A View from the Bridge

A quick trip to the shop turned into a two hour walk, a good proportion of which was spend in the Stowe area of Lichfield. I found the plaque marking the approximate site of the old gate or barr into the city and then I remembered that the Cruck House was nearby.

Cruck House


Site of Stowe Gate, end of George Lane/Lombard St

Stowe Gate plaque

 I wanted to get over to Stowe Pool, to see if there were any water lilies this year and crossed over using the bridge,  something I hadn’t ever done in 8 years of living in Lichfield!

View from the bridge


The rooftops of Stowe




There were water lilies in the pool although possibly not as many as there were the same time last year. Whether this is because the sun has gone awol this year, I don’t know. I didn’t spot any nests amongst them either. This might be as they’ve chosen to move onto the specially built wildfowl islands built in the centre of the pool instead!

June 2012


June 2011


Back to the ward banners in the Guildhall and I think that Stowe’s is the one showing St Chad’s cross, relating to the fact that St Chad’s Church and St Chad’s well are found inside this ward.

Although the Stowe St gate is long gone,  I do get a sense of being outside the city here. It’s a wonderful place to explore and enjoy. One of the definitions I’ve seen for the placename Stowe is ‘meeting place’, and from my lookout point up on the bridge I saw children playing, people out for a walk and couples sat talking. If you ever get the chance to join them, you should.

6 thoughts on “A View from the Bridge

  1. Re Cruck House. It was saved when Stowe Street was redeveloped in the late fifties.
    It and a number of buildings with wood frames were found and now only a few remain, two side by side but one with plastered front, near to Cruck House.
    Cruck house was found hidden under Victorian brickwork, and stood at No73 in the street. It was restored and reopened in the sixties as a meeting place and day centre.
    Other wooden buildings in the City have survived such as Tudor cafe, vicars Close and the Thrales resturant off Tamworth Street….others ..JUST. We lost the Crown (at the end of the shopping area) which whilst being ‘rebult’ collapsed unexpectantly one dark night…The premises now occupied by cafe Nero was only saved by a chap walking his dog and hearing the collapse.
    A careful look around Lichfield will reveal many others such as the 5 gables (opposite cafe Nero) now held up with the best 1960’s concreate, and traces in a number of side entrances…one I think leading from the car park into the market square….now theres another post in all of this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I also think the present Burton shop ( fiormer Co Op) also has a wood structure.

    Dad (John SHAW of the Pubs and Street book fame) was working on a project about stowe street just before he passed away last year. this consisted of maps,photos and a drawn reconstruction of the street, an old route into the City from the hamlet of Stowe which was centred around the Stowe brook. This project is now in the hands of friends via local historical group to finish it off…which reminds me I must find out how it is going


    • Hi David
      I really like the idea that the exteriors of buildings don’t necessarily reveal their true age. As you say, looking through the listed building details etc, there are often entries about older buildings with more recent facades. You are absolutely right – there is another post in all this. Or two!
      I’m really pleased that your Dad’s work on Stowe St is being continued it sounds like its going to be really interesting, I really like the Stowe area 🙂

      As ever, thanks for all of the information.


  2. Over on Brownhills Bob’s blog under the article Supporting services…


    I was trying to discover the naming of the fields near Aldershawe, and thought the following may be of interest…

    “Mr Day and Mr Edgeworth took the house now inhabited by Mr Morseby, in the little green valley of Stowe, that slopes from the east end of the Cathedral, and forms, with its old grey tower on the banks of it’s lake, so lovely a landscape.”

    (Can’t remember source)


    History and Antiquities of Lichfield, Rev Thos Harwood (1806)

    “The natural productions within this county are few: the serapius latifolia, broad-leaved helleborine grows in Pipe-marsh; the Brionia dioiea, wild vine is found in Sandy-way-lane; near Dr Darwin’s Bath the campanula patula, the field-bellflower grows; and near Stow-pool the salix fragilis, crack-willow flourishes.”


    • Thanks Pedro. Funnily enough I am waiting delivery of a postcard of St Chad’s which also has Stowe House on. I was reading my fil’s latest edition of History Today & there was a review of a new book about Mr Day and his vile experiment to create a perfect wife.


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