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Much Wenlock Shropshire

In Cluniacs, Dr William Penny Brookes, Much Wenlock, Olympics on July 24, 2007 at 10:21 am

Much Wenlock is a small Shropshire town that I have never heard of before but has a wonderful history, medieval timber buildings, a large abbey, a good museum and more than one surprise in store for any visitor.

Our first place we visited was Wenlock Priory which was well worth a visit and includes one of those really good headsets to talk you through your visit.
Not sure if there is anything similar in Bury but it would certainly be good to offer one of these headsets for a visit around the Abbey gardens if it isn’t offered already?

The remains of the 12th century priory are extensive and were once the home of the Cluniac Monastery. The church itself was 350 foot long but the history shows there was always an uneasy tension between the Cluniac monks and the towns people some what similar to the story of the monastery in Bury St Edmunds.

For me the the most interesting part of our visit was to find out the history of a Dr William Penny Brookes surely Much Wenlock’s most famous son.
If like me you have any interest in the Olympic games then you may be aware of Pierre Du Coubertin who was said to have conceived the idea for the modern day Olympic games in the late 19th century. This however would overlook the fact that the first modern Olympic Games was held in 1850 in Much Wenlock.

Dr Brookes was an advocate of physical exercise and was responsible for organizing an annual Olympian games at Much Wenlock to which Pierre Du Coubertin visited and no doubt picked up the idea.

We followed a path called the Olympian trail which begins at the Much Wenlock museum and takes you around the sites such as the home of Dr Brookes and his grave.

Dr Samaranch of the IOC in recent times visited Much Wenlock to pay his respects to Dr Brookes and the town of Much Wenlock which has been rather overlooked as the rightful founders of the modern day Olympic Games.

There was also this interesting house in Much Wenlock called Bastards Hall, now a guest house. I haven’t found a reason for the name but can guess.

The town’s main water course is also known as Shit Brook!

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