Friday, 10 June 2011

Black and whites

On Tuesday, I went to visit a good friend who now lives about 50 miles away from Derby, in Nantwich.

The market town of Nantwich, in the Borough of Cheshire East, dates back to Roman times and is recorded in the Domesday book as having eight salt houses, an indication of its primary function at that time. The name wich or wych denotes a brine spring or well and the salt produced here was used as a preservative and as a condiment. In medieval times, Nantwich was the most important salt town in the country and enjoyed much prosperity as a result.

In 1583, a fire destroyed much of the eastern side of the town. Queen Elizabeth I took a personal interest in the rebuilding, even contributing to it financially. As a result, many of the buildings are of the 'black and white' Elizabethan style and Nantwich is lucky that a number of these have survived to the current times. In fact, Nantwich has the second largest number of historic buildings in the country; the first largest being in its county town of Chester.

I snapped just a selection of the black and whites which I spotted.

The plaque pays homage to the part played by Queen Elizabeth I in the rebuilding.

The building below houses a bookshop and cafe where Lisa and I enjoyed a delicious lunch of loaded skins with salad and home made coleslaw!

This building is the Cheshire Cat Hotel, named (of course) after the character from Alice in Wonderland; not an unusual name for a pub in Cheshire!

It really is quite incongruous how the black and whites are sandwiched between buildings of so many other styles; often being towered over by their newer neighbours. Nevertheless, it works and the town centre has a charm which is lovely to experience.


  1. So pretty - they look toy-like.

  2. It is many years since I went to Nantwich so I enjoyed this nice little tour round.

  3. I love the history in which your wonderful country is so steeped. Touring with you is always so much fun...thank you! I have been away from blogging for a while, hence my silence...but I'm back now. It will take me a few days to catch up with everyone. I hope you're well and that you enjoyed your break with your sons :)

  4. I love Nantwich - we go there a few times a year as it isn't very far from us. We sometimes have coffee at the bookshop or in the old grocery shop that has a 1920s one set up inside the coffee shop. We also once had coffee in the inner courtyard of the Cheshire Cat on Welsh Row after we'd walked all the way up to the canal and back! Your photos are wonderful:)

  5. I love these timber framed houses, they have so much character. I should run the "Cat Hotel" as my nickname is Madam Chat, which means Mrs. Cat, lol !

  6. Beautiful sequence of photos of these amazing homes in B & W, straight out of a story.

  7. Great photos again, even sunny ones! Welcome back! Glad you have a handle now on the commenting problem. We are intrigued about your lunch.... What were the skins loaded with? Beer?

  8. Wonderful images - love the lines of the buildings and the way they look tucked into place with newer brick structures on each side...and to think of all the centuries that have passed and the history they have been a part of.