We went back into deep hibernation for the winter as local COVID cases skyrocketed. I like a good hibernate, but it was good to finally see the graph come down, the weather improve and start to get out and about again. One of our first expeditions was to the land of the Mortimers and Wigmore in particular, (BTW do look up the very active Mortimer History Society (https://mortimerhistorysociety.org.uk) who are in fine form at the moment: we’ve joined!)

The church sadly was closed and looked rather down on its luck, struggling to find local volunteers to keep it open or join the committee. But – like so many other of the local Mortimer and other strongholds – there it stands a stone’s throw or two from the family’s main seat at Wigmore Castle. Together they project power and presence, and even a cursory knowledge of history will tell you that the Mortimers did power in spades.

But all that of that is long past and the overwhelming feel now is of a Sleeping Beauty. The castle is cared for by English Heritage but not owned by them, and so it shows an interesting admixture of the usual well-made gates and signs with a deliberate abandonment to nature (allegedly buying time to discern what sort of conservation would be best). The gradient of ascent is still impressive though, and the stonework massive and forbidding. I wonder what turn of history might see it reoccuped as the caput of some new strong man, cocking a snook at the powers that be?

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