Shrewsbury Town Centre

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This walk visits the beautiful medieval market town of Shrewsbury. We will pass many of the 660 listed buildings in the town. Obviously these walk notes could not possibly provide comprehensive historical notes on all the buildings, so I will try to point out the key buildings and paint a picture of Shrewsbury life through the ages.

I have shown below several websites for further information. My tip for the day would be always to look up when visiting Shrewsbury, as the shopping areas have mostly had modern frontages put on the buildings at ground level, but the upper storeys are mostly left alone.

During the walk we will visit the place where Charles Darwin went to school and church and we will see the place where a Prince of Wales was brutally put to death. We will call at the home of (the wholly fictitious) Brother Caedfael, which is in fact the original home of the House of Commons, before walking around the town's ancient walls to a fantastic park and gardens alongside the River Severn.

Later there is an old market hall with a dragon that would make a trooper blush. We then retrace our steps a little to visit the castle that has close to 1,000 years of history, but has been involved in conflict more recently than you might think. This walk could be done in an hour or so, but if you want to visit some of the museums, our unique shops and take a leisurely lunch, I would allow all day.

Shrewsbury as a town started after the Romans abandoned the city of Viroconium (now called Wroxeter), approximately eight miles away, around 410AD. The current site was chosen because of the natural loop in the river that made it an easier site to defend. By 1066 there was a town of 250 houses and three churches and in 1074 Roger de Montgomery started to build the castle to defend the only land route into the town. By 1094 he had also built the abbey.

In 1282 the first-ever House of Commons met at the abbey and there they decided to put David, Prince of Wales to death; and he was duly hung, drawn and quartered at the top of Pride Hill (a site we will visit). In 1403 the Battle of Shrewsbury took place a few miles north of the town (the site is worth a visit if you can; grid ref SJ 508168) when Harry Hotspur and Henry IV did battle and 1,600 men lost their lives.

In 1809 Charles Darwin was born in the town. He went to school in the building now used as the public library. During Victorian times the railway came and gave the town a fine railway station, which is the start point of our walk.

This walk was reviewed and updated by the writer in March 2012.

England - Central England - Shropshire - Town or city

Features

Ancient Monument, Cafe, Castle, Church, Food Shop, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Good for Wheelchairs, Great Views, Museum, National Trust, Play Area, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River, Tea Shop, Toilets
28/08/2006 - Nick Freeman

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