A River Runs Through it

(c) Bewdley Museum; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Dick Brook by the artist Alistair Bell. Painted in 1973 – currently in the Bewdley Museum

Dick Brook
Dick Brook is famous as Andrew Yarranton built the first canalised brook in this country, at the place Dick Brook.  There is no apparent reason for it being called this, but it could have been named Glasshampton,  but then changed to Dick Brook. The brook is the boundary of Astley and  Shrawley.

 Andrew Yarranton was born in the parish of Astley between 1616 and  1619. He built Dick Brook around 1650-55.  It was based in between Astley and the River Severn and two roads  crossed the brook, but maps show only one of the roads had a bridge.

Joan’s Hole is at the source and formation of Dick Brook.

A pictureque part of the English countryside.

PATXARAN The Basque Liquor




“Patxaran”, a very popular liqueur in the Basque provinces of both Spain and France  is made with sloe berries. The only difference is that instead of using gin as a base, they use anisette liqueur. It is served cold or at room temperature, as an “aperitivo”, cold and with ice cubes or in a liqueur glass after coffee. A very interesting variation. –   The recipes date back to the late 17th Century and include the addition of essence of almond and vanilla.  Yum!

Make your own Damson Gin

Fancy having a go yourself?  This great video gives you a step by step guide to making your own damson gin.

Of course our old secret recipe at Joan’s Hole is a little bit more involved and our special ageing process makes our damson gin incredibly smooth.  Why not try for yourself and then compare

Things you didn’t know about Damsons

Old Joan's Hole Gin

Some Interesting Facts about Damsons:

  • The name damson originates from the original name Damacus plum.
  • Damsons originated in Asia Minor and were brought to England by the Romans.
  • Damson wine was hugely popular in the 19th Century.
  • Damsons can and are also steeped in still cider in parts of the country.
  • Damsons are often used for jam on account of their slightly tart flavour.
  • Damsons can also be steeped in vodka, brandy and whiskey….At Joan’s hole we use a traditional recipe using London Dry Gin.

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