Monday, 21 July 2014

Adder Town

We left the Ashby Canal on Thursday and turned right for Atherstone to sit out the thunder storms.
The locals claim that the town's name is derived from Adderstown.  The football team are called The Adders: images and references to the adder are found all over the town. However, I have been unable to find any historical evidence to support this premise. Furthermore, the name Adder comes from the German natter and was assimilated into Anglo Saxon as Nadder losing the initial letter N some time later. If we accept the local claim, one might suppose that the town is more likely to be  called Natherstone.
There has been a settlement in this area at least as far back as the Roman conquest when Mancetter, which is now almost absorbed into Atherstone, was established on Watling Street (A5) At the time of the Doomsday book the lands around here belonged to Couness Godiva - she of naked equestrian legend. Another legendary woman came to her end here too - Boadicea was finally defeated at the battle of Watling Street.  Although her Iceni  warriors were decimate d (80,000 perished whilst the Roamns lost 400 men) the queen herself was not slain. She committed suicide later by taking poison.
Despite the recent discovery of Richard III's silver boar pin near Stoke Golding and the subsequent revision of the location of the battle of Bosworth Field, many historians believe that the last significant battle of the War of the Roses took place nearer to Atherstone.  To support this view they point out that reparations were made after the battle to Atherstone, not Market Bosworth.
When we arrived  at the top lock we found that since our previous visit about four years ago the coal wharf has ceased trading

As has the Barge & Bridge pub near the canal
The town forms a ribbon of development along the A5 exhibiting a mixture of architectural styles.

The Old White Swan with its jettied upper floor appears to be the only building of this period and possibly the oldest in the town. The adjacent jettied building might have been part of the same structure as it shares a similar foundation line but at some time has been rendered  in concrete.

Other buildings we found interesting included The New White Swan in the cobbled Church Street which links the Market Square to Watling Street.
Note for boaters- the launderette is opposite the pub

The Hat & Beaver reflects a time when the major industry in Atherstone was felt hat making and beaver skins were used in that industry.  This all but died in the 1970s with the last factory closing in the 1990s.

Past affluence of the town is indicated by the size of the Conservative Club

No self-respecting town should be without its Albert for more modern needs now.

So what little treasure did we find?

This is Trinity LEP Church  which is quite pleasing on the eye.
As we were photographing it ,the assistant organist, a charming and elegant lady, arrived to rehearse for the Sunday service.. She offered to show us the hidden glasswork.

I think elegant and charming are equally appropriate   


  1. Would that not be "turned Right to Atherstone"?

    1. You were quick off the mark! It is reassuring to know that there reqally are people out there reading my blog.
      I have corrected the inexplicable error. I can't even blame it on the spill chucker.


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