Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Boroughbridge, UK

We made a visit recently to the town of Boroughbridge, famed for The Devil's Arrows and a major battle in 1322. It was a popular staging post along the route from London to Scotland (the town had 22 inns in its heyday). The Romans built a fort here to protect the crossing over the River Ure. In the 11th century, Normans founded the town. The bridges over the Ure were built up over the centuries.

St. James Square is the picturesque center of the town. The old St. James church was demolished in 1851 after the tower collapsed. The church was rebuilt nearby and the square left empty until 1857. Then a fountain was built over an old artesian well. Townfolk would come to get fresh drinking water and socialize.

The fountain in St. James Square, Boroughbridge

Free water here

Lucy ready for a shower

Lucy ready to give a shower

We wandered through the streets on our way to The Devil's Arrows. We found an oddly colored duck who was nice enough to let me take his picture.

Perched on St. Helena's bridge

What the duck could see--the river Ure!

Further on we spotted some more wild life. Since the night before had been rainy, lots of creeping creatures were out. Jacob spotted this snail and had everyone take a good look. We found many other snails along the way.

Boroughbridge snail

Jacob give migration advice to the snail

Jacob also pointed out many puddles, some smaller than a thimbleful. I did not take any pictures of those. He made note of many fine plants and gardens, which were indeed delightful.

Hunting for flora and fauna on the high bank next to the road

Someone's beautiful garden

Many interesting buildings are found throughout the town, including a fun little sweet shop which we didn't go into. If only we had come in the afternoon and not the morning!

"Weigh Out Sweets" is a great way to sample lots of different treats

Nearby was the Curvy Bridal, which is not an equestrian shop. Rather, it is a wedding dress shop which features "Stunning gowns in realistic sizes." It is on the road called Horsefair, so it would be easy to mistake it for a horse shop.

The local social hall seems a little churchy but has a lot of fun activities, like dancing and drinking. If only we had come in the afternoon...

Boroughbridge Social Hall

Another store that caught my eye was called Bloomerang. I assumed it was some sort of second-hand clothing shop, but actually they sell flowers. It's a cool name regardless.

Bloomerang on High Street

Nearby is the Hall Square, with a memorial to the locals who died in World War I. The square is surrounded by the town offices, the tourist information point, and the Butter Market Museum. Dating back to around 1700, the market was made for farmers' wives to keep them dry as they sold their wares on market day. The museum is open 24/7 and displays artifacts from the history of the town.

Hall Square with the war memorial

Some items from the Butter Market Museum

Hopefully we will get to visit again to see more about the medieval battle or visit the nearby Roman town.

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