Pictures of Tong
Fortunately, this attractive village was saved from the ravages of traffic by the building of the A41 By-Pass which was built around 1966. Tong Castle, once stood proudly in grounds laid out by Capability Brown in 1765, is now no more, it was demolished in 1954 and the M54 runs through the site of the ruins.
The village is spacious, it is village where old and new properties blend harmoniously together. Interspersed in quiet lanes are attractive black and white half timbered cottages, bordered with flower clad verges and with luxurient foilage creeping above ancient doorways. It was this village that was chosen by Charles Dickens for the last chapters of his book, The Old Curiosity Shop. The grave of the fictional character Little Nell is said to be in the parish churchyard. Dickens is said to have visited Tong and this, together with novel drawers many visitors to the village, which include those from Europe and America.
Dominating the village for centuries is the extremely beautiful parish church dedicated to St.Bartholemew. It is a magnificent Red Sanstone, Perpendicular building dating from 1410, when the earlier church was rebuilt. The square central tower has a pinnacled and battlemented upper stage, and a short spire. It is all medieval splendour, with an interior that is full of superb tombs and monuments, many of which are dedicated to noble families. There are monuments to the founders of the church, Sir Fulke and Lady Elizabeth de Pembruge and to the Vernons of Haddon Hall. So magnificent are the effigies and tombs in the church that in the year 1868, whilst on a visit to Tong, Elihu Burritt, American consul to Birmingham, referred to it as a ' little Westminster '. Other features include a Perpendicular octagonal font, rare and interesting woodwork, especially screens, misericords and a jacobean pulpit. There is much gilding to the fan vaulted ceiling in the Golden Chapel. This is a fascinating church that is deserving of a visit.
R.A.F. Cosford Museum is closeby, here you can see aircraft and other relics from World War Two. Other attractions to visit are the nearby Boscabel House and Weston Park.
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