in 19th. Its fame is as a hiding place for the future King Charles II following his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651. Charles hid in one of two 'priest holes' in the house, having first escaped detection by climbing an oak tree in the grounds and, before that, briefly at nearby White Ladies Priory. As well as the interior of a small Stuart farmhouse, there is a pleasant garden, stables, smithy and cowhouse. A descendent of the oak tree that Charles climbed is still there. And its a relatively painless walk to White Ladies Priory.

Location/Address: Shackerley Lane
Bishop's Wood
County: Shropshire
Post Code: ST19 9AR
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Link to featured article: Why 467 pubs are called the Royal Oak
Tip/Nearby: White Ladies Priory is in walking distance. Wroxeter Roman City.
Primary Management: English Heritage

Charming and now relatively peaceful Shropshire town at the heart of the Industrial Revolution, spanning the river Severn and a beautiful gorge with its famous 18th century iron bridge. There are many museums in the town and nearby, as well as walks.

Location/Address: Ironbridge
County: Shropshire
Post Code: TF8
Main Historic Period: Georgian
Link to featured article: Ironbridge - cradle of industrialisation?
Useful Website Address: Visit Ironbridge website
Primary Management: Local Authority

One of two RAF museums in Britain (the other one is in Hendon, north London), RAF Cosford displays 70+ aircraft, including the world's oldest Spitfire, with exhibits shown in three historic hangers. On site is the National Cold War Exhibition, which tells the story of this uncertain period in our history and where you can see all three of Britain's V-Bombers - the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant.

Location/Address: Shifnal
County: Shropshire
Post Code: TF11 8UP
Main Historic Period: Modern
Useful Website Address: RAF Cosford website
Tip/Nearby: Ironbridge, Boscobel House
Primary Management: Military
St Andrew's, Wroxeter

St Andrew's, Wroxeter, dates from before the Norman Conquest, though, like all medieval churches, it has been added to and developed over the years. It contains re-used Roman stonework, including columns used as gateposts to the churchyard and the base of a column used as a font. It has Saxon features in the walls. It also has a set of astonishing Tudor tombs, with scarily life-like effigies. If you're minded to, you can also stay overnight in the church. Use the link to Churches Conservation Trust.

Location/Address: Wroxeter
County: Shropshire
Post Code: SY5 6PH
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Useful Website Address: Churches Conservation Trust website
Tip/Nearby: Wroxeter Roman City
Primary Management: Churches Conservation Trust
St JOHN the BAPTIST, Stokesay

Originally a 12th century chapel for the adjacent castle, the church was severely damaged during the Civil War and the nave was rebuilt in 1654 during the Commonwealth. It contains a large number of boxed pews, two of which have canopies, and several texts, including the Lord's Prayer, painted on the church wall. There's a charming war memorial in the churchyard.

Location/Address: Lawrence Court
County: Shropshire
Post Code: SY7 9AH
Main Historic Period: Stuart
Tip/Nearby: Stokesay Castle is next door.
Primary Management: Church authorities

A perfect medieval fortified manor house, little changed since it was built in the 13th century, including original timbers. A wonderful timber-framed gatehouse was added in the 17th century. The castle stands next to the parish church of St John the Baptist and, as English Heritage says, it's unforgettably picturesque.

Location/Address: Stokesay
Craven Arms
County: Shropshire
Post Code: SY7 9AH
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Link to featured article: Stokesay Castle
Tip/Nearby: Between Ludlow and Shrewsbury.
Primary Management: English Heritage

The ruins of the Augustinian Priory of St Leonard, founded in 12th century and suppressed in 1535. A timber-framed house was built on the site - no trace of this remains. The future King Charles II hid briefly at White Ladies Priory whilst trying to evade Parliamentary forces following his defeat at the Battle of Worcester in 1651.

The easiest way to find this property is to follow the path from Boscobel House.

Location/Address: In a clearing off a woodland path on Shackerley Lane, between Boscobell House and White Ladies Farm.
County: Shropshire
Post Code: WV8
Main Historic Period: Medieval
Link to featured article: Why 467 pubs are called the Royal Oak
Tip/Nearby: Boscobel House
Primary Management: English Heritage
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