Words on The West Midlands

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Many writers have left us words that conjure up images of the West Midlands in all its variety at different points in time. This selection runs from the sixteenth century to the twentieth, from Coventry to Tong, Shrewsbury to Birmingham.

John Leland (c 1503 - 1552), poet and antiquary

Although the dates are not precise, Leland spent about six years travelling around England in the middle of the sixteenth century.

‘The magnificent and stronge castle of Warwike lieing at the west-southe-west end of the towne, hard by the right ripe of Avon, is sett apon an highe rokke of stone, and hathe 3. goodly towers in the este fronte of it… The doungeon now in ruine stondithe in the west-northwest parte of the castle. There is also a towre west-northe-weste, and thrugh it a posterne-gate of yron.’

Lucy Toulmin Smith (ed), The Itinerary of John Leland in or about the Years 1535-1543, Parts IV and V (George Bell and Sons, 1908).

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