Ben Johnson, John Donne, Michael Drayton, William Shakespeare.
These were the greatest poets in England if not the world in their day. They are all linked with Polesworth along with Sir Henry Goodere and Sir Aston Cockayne at Polesworth Abbey and Pooley Hall respectively – and it is this heritage that the poetry trail builds upon.
Polesworth is a settlement on a turn of the River Anker, where the first Saxon abbey was built. The Abbey which stood where the church stands now, was the main focus of the village which developed around it. The Abbey founded by St Editha became a house of Benedictine nuns and remained a place of sanctuary and contemplation until Henry VIII and the reformation of the monasteries.
It was then that the lands passed to the Goodere family who were great supporters and patrons of the arts. It was then that the poets came thus creating a legacy and tradition in poetry.
Later coal mining came to the village bringing new traditions and focus to the community.
The poets trail builds a link between the traditions, starting at the Abbey with its monastic themes, passing through the village exploring historic events, sounds and the development of the community before heading along the canal to discover the thoughts of miners and the on-going renegotiation of borders between the post industrial and natural landscapes of Pooley Country Park.