Monday, February 17, 2014

A day at Polesworth

The weather wasn’t as poor as predicted, as it turned out, but we still stayed put. It gave me a chance to have a good walk with Meg, finish off my little project, and have a short shopping trip up into the village with a detour to look at the old bits.

We walked back to the visitor centre on the site of Pooley Hall Colliery, via a climb up the spoil heap.

This tall obelisk has sprouted on the top since we were here lastSAM_8278
I don’t know what it represents, it doesn’t seem to have any relevance to coal mining, brick and pottery production or quarrying, the main industries in the area.


It appears to be made out of fibreglass, or something similar. It’s definitely hollow.

Looking north, a Virgin train in the middle distanceSAM_8282

And south-east to Polesworth, the M42 below and the Coventry Canal beyondSAM_8281
Three major transport routes visible with just a turn of the head.

We crossed the canal, ducked under the motorway and arrived at the visitor centre, closed today unfortunately.

The visitor centre

Head gear pulley wheel, this one from South Yorkshire though.SAM_8285

We returned along the canal, passing Pooley Hall, built in 1509 by Sir Thomas Cockayne, a knight during the reign of Henry VII.

Brick built and battlemented Tudor Pooley Hall.

It’s difficult to get a clear shot across the canal, and, as it’s still private, it’s unlikely you’d be welcome walking up the drive camera in hand.

After a brew I got stuck in and finished the saloon/galley bulkhead. I’m quite pleased with the result.

Shelves both sides…
I’ve still to get a couple of LED lights to install in the recess in the arched section.

This afternoon I had a walk around the village to have a closer look at the church and area around it.

The Abbey ChurchSAM_8292

The Gatehouse, dating from 1343 with several extensions and modifications since.
There’s a lot of history around here, it’s believed that Boudicca may be buried here, following her army’s defeat at Mancetter. And there are those who think that there’s a Shakespeare link, could he have been educated here at the school endowed in 1583 by the Goodere family?
This latest doesn’t really fit the Bard’s timeline. He married (a shotgun wedding!) Anne Hathaway the year before the school started up, and was busy in his father’s businesses. He’d been around Stratford enough to father twins, born in 1585. Shortly after this he went to London to seek his fortune.

Tomorrow we’re heading off towards Atherstone, probably doing the first few of the 11 locks before stopping. The rest we’ll do on Wednesday.

Locks 0, miles 0.


Mike Edwards said...

Hi Geoff,
The obelisk represents coal. the profile is a leaf and the idea is that many are stacked on one another and when compressed become coal. The gold colour represents the value of coal.

NB Muleless said...

New bulkhead and shelves look fab! Are you a carpenter by trade!
Gary and Della
NB Muleless

Carol said...

The new bulkhead looks fantastic! I see that Margaret now has her metronome on show - very nice indeed. Love to you both, see you hopefully in April.

Anonymous said...

Gold Leaf – Buried Sunlight
Artists Mathew and Louise Scullion

The Golden Tower of Leaves, Pooley Country Park, Polesworth Warwickshire
The 40ft tower was erected in 2011. It is a stack of aluminium strips formed in the shape of a birch leaf. The outer surface is covered in gold leaf.
The colonisation of the mound of colliery waste by birch trees provides a symbol of regeneration, represented by the motif of the birch leaf. The coal was formed over millions of years from fossilised trees (although not birch).
The gold finish is a reference to the wealth that was created by and for those who exploited the coal. The gold tower, which forms the focal point of the park, is a marriage of sculptural form and rich symbolism.
It was paid for through a Government programme designed to 'breathe new life into coalfield communities' at a cool £100,000

In the daytime it looks quite plain but in the eveniing it is really beautiful and gives off a rich golden glow which can be seen from many points around the village.
One of my favourite things is driving towards Polesworth along the M42, glancing over you can see the golden tower above the trees. Looks beautiful and I know in 5 minutes I will be home.

Such a shame no-one gets to see the top but the link below is a birds eye view of the monument, well worth a look and probably the only way any of us will see what it actually is.