Do you like finding new places to visit & explore. I recently read an account in a national newspaper about cyclists finding tacks on their journey through the little Shropshire village of Badger; apparently the cyclists were not being sensible riders through the lanes in the village & they had raised the ire of the 120 inhabitants of this village.
'Where is Badger?’ - I wondered. In fact it is not far from me, one of those many tiny Parishes, the tiniest Parish in England apparently.
I did what any sensible person would & decide to visit it myself as it looked quite pretty with thatch roofs - not usual up here in the Midlands.
According to the news reports: The Domesday Book informs us, rather quaintly, that the hamlet, which straddles the Shropshire and South Staffordshire border, once consisted of ‘4 smallholders with 1 plough and woodland for fattening 30 pigs’.
The Village is mentioned in the Doomsday book of 1086 & the name is Anglo-Saxon in origin. The village has the river Worfe & Snowdown Brook running close by, though a deep sided ancient wood called Badger Dingle.
We parked up & visited the pretty St Giles Church in the village. The church is a Gothic Revival Architectural one, squarish rather than a long building. It is an unassuming village church with pretty stained glass windows & a little chapel to the side with tributes to the illustrious of the village.
The stone in the centre of the two headstones is part of an ancient cross the once stood in the centre of the village ...
This unassuming village church has lovely stained glass & a side chapel dedicated to the illustrious of the village ...
We took a walk through the village & met up with the Church warden who stopped to chat. She recommended a walk to us & so having sensible shoes on, took her advice.
I love woodlands, being surrounded by green spaces is just so good for ones spirit - there were no other people in this side of the woods so it was lovely to just enjoy the space
The walk took us in to Badger Dingle, a deep sided valley with interesting geology - described as such:
The village and the area to its north stand on Upper Mottled Sandstone, a Triassic deposit found in many parts of the West Midlands. This has been used extensively for building in the village, including St. Giles church. It is very evident in the Dingle, along the Snowdon Brook, where there are outcrops, cliffs and caves, artfully exposed and enhanced in the 18th century landscaping of the valley. The eastern side of the parish lies on boulder clay, sand and gravel, or till, glacial deposits from the ice ages.
Through the trees we had a view of the Birdhouse in the Dingle but we only got a good view once we crossed the brook & went up on the other side of the hill. We managed to walk to a clearing & see it across the valley ...
The view from across the valley - how fabulous it would be to have tea or bubbly on that balcony ...
The Birdhouse was designed circa 1783 as an architectural ornament, viewing platform and place of resort. Constructed of local sandstone, the building had a basement containing a service area and a main salon above with views out over the pool. The salon was heated by flues in the rear apsidal wall, which conducted heat from fires in the basement, a system based on the Roman hypocaust.
Gracilla Boddington, who lived at Badger Hall during the 1 820s, describes idyllic summer evenings entertaining at The Birdhouse and rowing on the pool. The estate later passed to the Capel Cure family, who used The Birdhouse until the 1 930s, most notably for their curious exercise in role reversal - an annual tea party in which they waited on their servants!
I would love to have attended a party there, in this forest with a splendid view of the valley, brook & forest ...
Have a look around The Birdhouse as a rental - fascinating for an escape, however it is too close to me to justify escaping to.
This was the last part of our walk out of the valley - how beautiful & calming it is ...
Thank you for stopping by, I hope you have enjoyed exploring with me. I always read your comments & they are always appreciated,