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.