Clunton and Clunbury,
Clungunford and Clun,
Are the quietest places
Under the sun.

 (A. E. Houseman)

Of those four places, mentioned by A E Houseman in his poem, we visited Clun.

On our outward journey we didn't actually stop in Clun but drove straight through to Clunton where we turned north past Radnor Wood and Steppleknoll to Sunnyhill. We parked our car in a free car park provided by the Forestry Commission which was very handy otherwise we couldn't have stopped because the lane was so narrow (one car's width). We set off up the track where Sunnyhill didn't live up to its name – it started raining. smilies

Luckily the rain didn't last long and we started to see some sunny spells although the wind was still cold. After a short walk we arrived at Bury Ditches.

Bury Ditches is a British Iron Age Hill Fort dating from about 500 BC and one of the best preserved in the country. In the picture above Amanda is standing on one of the banks with a ditch to the left and another bank to the left of the ditch with another figure on the top. The main area enclosed by the defences is to the right.

You may notice that the views from up here are pretty spectacular.


This is how the fortified village would have looked when it was in use.

Having had a thorough look round we went back to the car and headed back to Clun.

Clun is a small, attractive market town in Shropshire just over 7 miles from us. This photograph shows the Market Hall and the square beyond.

The 2011 census recorded a population of 680 and research by the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England suggests that Clun is one of the most tranquil locations in England.

We arrived at lunchtime and liked the look of the Maltings Cafe next to the Sun Inn. So, based on that, we went in. It was a good decision. They had an amazing range of food for a small cafe and the food turned out to be excellent. We would recommend it without hesitation.

After lunch it was back to the hard work of looking round. We wandered along one of the narrow back streets looking at the old buildings and liked what we saw.

At the end of this lane we stumbled on the Hospital of the Holy and Undivided Trinity which is a well preserved example of courtyard-plan almshouses. This was founded in 1607 and in this case the term 'Hospital' is another name for 'Almshouses'. The pretty gardens and the chapel are open to the public but the inner courtyard is not. We had a look at the garden and the chapel.


A rather attractive and peaceful garden. Clun is not exactly a bustling metropolis and this is right on the outer edge of this quiet town so it was, well, very quiet.

Back towards the 'town centre' we started looking for the castle ruins. We knew Clun had a castle so all we had to do was find it. I remembered that it overlooked the river and we knew where the river was so we headed in that direction. We spotted some pinnacles of wall ruins and soon found the castle.

It has to be said that there isn't much of it left; the largest part being the remains of the Keep but up close that Keep looks fairly impressive. The whole thing was built on a grassy knoll high above the town and the surrounding countryside.


You can just see a small part of the river way below at the bottom of the top picture. All we have to do now is find our way down to that river and cross it. We walked across the top of the motte and were rewarded with this view.

That bridge is our way across so we scrambled down and it was pretty steep in places. There is the main road bridge, of course, but that route would have been slightly more circuitous. You can probably see the car park, which is free, and entry to the castle is free. However, having got down there, we walked towards the main bridge because I wanted to photograph it. It is an old packhorse bridge built in 1450.


It's not very wide as you can probably see (it was built for packhorses) but it is one vehicle's width so traffic can, and does, use it.

Our final destination was the church. The oldest part of the building appears to be the tower which was built around 1200 AD. The Nave is 12th century; the Chancel is actually 19th century.



That is a pretty impressive 14th century roof.

We were both feeling a bit tired by now so decided to call it a day and headed for home. The weather could have been better, but wasn't, and in any case it's only 7 miles from home so we can, and probably will, come back to Clun any time we like. smilies