Following the Friends’ AGM at the Priory Hall, we split into two groups. The first was led by local historian Sue O’Dowd who took us on a walking tour of Much Wenlock’s nine former farms and shared her extensive knowledge of some of the town’s other fine buildings. Sue used the 1940s National Farm Survey to reveal the extent of farming and livestock husbandry being practised there during the War, and showed us photographs of some of the farm buildings, many now repurposed. We were also privileged to have access to the Guildhall by the kind permission of custodian Richard who gave us an overview of its history.
Another group of Friends was treated to a fascinating tour of the private house Wenlock Abbey gaining an insight into its restoration and the artistic life of Louis de Wet (1930-2018), whose vision for the house is evident in every room. The tour was an amazing mixture of medieval art and architecture, and de Wet’s own artwork including his studio.
Gabrielle and Vivien provided a huge amount of information during the tour, combining both historical and personal insights. The tour concluded with excellent tea and cake, and we all left with much to digest and process.