(DISCLAIMER: As an overall nice human being, I do not force entry, vandalize, steal, or disclose means of entry. Trespass without forced entry is a civil offence rather than a criminal one, which isn't worth acting on unless one causes damage, steals, has ill intent, etc. I simply photograph and leave everything as I find it. I do not condone breaking and entering, and I do not condone what I do. I'm a danger to myself and a terrible role model. )
People are like nipples. Some of them make a pretty good point!
A lot of people, upon discovering that I have a developmental disorder called Dyspraxia, make the good point that climbing up buildings is perhaps the wrong sport for me. For those of you who don't know, dyspraxia typically unleashes its wrath on my physical co-ordination, balance, dexterity, rhythm, and all that. So when I dance it looks more like I'm having a tonic clonic seizure, and it takes me a year to tie a tie. Dyspraxia also has the added effect of making my train of thought somewhat polyrailed. This isn't an issue for me, but it can be frustrating for others.
In regards to climbing buildings dyspraxia is surprisingly not usually that much of an issue. While someone with perfect balance might feel out of their comfort zone, it doesn't matter to me because even when my feet are flat on the ground, I'm still off balance. So the physical comfort zone just isn't there.
But still, there are a few places that I do struggle with, often the climbs that require some degree of dexterity. The Rat Run, the flag tower and the KFC roof spring to mind instantly. I've been to these places hundreds of times and each time by body feels like it's doing it for the first time. But I've blogged about these places. There's another chunk of rooftop territory that is always a brand new challenge, and that's the School Gardens rooftops.
School Gardens is a little stretch of road that leads from Castle Street to the library, and provides wheelchair access to the library too, since the direct route to the library from Castle Street is up some stairs.
There is no actual school here. The name probably derives from the library, which was a school back in the day. There are apparently underground jail cells, but so far I've not seen any and I don't know why they'd be here. Victorian schools were brutal by todays standards but they weren't that bad!
Upon scaling these buildings, my dyspraxia decided to playfully remind me of its existence and I lost balance for no apparent reason, in spite of standing reasonably still on my perch. But I did not fall! I sure ripped my shoes to shreds on the tile surfing, but otherwise I came out unharmed, the adventure continues and here are the photos!
We start with this shot of the library, with Shrewsburys shrine to our Lord and Master, Charlie D who died for our sins, or something like that. Back when this place was a school, the area that contained the Darwin statue was a playground and the
pointy roofed bit at the end, on the castle side of the librarys tower,
you might notice clashes with rest of the librarys design, and that's because it was the schools chapel. One wonders how Darwin would feel knowing that there's a statue in front of his former school. The people of Shrewsbury are patiently awaiting the second coming of Charles and as such they want to give him a warm welcome by depicting him seated on a throne with his books, in front of the very place he recieved his early education. This was cause for great debate prior to the statues construction. Some people wanted to depict him clutching his chest in the midst of a heart attack, as this was the cause of his death. However it was then pointed out that if we truly want a second coming, then it's probably quite silly to make a holy icon of our messiah suffering the very thing which ended his life. We in Shrewsbury want our saviours to feel welcome, after all!
From a lower vantage point, one can see the library, not in its entirety, what with surrounding houses, but with that chimney out of the way we can see the castle and Castle Carpets in the background.
I mean, sorry for repetition, but I couldn't decide which of these two photos I should put on the blog. One has the castle in it, but fails to catch the entirety of the library, and the other has the whole library but not the castle, so here's both pictures.
Worth mentioning, since people love it, beneath Castle Carpets is some really nifty evidence of underground tunnels beneath Castle Street, possibly having connected to the castle itself at some point. The castle does have some stairs to nowhere. That is, their destination has been blocked off but the stairs remain, and they turn a sharp left underground down a passage that is bricked up, but that's all there is there. And just visible in this picture on the right hand side (click to see it big) is a bench on the side of the street. Look closely at the wall behind it and you'll see a bricked up doorway. This used to be a bomb shelter during World War II.
I'm not 100% happy with these photos, but it's very hard to mount a tripod on slanted tiles. I'm very happy to say that my reader donations have recently been used to get a gorilla-pod. That's a small tripod with bendy legs, and it's already coming in useful. But I climbed School Gardens before I got this, and so I had to lug a full sized tripod up here with me.
Here's a view of the castle gardens, which the air raid shelter goes beneath.
Above is a house that I explored when it was derelict a few years ago. I did blog about it but I only had a mobile phone to take pictures of back then. But still, it's an excellent testament to how far this blog has come, thanks to reader donations.
Here we have St Nics church. It's actually now a cafe, bar and spa, but back in 1880 was a presbyterian chapel with a seating capacity of 500 people. Although I have yet to actually visit. The photo is a little fat around the middle because it's actually a panorama. I couldn't get the entire building in one shot!
I love this tower, although I've never been able to climb up to it. I didn't initially know anything about this building, but it has this interesting plaque on the wall, above ground level and obscured by a ledge. I could conceivably go and sit next to it and probably will do if I can establish that those aren't flats.
The plagues crest depicts two hands holding in a heart, and reads "This building stands on the site of Thornes Hall, a mansion erected about 1620 by Francis Thornes, an ardent supporter of the king during the civil war. Members of the Thornes family sat in parliament and were bailiffs or mayors of Shrewsbury many times between 1357 and 1675."
Finally, we have a couple shots up and down Castle Street, pointing up towards the town centre, and Barclays, Waitrose and the more commonly accessed rooftops.
And that's School Gardens. There isn't much but it's a very awesome little climb, a very real physical challenge and it does provide a nice view.
I might return up there now that I have a gorilla-pod to see if I can get better images.
But on the subject of the gorilla-pod, thank you to everyone who did donate. I do have a backlog of blogs but gorilla-pod adventures are on the horizon, and if anyone can spare pennies, please click the donate button on the top corner. All donations will go to equipment for the blog. If all my readers donated like 50p, I'd end up with several hundred pounds, which is an amazing thing to be able to say, but obviously, no pressure. Just follow me on Twitter and Instagram, and compliment people. (Bonus points if you get a hug.)
Thanks for reading. Stay awesome!