As our route brought us towards the Trent and Mersey Canal, we were thrilled to see a Heron in flight. It briefly perched in a tree, before setting off on its way again, a treat to see.
We followed the canal under a handful of bridges meeting cyclists and dog-walkers along the way, until we reached Swarkestone lock. There we met a couple of narrowboaters about to enter the lock, and offered a helping hand. This was gratefully accepted and we helped with opening and closing the gates before waving them off on their journey.
If, you turn right out of Mercia Marina, you'll be on your way to Fradley Junction. From here you can head up the T&M through Great Haywood to Stone, the Staffordshire market town 7 miles south of Stoke on Trent.
The two Princes were converted to Christianity by St. Chad. One version of the story tells of how one day, while out hunting, they followed a white hart which led them to the saint, who was living as a hermit. St. Chad preached to the Princes and later baptised them. One of the King’s noblemen, Werebode, informed the King that two Princes had defied him and become Christians. The King was so angry at their defiance that he swore he would kill his sons. The two Princes managed to flee but the King rode after them and killed Rufin at Burston and Wulfad at Stone.
The Queen had their bodies buried together on the spot where Wulfad had fallen, and in accordance with Saxon custom, a large cairn of stones was placed over the grave. Wulfhere was overcome with remorse and eventually visited St. Chad to seek absolution, and in about 670 AD allowed the Queen to build a small priory on the site of the Princes grave. A small village began to grow around the priory, and was known as Stanes (Anglo-Saxon for stones) after the cairn of stones. Over the centuries the name became Stone.
Rufin and Wulfad are depicted in two of the windows in St Michael and St Wulfad’s Church. There is an altar dedicated to the Stone Martyrs in the Roman Catholic Church.
In fact we will have to return in Silver Ann 2 for a longer stay as there is so much to do in Stone: a river walk, Crown Meadow Nature Reserve, a comedy club, a spa, gin bar, restaurant with jazz nights and you are spoilt for choice on places to eat, from traditional British 'Farm to Table' restaurant to Thai, Italian, or American cuisine.
If you want to read about other places to visit or eat you can read more here
We are participating in English Tourism Week which is running from 30th March 2019 - 7th April 2019.
We will give a 10% discount off any holiday booked with us during English Tourism Week 2019. Offer ends midnight 7th April 2019.
#EnglishTourismWeek19 #VisitEngland #VisitBritain
We are Dan & Mary-Ann Griffin. Husband and Wife. Parents to Isabelle & James.