After we’d checked out of our apartment in Arden House, Church Stretton, we drove the 10 miles or so to Shrewsbury to take a look round the historic city. It’s only a few miles from the Welsh Border and so was a major outpost of the Marcher Lords in Medieval times. In the 14th and 15th centuries it was an important commercial centre, mainly due to the wool trade. The city was largely bypassed by the Industrial Revolution due to its isolation from other large manufacturing towns and ports, which probably accounts for the preservation of it’s Medieval centre.
We parked up in the Park and Ride. The centre of the city is still based on the old Medieval street plan and constrained within a loop of the River Severn (almost creating an island), so driving in the city centre is best left to the locals. It’s free to park and the bus fare was very reasonable – a lot cheaper than a city centre car park.
The bus dropped us off in High Street, close to the old Market Hall
Today the old building has been converted into a cinema showing Art films.
The town centre is packed with timber-framed black & white buildings, steep narrow streets and alleyways. There are over 660 listed buildings. I probably went rather OTT taking photographs of them!
There are old buildings from other periods too, particularly Georgian
After a coffee and a bite to eat, we wandered over to the old castle. It’s a red sandstone building constructed during the reign of Edward I (1239 – 1307). It was built on the site of a Norman timber Castle was built for Roger de Montgomery in about 1070.
Admission to the Castle grounds are free, with a charge to enter the Castle and which houses the Shropshire Regimental Museum.
Directly across the road from the castle, this building is the city library.
The building was the home of Shrewsbury Public School from 1550 until 1882 when it was handed over to the Council and converted to a public “Free Library and Museum”, opening in 1885. Charles Darwin was born and educated in Shrewsbury, and attended Shrewsbury School when it was located in the building. There’s a statue of him right in front of it.
Near to Darwin, there’s a bust of the Shropshire author, Mary Webb.
Shrewsbury Abbey stands across the English Bridge (one of the two bridges that cross the Severn in the city centre).
The Abbey was founded as a Benedictine Monastery by Roger de Montgomery in 1083 on the site of an existing Saxon church. After the dissolution of the monasteries in the reign of King Henry VIII the part of the Abbey building which survived continued as a Parish Church – as it is to this day. (Abbey web site)
It’s also the “home” of the fictional detective monk, Cadfael.
We arrived just as one of their regular midday concerts was starting.
We decided to sit and enjoy the music before exploring the building.
Afterwards the sun was beginning to shine so we crossed the English Bridge and took a stroll along the river.
On reaching the Welsh Bridge (with the Theatre Severn Arts complex on the other side of the river) we headed back towards the city centre
We grabbed a coffee and then wandered round the streets and alley ways ending up at the ruins of Old St Chads church.
Originally, there was a large medieval church on the site. However
by the end of the 18th century the large but ageing building …….. had fallen into disrepair, and cracks had appeared in the tower. The great engineer, Thomas Telford, advised that it was in danger of collapse, and he was right. One morning in 1788 the parishioners awoke to find they had a pile of rubble but no church. (St Chad’s website)
Today, all that’s left is a side chapel surrounded by a disused churchyard
By now time was getting on, so it was time to catch the bus back to the Park and Ride and set off on the journey back home after a good break in Shropshire.