Sunday, 6 April 2014

A Fine Day in Liverpool and Another at Norton Priory

On Tuesday last 1st April Janis and I caught the bus at Runcorn Bus Station and it took us swiftly and non-stop across the Mersey via the suspension bridge to Liverpool Bus Station opposite the Albert Dock. It was near here at The Liverpool Yacht Club that that we were going to a lunch reunion of of my old shipping company and the day was beautiful for it. It  was lovely to meet old shipmates again though we all looked a bit older now after a gap of forty years or so. But stories were retold with youthful enthusiasm and it was exciting and good to see all the happy faces again.

Then later following our return to the ships Janis made ready for her trip to Newark the next morning

So now I am boat-sitting for a week here at the end of the Runcorn Arm of the Bridgewater Canal while Janis is away. I appreciate being stationary for a while as it gives me a chance to catch up with small chores around the ship that there hasn’t been time for since leaving Warwick.


A handsome fellow strutting along…….


….. and full of diligent concentration

Normally at this time I would have been concentrating on touching up the outside paintwork but as the weather this week, apart from just one day’s relief, has not been good enough ‘Futurest’ still possesses the coat of unkempt dowdiness that she collected over Winter.


A brave but mud spattered Daffodil

As well, because of the weather, I have managed enjoy a bit more reading than usual and I value immensely the time to be able to do this. But walking the local area has also been an activity that I’ve enjoyed enormously. I know the town of Runcorn and its environs thoroughly now and though I’ve not been that impressed by the rather rundown outlook of the town centre, on Friday we experienced another warm sunny day which encouraged me to walk a couple of miles back along the canal to the ruins and museum of The medieval Norton Priory.



The Norman under-croft at Norton Priory


IMG_1008  Foundations of priory buildings

The foundations of the priory





….. and the humble Dandelion


Situated deep in woodland that belies completely its proximity to the urban area of the town, one arrives on foot at the priory suddenly and completely by surprise. All that remains of the Norman building that was built in 1219 is the foundations of most of the walls but the grounds and the recently completed museum makes it well worth a visit.

After the Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII the abbey, as it was then known, was bought by the Brooke Family and the old buildings turned into a Tudor country house. In the eighteenth Century however, the old house was almost completely demolished and a fine Georgian mansion was built over the top of everything. Then later when this was removed as well leaving just the original Norman under-croft, archaeologists uncovered the foundations of the rest of the priory and have been able since to reconstruct 3D images of how everything would have looked in the Twelfth Century. In the end I spent most of the day there exploring the ruins and the extensive gardens that have been lovingly restored.


The Great Crested Grebe


Immature Great Black Backed Gull


Tufted Duck




I returned to the ships by way of the promenade path along the side of the Manchester Ship Canal, managing as a bonus to take some good photos of birds on the water.

No comments: