Friday, March 25, 2005

Save the Wales

My in-laws and I went to Wolverhampton and over into Welshpool (Wales) yesterday afternoon. We went to Wolverhampton to get a copy of an old family marriage certificate, which the family actually already has. When we discovered that we could not get a photocopy, just a handwritten one, we thought our trip was in vain UNTIL we saw St. Peter's Church on the oldest piece of land in Wolverhampton (since the formation of the community). The church was built in 1425 on land given by the patroness Wulfruna (picture of her statue here) in 994 A.D. The Wolver part of Wolverhampton comes from her name. One of the wonderful things about being here is that one can stumble upon history like this. Almost every region has a church/building/monument/story like this that goes back hundreds, nay thousands, of years.

Welshpool was not disappointing either. The drive into Wales was georgeous. The weather was pleasant, and the landscape picturesque -- picture the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee x 2 with lush green pastures and neat fence rows (and no briars, weeds, or kudzu!). Because of the slow growth of greenery there, pastures look almost manicured. We stopped at the visitor center in Welshpool and found bookd for sale listing burials and baptisms. While we didn't find reference to Dr. Robinson's ancestor, Mary Waring (Warren when she married in England), we did find several Warings listed who were almostly certainly her kin. We bought one of the books and then drove to nearby Powis Castle, which we viewed only from the outside but were impressed by. The farm there has sheep (ewe's had numbers spray painted on their sides and their lambs had the corresponding numbers painted on them, too!) and tiny native deer.

The entire trip took about 7 hours, which was 30 minutes longer than it should have taken except for the fact that I got us lost a couple of times... even did a good re-enactiment of the famous European vacation scene... "Look kids, big ben, parliament."


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