Shrewsbury: contemporary life in a medieval setting

Shrewsbury: new and old live side by side

Shrewsbury: new and old live side by side

England has some wonderful old towns. Shrewsbury is one of my favourites. I love to see how naturally the old sits with the new: it makes for a much richer experience. I was struck by the juxtaposition of new and old in my first picture. If you’re fascinated by paint charts and colours, you’ll find it interesting to contrast the acidic yellow of the Mini with the muted, traditional yellow of the building. 

 

Shrewsbury street scene

Shrewsbury street scene

According to Wikipedia, Shrewsbury has over 600 listed buildings. Many now house one-off boutiques, specialist shops and eateries, including one of my favourite eating places in the world, The Good Life. Every town and city should have one of these! Their wholesome food is lovingly prepared – I don’t know how we came to visit before we were hungry enough for lunch, but we indulged anyway! It’s open 9 – 4 but don’t do as we did, – arrive hungry! You’ll leave feeling well nourished and just a little smug.

Pecan pie and ice cream

Pecan pie and ice cream

Further down the hill there’s a wonderful, old fashioned fruit and vegetable shop offering more exotic varieties as well as kitchen staples. Feel free to tell me what the fancy cauliflower is if you know – I only got half of the sign and am not sure what it relates to. Shrewsbury has a great pie shop and several very tempting delicatessens, although I failed to find a good source of dried peaches, sadly!

Fancy cauliflower

Fancy cauliflower

Another of our regular calling places in Shrewsbury is Period House, which is great source of inspiration for home decor. This picture shows part of the back room. Call in here whenever you’re looking for some wonderful, locally made, traditional ironmongery to hang lights and curtains or furnish doors, gates and cupboards.

Painted cupboard, antique trunk and signs

Painted cupboard, antique trunk and signs

I loved the cupboard – I’m not sure if it’s hand-painted or stencilled or a mix of the two, but I’ve never seen one quite like it. It’s a good height for a traditional house that has a low ceiling.

Three fishes pub sign

Three fishes pub sign

My eye was attracted by the many architectural details in this beautiful old town, and this highly decorative pub sign. Great branding, though I’m not sure if the fish are phlegmatic or mean! I must remember to share some of my Zurich Old Town photographs on the same theme before too long.

I hope I’ve tempted you to visit Shrewsbury! If you have a favourite old town, please feel free to let me know in the comments.

25 thoughts on “Shrewsbury: contemporary life in a medieval setting

  1. Karen says:

    Never been to Shrewsbury, love the contrast with the car and buildings. The painted cupboard, my mum use to have one in the kitchen just like that but painted blue 🙂 x

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    • susurrus says:

      As I was writing, I was wondering whether cupboard was the right name – did your mum call it a dresser? No town is alike, when you get to know them, but the closest I can think of nearer to your neck of the woods is Sherborne. I was only there briefly, but I loved the spirit of it. Gentle old places, where the locals really seem to appreciate what they’ve got (as well they might!).

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  2. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Loved the first photo! The fancy cauliflower is Romanesco, also known as Romanesque cauliflower or Romanesco broccoli. It looks wonderful doesn’t it? Only managed to grow it once (badly), but tempted to try again this year as a local grower seems to grow it successfully.

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  3. susurrus says:

    Yes, there’s two pronunciations used by the locals which is quite unusual. It’s commonplace in England that the locals say the name differently than you’d imagine – Tettenhall, where I used to live, is called Tet-null.

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  4. theartofthisnthat says:

    I love your piece! Although I don’t live there but over in the States I so relate to and connect with the old world style of which you wrote and so beautifully described…

    The “Three Fishes” Pub sign hooked me in. I spent many day with my Gran in a city that once had signs just like these so seeing it brought back a flood of happy memories quite vivid I’m happy to report…

    It’s an amazing piece you did and your pictures tell the story….

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