Shropshire

Shropshire (/ˈʃrɒpʃər, -ʃɪər/; alternatively Salop[3]; abbreviated, in print only, Shrops; demonym Salopian /səˈloʊpiən/ sə-LOH-pee-ən, Welsh: Swydd Amwythig)[4] is a county in the West Midlands of England, bordering Wales to the west, Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, and Worcestershire and Herefordshire to the south. Shropshire Council was created in 2009, a unitary authority taking over from the previous county council and five district councils. The borough of Telford and Wrekin has been a separate unitary authority since 1998 but continues to be included in the ceremonial county.

The county's population and economy is centred on five towns: the county town of Shrewsbury, which is culturally and historically important and close to the centre of the county;[5] Telford, a new town in the east which was constructed around a number of older towns, most notably Wellington, Dawley and Madeley, which is today the most populous;[6] and Oswestry in the northwest, Bridgnorth just to the south of Telford, and Ludlow in the south. The county has many market towns, including Whitchurch in the north, Newport northeast of Telford and Market Drayton in the northeast of the county.

The Ironbridge Gorge area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale and a part of Madeley.[7] There are other historic industrial sites in the county, such as at Shrewsbury, Broseley, Snailbeach and Highley, as well as the Shropshire Union Canal.[8]

The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers about a quarter of the county, mainly in the south.[9] Shropshire is one of England's most rural and sparsely populated counties, with a population density of 136/km2 (350/sq mi). The Wrekin is one of the most famous natural landmarks in the county,[10] though the highest hills are the Clee Hills,[11] Stiperstones[12] and the Long Mynd.[13] Wenlock Edge is another significant geographical and geological landmark.[14] In the low-lying northwest of the county overlapping the border with Wales is the Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve,[15] one of the most important and best preserved bogs in Britain. The River Severn, Great Britain's longest river, runs through the county, exiting into Worcestershire via the Severn Valley. Shropshire is landlocked and with an area of 3,487 square kilometres (1,346 sq mi) is England's largest inland county.[16]

The county flower is the round-leaved sundew.[17]

Shropshire
County
Flag of Shropshire
Flag
Motto: "Floreat Salopia"
("May Shropshire flourish")
Shropshire within England

Coordinates: 52°37′N 2°43′W / 52.617°N 2.717°WCoordinates: 52°37′N 2°43′W / 52.617°N 2.717°W
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionWest Midlands
EstablishedAncient
Ceremonial county
Lord LieutenantAlgernon Eustace Heber-Percy
High SheriffDr Jeremy Dixey of Westbury, Shrewsbury [1] (2019/20)
Area3,487 km2 (1,346 sq mi)
 • Ranked13th of 48
Population (mid-2017 est.)493,200
 • Ranked42nd of 48
Density141/km2 (370/sq mi)
EthnicityFigures for Shropshire UA:[2]
93.8% White, British
1.9% White, other
1.5% S. Asian
0.9% Mixed
0.6% White, Irish
0.6% Black
Unitary authority
CouncilShropshire Council
ExecutiveConservative
Admin HQShrewsbury
Area3,197 km2 (1,234 sq mi)
 • Ranked4th of 326
Population317,500
 • Ranked35th of 326
Density99/km2 (260/sq mi)
ISO 3166-2GB-SHR
ONS code00GG
GSS codeE06000051
NUTSUKG22
Websitewww.shropshire.gov.uk
New Shropshire Ceremonial Numbered

Districts of Shropshire
Unitary
Districts
  1. Shropshire
  2. Telford and Wrekin
Members of ParliamentList of MPs
PoliceWest Mercia Police
Time zoneGreenwich Mean Time (UTC)
 • Summer (DST)British Summer Time (UTC+1)

History

Offa's Dyke near Clun
Section of Offa's Dyke near the Shropshire town of Clun, constructed after the Saxon annexation of the area in the 8th century AD.

The area was once part of the lands of the Cornovii, which consisted of the modern day counties of Cheshire, Shropshire, north Staffordshire, north Herefordshire and eastern parts of Powys. This was a tribal Celtic iron age kingdom. Their capital in pre-Roman times was probably a hill fort on the Wrekin. Ptolemy's 2nd century Geography names one of their towns as being Viroconium Cornoviorum (Wroxeter), which became their capital under Roman rule and one of the largest settlements in Britain. After the Roman occupation of Britain ended in the 5th century, the Shropshire area was in the eastern part of the Welsh Kingdom of Powys; known in Welsh poetry as the Paradise of Powys. It was annexed to the Angle kingdom of Mercia by King Offa in the 8th century, at which time he built two significant dykes there to defend his territory against the Welsh or at least demarcate it. In subsequent centuries, the area suffered repeated Viking incursions, and fortresses were built at Bridgnorth (912) and Chirbury (913).[18]

After the Norman conquest in 1066, major estates in Shropshire were granted to Normans, including Roger de Montgomerie, who ordered significant constructions, particularly in Shrewsbury, the town of which he was Earl.[19] Many defensive castles were built at this time across the county to defend against the Welsh and enable effective control of the region, including Ludlow Castle[20] and Shrewsbury Castle.[21] The western frontier with Wales was not finally determined until the 14th century. Also in this period, a number of religious foundations were formed, the county largely falling at this time under the Diocese of Hereford and that of Coventry and Lichfield. Some parishes in the north-west of the county in later times fell under the Diocese of St. Asaph until the disestablishment of the Church in Wales in 1920, when they were ceded to the Lichfield diocese.[22]

The county was a central part of the Welsh Marches during the medieval period and was often embroiled in the power struggles between powerful Marcher Lords, the Earls of March and successive monarchs.[23]

The county contains a number of historically significant towns, including Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth and Ludlow (which was the seat of the Council of Wales and the Marches). Additionally, the area around Coalbrookdale in the county is seen as highly significant, as it is regarded as one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution. The village of Edgmond, near Newport, is the location of the lowest recorded temperature (in terms of weather) in England and Wales.[24]

Etymology

Shropshire is first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle annal for 1006.[25] The origin of the name is the Old English Scrobbesbyrigscīr, which means "Shrewsburyshire". The name may, therefore, be derived indirectly from a personal name such as Scrope (also spelt Scrobbe).

Salop is an old name for Shropshire, historically used as an abbreviated form for post or telegrams, it is thought to derive from the Anglo-French "Salopesberia". It is normally replaced by the more contemporary "Shrops" although Shropshire residents are still referred to as "Salopians".[26] Salop however, is also used as an alternative name for the county town, Shrewsbury,[26] which also shares the motto of Floreat Salopia.

When a county council for the county was first established in 1889, it was called Salop County Council.[27] Following the Local Government Act 1972, Salop became the official name of the county. The name was not well-regarded locally however,[28] and a subsequent campaign led by a local councillor, John Kenyon, succeeded in having both the county and council renamed as Shropshire in 1980.[29] This took effect from 1 April of that year.[30]

County extent

The border with Wales was defined in the 16th century – the hundreds of Oswestry (including Oswestry) and Pimhill (including Wem) and part of Chirbury had prior to the Laws in Wales Act formed various Lordships in the Welsh Marches.

The present day ceremonial county boundary is almost the same as the historic one. Notably there has been the removal of several exclaves and enclaves. The largest of the exclaves was Halesowen, which became part of Worcestershire in 1844 (now part of the West Midlands county), and the largest of the enclaves was Herefordshire's Farlow in South Shropshire, also transferred in 1844, to Shropshire. Alterations have been made on Shropshire's border with all neighbouring English counties over the centuries. Gains have been made to the south of Ludlow (from Herefordshire), to the north of Shifnal (from Staffordshire) and to the north (from Cheshire) and south (from Staffordshire) of Market Drayton. The county has lost land in two places – to Staffordshire and Worcestershire.[31]

Geography

Geographically, Shropshire is divisible into two distinct halves – north and south. The county has a highly diverse geology. The West Midlands Green Belt extends into eastern Shropshire, covering an area north from Highley, to the east of Bridgnorth, north to the eastern side of Telford, leaving Shropshire eastwards alongside the A5. This encompasses Shifnal, Cosford and Albrighton, and various other villages paralleling Dudley and Wolverhampton.[32]

North Shropshire

Welsh Bridge, Shrewsbury
River Severn, seen here in Shrewsbury, is the primary watercourse in the county.

The North Shropshire Plain is an extension of the flat and fertile Cheshire Plain. It is here that most of the county's large towns, and population, are to be found. Shrewsbury at the centre, Oswestry to the north west, Whitchurch to the north, Market Drayton to the north east, and Newport and the Telford conurbation (Telford, Wellington, Oakengates, Donnington and Shifnal) to the east. The land is fertile and agriculture remains a major feature of the landscape and the economy. The River Severn runs through the lower half of this area (from Wales in the west, eastwards), through Shrewsbury and down the Ironbridge Gorge, before heading south to Bridgnorth.

The area around Oswestry has more rugged geography than the North Shropshire Plain and the western half is over an extension of the Wrexham Coalfield and there are also copper deposits on the border with Wales. Mining of stone and sand aggregates is still going on in Mid-Shropshire, notably on Haughmond Hill, near Bayston Hill, and around the village of Condover. Lead mining also took place at Snailbeach and the Stiperstones, but this has now ceased. Other primary industries, such as forestry and fishing, are to be found too.

Rhekin by Wrodian
The Wrekin is a prominent geographical feature located in the east of the county.

The A5 and M54 run from Wolverhampton (to the east of the county) across to Telford, around Shrewsbury parallel to the line of Watling Street, an ancient trackway. The A5 then turns north west to Oswestry, before heading north into Wales in the Wrexham area. This is an important artery and the corridor is where most of Shropshire's modern commerce and industry is found, notably in Telford new town. There are also a number of railway lines crossing over the area, which centre at Shrewsbury. To the south west of Telford, near the Ironbridge Gorge, is Ironbridge Power Station.

The new town of Telford is built partly on a former industrial area centred on the East Shropshire Coalfield as well as on former agricultural land. There are still many ex-colliery sites to be found in the area, as well as disused mine shafts. This industrial heritage is an important tourist attraction, as is seen by the growth of museums in the Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale, Broseley and Jackfield area. Blists Hill museum and historical (Victorian era) village is a major tourist attraction as well as the Iron Bridge itself. In addition, Telford Steam Railway runs from Horsehay.

South Shropshire

For information specifically on the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, see Shropshire Hills AONB.
St Leonard's, Bridgnorth, Shropshire
St Leonard's Church is a prominent historical landmark in Bridgnorth.

South Shropshire is more rural, with fewer settlements and no large towns, and its landscape differs greatly from that of North Shropshire. The area is dominated by significant hill ranges and river valleys, woods, pine forests and "batches", a colloquial term for small valleys and other natural features. Farming is more pastoral than the arable found in the north of the county. The only substantial towns are Bridgnorth, with a population of around 12,000 people, Ludlow and Church Stretton. The Shropshire Hills AONB is located in the south-west, covering an area of 810 km2 (312 sq mi); it forms the only specifically protected area of the county. Inside this area is the popular Long Mynd, a large plateau of 516 m (1,693 ft) and Stiperstones 536 metres (1,759 ft) high to the East of the Long Mynd, overlooking Church Stretton.

A frosty Ludlow
The skyline of Ludlow, one of south Shropshire's market towns, dominated by its sizeable castle and church.

The A49 is the main road through the area, running north to south, from Shrewsbury to Herefordshire. A railway line runs through the area on the same route as the A49 with stations at Church Stretton, Craven Arms and Ludlow. The steam heritage Severn Valley Railway runs from Bridgnorth into Worcestershire along the Severn Valley, terminating at Kidderminster Town.

Because of its valley location and character, Church Stretton is sometimes referred to[33] as Little Switzerland. Nearby are the old mining and quarrying communities on the Clee Hills, notable geological features in the Onny Valley and Wenlock Edge and fertile farmland in the Corve Dale. The River Teme drains this part of the county, before flowing into Worcestershire to the south and joining the River Severn.

One of the Clee Hills, the Brown Clee Hill, is the county's highest peak at 540 metres (1,772 ft).[34] This gives Shropshire the 13th tallest hill per county in England.

South West Shropshire is a little-known and remote part of the county, with Clun Forest, Offa's Dyke, the River Clun and the River Onny. The small towns of Clun and Bishop's Castle are in this area. The countryside here is very rural and is in parts wild and forested. To the south of Clun is the Welsh border town of Knighton.

Natural regions

Carding Mill Valley footpaths - geograph.org.uk - 1095405
The landscape of the Long Mynd, to the west of Church Stretton.

Natural England recognised the following national character areas that lie wholly or partially within Shropshire:[35]

Climate

Harper Adams Agricultural College - geograph.org.uk - 423503
Harper Adams University, where on 10 January 1982 the coldest temperature ever in England was recorded.

The climate of Shropshire is moderate. Rainfall averages 760 to 1,000 mm (30 to 40 in), influenced by being in the rainshadow of the Cambrian Mountains from warm, moist frontal systems of the Atlantic Ocean which bring generally light precipitation in Autumn and Spring.[36] The hilly areas in the south and west are much colder in the winter, due to their high elevation, they share a similar climate to that of the Welsh Marches and Mid-Wales. The flat northern plain in the north and east has a similar climate to that of the rest of the West Midlands.

Being rural and inland, temperatures can fall more dramatically on clear winter nights than in many other parts of England. It was at Harper Adams University, in Edgmond, where on 10 January 1982 the lowest temperature weather record for England was broken (and is kept to this day): -26.1 °C.

The only Met Office weather station in the county is located at Shawbury, which is in the north, between Shrewsbury and Market Drayton.

Geology

Lane near Rockhill - geograph.org.uk - 705623
Road near Rockhill.

Shropshire has a huge range of different types of rocks, stretching from the Precambrian until the Holocene. In the northern part of the county there are examples of Jurassic, Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic. Centrally, Precambrian, Cambrian, Ordovician, Carboniferous and Permian predominate. And in the south it is predominantly Silurian and Quaternary. Shropshire has a number of areas with Silurian and Ordivician rocks, where a number of shells, corals and trilobites can be found. Mortimer Forest and Wenlock Edge are examples where a number of fossils can be found.

Statistical

For Eurostat purposes, the county (less the unitary district of Telford and Wrekin) is a NUTS 3 region (code UKG22). The two Shropshire unitary areas (covering all of the ceremonial county), together with the authorities covering the ceremonial county of Staffordshire, comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region.

Emblems

Flag

Flag of Shropshire
The Shropshire county flag, officially adopted in 2012

The Shropshire county flag was registered with the Flag Institute in March 2012.[38] It shows three leopard heads ('loggerheads') on a gold and blue background. Main article: Flag of Shropshire

Coat of arms

Shropshire's blazon is erminois, three pile azure, two issuant from the chief and one in base, each charged with a leopard's face. The arms were officially granted on June 18, 1896 and continued by the new authority in 2009. The heads are often referred to as "the loggerheads". This is thought to originate from the practice of carving a leopard head as a motif on the head of the log used as a battering ram.[39]

County flower

Drosera-rotundifolia
Drosera rotundifolia, Shropshire's county flower

In a national poll in 2002 conducted by Plantlife International, the round-leaved sundew (drosera rotundifolia) was chosen as Shropshire's county flower.[40] The round-leaved sundew is a crimson-coloured insectivorous plant that requires a boggy habitat. Due to habitat loss its range is now dramatically reduced[41] and Shropshire's Longmynd is one of the few areas in England where it can now be found.[42]

Shropshire Day

Shropshire's county day is on 23 February, the feast day of St Milburga, abbess of Wenlock Priory. St Milburga was the daughter of Anglo-Saxon king Merewalh, who founded the abbey within his sub-kingdom of Magonsæte.[43] The town adjoining the priory is now known as Much Wenlock, and lies within the boundaries of the modern county of Shropshire.

Motto

Shropshire's motto is Floreat Salopia, meaning "May Shropshire flourish". BR loco No.31147 was named 'Floreat Salopia', frequently seen on trains through Shrewsbury, on 30/5/93 and denamed on 31/5/97 when it was presumably withdrawn from service.

Towns and villages

Shropshire has no cities, but 22 towns, of which two can be considered major. Telford is the largest town in the county with a population of 138,241 (which is approximately 30% of the total Salopian populace); whereas the county town of Shrewsbury has a lower, but still sizeable population of 71,715 (15%). The other sizeable towns are Oswestry, Bridgnorth, Newport and Ludlow. The historic town of Wellington now makes up part of the Telford conurbation. The majority of the other settlements can be classed as villages or small towns such as Much Wenlock. Several villages have larger populations than the smallest town, Clun. The largest of these, Bayston Hill, is the 10th most inhabited settlement in the county. The names of several villages close to the border are of Welsh origin, such as Gobowen and Selattyn.

The larger settlements are primarily concentrated in a central belt that roughly follows the A5/M54 roadway. Other settlements are concentrated on rivers, for example Bridgnorth and Ironbridge on the Severn, or Ludlow on the Teme, as these waterways were historically vital for trade and a supply of water.[44]

Telford
Telford

Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
Oswestry
Oswestry
Bridgnorth
Bridgnorth

Newport
Newport

Ludlow
Ludlow

Ceremonial county of Shropshire
Telford and Wrekin shown within

ShropshireCountyMap2009
     Rivers,      Motorways,      'A' Roads,      Settlements
Largest settlements (by population):

Telford (138,241)
Shrewsbury (71,715)
Oswestry (15,613)
Bridgnorth (12,212)
Newport (10,814)
Ludlow (10,500)
Market Drayton (10,407)
Whitchurch (8,907)
Shifnal (7,094)
Bayston Hill (village) (5,079)
Wem (5,142)
Broseley (4,912)
Church Stretton (4,671)
Albrighton (village) (4,157)
Highley (village) (3,605)
Pontesbury (village) (3,500)
Ellesmere (3,223)
Prees (village) (2,688)
Much Wenlock (2,605)
Craven Arms (2,289)
Cleobury Mortimer (1,962)
Bishop's Castle (1,630)
Ruyton-XI-Towns (village) (1,500)
Baschurch (village) (1,475)
Clun (680)

The town of Telford was created by the merger and expansion of older, small towns to the north and east of The Wrekin. These towns now have sizeable populations that now make up the population of Telford: Wellington (20,430),[45] Madeley (17,935), Dawley (11,399)[46] and Oakengates (8,517), but the Telford and Wrekin borough towns incentive aims to make Oakengates into the largest of the towns.[47]

Politics

ShropshireParliamentaryConstituency2001Results
Election results 2001
ShropshireParliamentaryConstituency2005Results
Election results 2005 & 2010

Parliamentary constituencies

The county has five parliamentary constituencies, four of which returned Conservative MPs at the 2005 general election and one, Telford, returned a Labour MP. This is a marked change from the 2001 general election result, where the county returned only one Conservative, three Labour and a Liberal Democrat to the Commons (see maps to the right) (Labour = Red, Conservatives = Blue and Liberal Democrats = Orange).

The current MPs of Shropshire are:

Constituency 1992 1997 2001 2005 2010 2015 2017
Ludlow  CON  Christopher Gill  LD  Matthew Green  CON  Philip Dunne
North Shropshire  CON  John Biffen  CON  Owen Paterson
Shrewsbury & Atcham  CON  Derek Conway  LAB  Paul Marsden  LD  Paul Marsden  CON  Daniel Kawczynski
Telford  LAB  Bruce Grocott*  LAB  Bruce Grocott  LAB  David Wright  CON  Lucy Allan
The Wrekin  LAB  Peter Bradley  CON  Mark Pritchard

Divisions and environs

Shrewsbury Christmas
Shrewsbury is Shropshire's county town and seat of Shropshire Council.

Most of the ceremonial county of Shropshire is covered for purposes of local government by Shropshire Council, a unitary authority established in 2009. Telford and Wrekin is a unitary authority, with borough status, which forms part of the county for various functions such as Lord Lieutenant but is a separate local authority from Shropshire Council. However many services are shared across both authorities, such as the fire and rescue service, and the two authorities co-operate on some projects such as mapping flood risk.

Shropshireladder
The whole county (including Telford and Wrekin) is served by the Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The new unitary authority for Shropshire, Shropshire Council, divides the county into three areas, each with its own area committee: North, Central and South. These area committees deal with town and country planning matters.

With the parishing of the formerly unparished area of Shrewsbury in 2008, the entire ceremonial county is now parished. The sizes of parishes varies enormously in terms of area covered and population resident. Shrewsbury is the most populous parish in the county (and one of the most populous in England) with over 70,000 residents, whilst Boscobel is the smallest parish in Shropshire by geographical area and by population, with just 12 residents according to the 2001 census.[48] The smaller parishes (with populations of less than 200) usually have a joint parish council with one or more neighbouring parishes, or in some instances, have a parish meeting (such as in Sibdon Carwood). The urban area of Telford is divided into many parishes, each covering a particular suburb, some of which are historic villages or towns (such as Madeley). The parish remains an important sub-division and tier of local government in both unitary authority areas of Shropshire.

Local government 1974–2009

Shropshire Ceremonial Numbered
The ceremonial county prior to the 2009 local government restructuring, with just Telford & Wrekin as a unitary authority (shown yellow)

In 1974 the non-metropolitan county of Shropshire was constituted, covering the entire county. There was a two-tier system of local government, constituting a county council (as the upper tier) and six district councils – Bridgnorth, North Shropshire, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Atcham, South Shropshire and The Wrekin. In 1998 The Wrekin became a unitary authority, administratively separate from the county council, and became Telford and Wrekin. The two-tier structure remained in the remainder of the county and was the least populated two-tier area in England.

Oswestry and Shrewsbury & Atcham were each granted borough status in 1974. Telford and Wrekin became a borough in 2002.

2009 restructuring

Shirehall and Lord Hill Column
Shropshire's shirehall is located opposite Lord Hill's Column.

In 2006 a local government white paper supported proposals for new unitary authorities to be set up in England in certain areas. Existing non-metropolitan counties with small populations, such as Cornwall, Northumberland and Shropshire, were favoured by the government to be covered by unitary authorities in one form or another (the county either becoming a single unitary authority, or be broken into a number of unitary authorities). For the counties in the 2009 reorganisation, existing unitary authority areas within the counties' ceremonial boundaries (such as Telford and Wrekin) were not to be affected and no boundary changes were planned.

Shropshire County Council, supported by South Shropshire District Council and Oswestry Borough Council, proposed to the government that the non-metropolitan county of Shropshire become a single unitary authority. This was opposed by the other 3 districts in the county, with Shrewsbury & Atcham Borough Council taking their objection to the High Court in a judicial review.

The proposal to create a Shropshire unitary authority, covering the area of the existing non-metropolitan county, was supported by the DCLG and 1 April 2009 was set as the date for the re-organisation to take place. The first elections to Shropshire Council took place on 4 June 2009, with the former Shropshire County Council being the continuing authority and its councillors became the first members of the new Shropshire Council on 1 April.

Part of the proposals include parishing and establishing a town council for Shrewsbury. The parish was created on 13 May 2008 and is the second most populous civil parish in England (only Weston-super-Mare has a greater population) with a population of over 70,000.

Political control of councils

Shropshire Council has been under Conservative control since the first election held in 2009; Telford and Wrekin Council has been under Labour control since 2011.

Transport

82109 - Shrewsbury (8959190070)
The direct InterCity from Shrewsbury to London Euston with a DVT and mailbags delivering the Royal Mail at a time when British Rail ran the network.

Shropshire is connected to the rest of the United Kingdom via a number of road and rail links. Historically, rivers and later canals in the county were used for transport also, although their use in transport is now significantly reduced. The county's main transport hub is Shrewsbury, through which many significant roads and railways pass and join.

Canals in Britain were originally constructed for the transport of goods, but are now mainly used for leisure. In northern Shropshire three canals with a total navigable length of 41 miles (66 km) are managed by the Canal & River Trust: the Shropshire Union Canal (from north of Adderley to near Knighton), the Llangollen Canal (from Chirk Aqueduct to Grindley Brook) and the Montgomery Canal (from its beginning at Frankton Junction to Llanymynech). In addition, the Shrewsbury and Newport Canal potentially could be restored in the future.[49]

M54, Westbound to Telford. - geograph.org.uk - 1247312
The M54 Motorway runs through the east of the county, as far as Wellington.

Major roads in the county include the M54 motorway, which connects Shropshire to the rest of the motorway network, and more specifically to the West Midlands county. The A5 also runs through the county, in an east-west direction. The road formerly ran through Shrewsbury, although a large dual-carriageway bypass has since been built. Other major trunk roads in the county include the north-south A49, the A53 and the A41.

There are a number of major railway lines running through the county, including the Welsh Marches Line, the Heart of Wales Line, the Cambrian Line, the Shrewsbury to Chester Line and the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line, as well as heritage railways including the well established Severn Valley Railway. The Cambrian Heritage Railway exists in Oswestry. The three train operating companies working in the county are West Midlands Trains, Transport for Wales and Virgin Trains. A new company, Wrexham & Shropshire, commenced services from Shropshire to London Marylebone, in spring 2008 but the service was discontinued on 28 January 2011 leaving Shrewsbury without a direct link to the capital.[50] Virgin Trains recommenced services from Shrewsbury to London Euston on 11 December 2014, having withdrawn them in the late 1990s.[51]

Two major water supply aqueducts run across Shropshire; the Elan aqueduct running through South Shropshire carrying water from Elan Valley to Birmingham and the Vyrnwy Aqueduct running through North Shropshire delivering water from Lake Vyrnwy to Liverpool.

Economy

Squirrel Helicopter at RAF Shawbury MOD 45151116
The Royal Air Force's Defence Helicopter Flying School is based at RAF Shawbury.
PridehillCB
Shrewsbury's town centre contains the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside shopping centres, as well as more traditional historic retail areas.
TelfordPlaza
Telford Plaza in Telford Town Centre.

The economy of Shropshire was traditionally dominated by agriculture.[52] However, in more recent years it has become more service orientated. The county town of Shrewsbury, the historic castle-dominated Ludlow, the International Olympic Movement's birthplace Much Wenlock and the industrial birthplace of Ironbridge Gorge are the foremost tourist areas in Shropshire,[53] along with the restored canal network which provides narrowboat holidays on the Shropshire Union Canal and other canals in the region, although the natural beauty of the county draws people to all areas.

Industry is mostly found in Telford, Oswestry, Whitchurch, Market Drayton and Shrewsbury, though small industrial estates can be found in most of the market towns as well as former airfields in rural areas. Shrewsbury is becoming a centre for distribution and warehousing, as it is located on a nodal point of the regional road network.[54][55]

In Telford, a new rail freight facility has been built at Donnington with the future goal of extending the line to Stafford, this is hoped it would open the freight terminal up to the East Midlands and the north, plus also re-connect Newport to the rail network.[55][56]

Telford and Shrewsbury are the county's two main retail centres, with contrasting styles of shopping – Shrewsbury's largely historic streets and Telford's large modern mall, Telford Shopping Centre.[57] Shrewsbury also has two medium-sized shopping centres, the indoor "Pride Hill" and "Darwin" centres (both located on Pride Hill),[58] and a smaller, partially covered, "Riverside Mall". Shrewsbury's situation of being the nearest substantial town for those in a large area of mid-Wales helps it draw in considerable numbers of shoppers, notably on Saturday.

Well-known companies in Shropshire include Müller Dairy (UK) Ltd in Market Drayton.[59] The Royal Air Force have two bases at RAF Cosford and RAF Shawbury,[60] and the charity PDSA has its head office in Priorslee, Telford.[61]

Statistics

Below is the chart of regional gross value added for the non-metropolitan county (that is, excluding Telford & Wrekin) of Shropshire at current basic prices,[62] with figures in millions of British pounds sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[63] Agriculture[64] Industry[65] Services[66]
1995 2,388 238 618 1,533
2000 2,977 177 739 2,061
2003 3,577 197 843 2,538

With the statistics for the borough of Telford and Wrekin included, the following represents the ceremonial county:

Year Regional Gross Value Added[63] Agriculture[64] Industry[65] Services[66]
1995 4,151 266 1,483 2,403
2000 5,049 197 1,512 3,340
2003 5,947 218 1,693 4,038

Education

Shrewsbury School and boathouse
Shrewsbury School, with its boathouse on the River Severn in the foreground.

The Shropshire Council area has a completely comprehensive education system, whilst in the borough of Telford and Wrekin there are two selective schools, both of which are located in Newport — these are the Adams' Grammar School and Newport Girls' High School (both of which are ranked within the top thirty schools in the country). In Telford itself is the Thomas Telford School, ranked as one of the best comprehensive schools in England.[67]

Some Shropshire children attend schools in Wales, including Llanfyllin High School.[68]

The county has many independent schools, including Shrewsbury School, which Charles Darwin attended, and Oswestry School, which was founded in 1407.

There are three sixth-form colleges located in Shropshire: the New College, Telford, Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and Ludlow College. Adams' Grammar and Newport Girls' High Schools both provide sixth-form education as well as secondary education.

There are also two institutions of higher education in Shropshire, the Telford campus of the University of Wolverhampton and in Edgmond, near Newport, Harper Adams University, which formerly offered mostly agriculture-based degrees but is expanding its range of provision. A third higher education institution is planned to be created in Shrewsbury, which will be a campus of the University of Chester.[69]

In Ironbridge, the University of Birmingham operates the Ironbridge Institute in partnership with the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, which offers postgraduate and professional development courses in heritage.

Shropshire has the highest educational attainment in the West Midlands region.[70]

Places of interest

Shrewsbury Castle Keep
Shrewsbury Castle
Attingham Park in Atcham, Shropshire - geograph.org.uk - 1769502
Attingham Park Mansion
Ironbridge002
Ironbridge

Famous people

Charles Darwin aged 51
Charles Darwin, 1854
Clive of india statue in shrewsbury
Clive of India statue in Shrewsbury's Square
Captain Matthew Webb
Captain Matthew Webb, 1883
Wilfred Owen plate from Poems (1920)
Wilfred Owen, 1920 plate
William Penny Brookes 1875
William Penny Brookes, 1875

Cultural references

EbenezerScroogeGrave
A 1984 film adaptation of A Christmas Carol was filmed in Shrewsbury. Scrooge's fictional grave remains in the churchyard of St. Chad's Church.

Sport

STFC - New Meadow (Aerial)
The New Meadow football stadium, home to Shrewsbury Town Football Club.
Hawkstone international 2007 hawkstone hill 01 jamie clarke
Hawkstone Motocross Circuit.

There are a significant number of sporting clubs and facilities in Shropshire, many of which are found in Shrewsbury and Telford in addition to a number of clubs found locally throughout the county. Shropshire is home to a variety of established amateur, semi-pro and professional sports clubs.

The county is home to one of five National Sports Centres. Situated at Lilleshall Hall just outside Newport in Lilleshall, this is where the 1966 England National football team trained for two weeks prior to their success in the World Cup of 1966.

Football

The three highest football (and only professional) clubs in the county are Shrewsbury Town (EFL League One), A.F.C. Telford United (National League North) and The New Saints (Welsh Premier League) in Oswestry.

There are numerous amateur football clubs in lower leagues, the highest of which is Market Drayton Town. The governing body in the county is the Shropshire Football Association, who organise a number of county-wide cup competitions, including the Shropshire Senior Cup. In May 2012 the Mercian Regional Football League was created, replacing the Shropshire County Premier Football League and Telford Combination. As of the 2016–17 football season the following Shropshire clubs play in these English leagues (the highest team of each club shown only):

Level League Clubs
3 League One Shrewsbury Town
6 National League North Telford United
8 Northern Premier League Division One South Market Drayton Town
9 Midland Football League Premier Division Shawbury United
10 West Midlands (Regional) League Premier Division A.F.C. Bridgnorth, Ellesmere Rangers, Haughmond,
Shifnal Town, Wellington Amateurs
11 West Midlands (Regional) League Division One Newport Town, St Martins, Wem Town
13 and 14 Mercian Regional Football League

Also, some clubs situated near the Welsh border play in the Welsh league system:

Level League Clubs
1 Welsh Premier League The New Saints
5 Mid Wales South League Newcastle
Montgomeryshire Football League Division One Morda United
6 Montgomeryshire Football League Division Two Bishop's Castle Town, Trefonen

Other sports

The county has one American football team, Shropshire Revolution, which was founded in 2006, and is a club in the British American Football League. Former teams in the county have included the Wrekin Giants, which ran from 1985 to 1989 and the Shropshire Giants which ran in 1989. Shropshire has a number of rugby clubs, including Newport (Salop) Rugby Union Football Club, the highest-leveled team in the county, playing in the National League 3 Midlands.

The area also has a rich motorsports heritage, with the Loton Park Hillclimb and Hawkstone Park Motocross Circuit situated near Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury Motocross Club has staged motocross events in the area for over 30 years. There is additionally an ice hockey club in the county, the Telford Tigers.

The county has a number of private and public golf courses, including the Church Stretton Golf Club, situated on the slopes of the Long Mynd. It is the oldest 18-hole golf course in Shropshire, opened in 1898, and one of the highest in the United Kingdom. There is one notable horse racing racecourse in Shropshire, near Ludlow, the Ludlow Racecourse.

One of the biggest one-day events in Shropshire and the biggest one-day cycle race in the UK is the Shropshire Star Newport Nocturne; held every four years, it is Britain's only floodlit cycle race.[72]

The historic Wenlock Olympian Society Annual Games are held annually in Much Wenlock during the second weekend in July. A four-day festival, the Games include cricket, volleyball, tennis, bowls, badminton, triathlon, 10k road race, track and field events, archery, five-a-side football, veteran cycle events, clay pigeon shooting and a golf competition.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Privy Council Office-APPOINTMENT OF SHERIFFS". London Gazette. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
  2. ^ Rogers, Simon (19 May 2011). "Ethnic breakdown of England and Wales mapped". The Guardian.
  3. ^ "Salop definition and meaning". Collins Dictionary. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  4. ^ SHROPS – What does SHROPS stand for? Acronyms and abbreviations by the Free Online Dictionary. Acronyms.thefreedictionary.com. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
  5. ^ Shrewsbury – Tourist Information & Accommodation for Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
  6. ^ Wrexham & Shropshire :: Telford Archived 17 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. ^ Ironbridge Page on UNESCO World Heritage website. Whc.unesco.org (6 March 2007). Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
  8. ^ "BBC - Shropshire - Features - Industrial Archeology". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  9. ^ Shropshire Hills AONB. Shropshire Hills AONB. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ [3]
  13. ^ [4]
  14. ^ shropshirerocks.org: Wenlock Edge Archived 19 November 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ "Moss". Myweb.tiscali.co.uk.
  16. ^ Shropshire Council. Shropshire.gov.uk (15 July 2011). Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
  17. ^ website Archived 6 January 2009 at the Wayback Machine. Plantlife.org.uk. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
  18. ^ Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Shropshire § History" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 1021.
  19. ^ "Roger de Montgomery, 1st earl of Shrewsbury - Norman noble". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  20. ^ "Ludlow Castle". 14 November 2007. Archived from the original on 14 November 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  21. ^ Shrewsbury Museums Service – Shrewsbury Castle & The Shropshire Regimental Museum. Shrewsburymuseums.com. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
  22. ^ Trinder, Barrie (1983). A History of Shropshire. Phillimore. p. 46.
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  24. ^ "Climate in Wales". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 14 August 2007.
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  26. ^ a b "Shropshire County Council". Shropshirehistory.com. The term "Salopian", derived from "Salop", is still used to mean "from Shropshire" and Salop can also mean the county town Shrewsbury.
  27. ^ About Shropshire Calverhall Village
  28. ^ "Shropshire County Council". Shropshirehistory.com. One of the reasons why Salop was unpopular was the fact that if you add the letter “E” and make it “Salope”, this is a French word and means “B*tch or Loose Woman”.
  29. ^ County's name change colonel dies BBC News
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  32. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 January 2012. Retrieved 15 September 2011.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  33. ^ Toursim, Shropshire. "Map of Church Stretton - Accommodation, Shops and More". Retrieved 16 August 2016.
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  35. ^ "National Character Area profiles: data for local decision making". Gov.uk. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
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  37. ^ "Shawbury 1981–2010 averages". UK government. Met Office. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
  38. ^ "Shropshire Flag". Britishcountyflags.com. 25 May 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  39. ^ "Heraldry of the world - Heraldrywiki". webarchive.loc.gov.
  40. ^ "Round-leaved sundew". Plantlife.org.uk. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  41. ^ "Drosera rotundifolia : Gwlithlys Crynddail - NBN Atlas". Species.nbnatlas.org. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  42. ^ "Drosera rotundifolia, Longmynd, Church Stretton, Shropshire, England". Ispotnature.org. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  43. ^ "Saint-Milburga - Old English Church". Oldenglishchurch.org.uk. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
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  47. ^ Oakengates lined up for huge revamp « Shropshire Star. Shropshirestar.com. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
  48. ^ National Statistics Bridgnorth district parishes
  49. ^ Shrewsbury and Newport Canal Trust. Sncanal.org.uk. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
  50. ^ "Last Wrexham-Shropshire-London train departs". BBC News. 28 January 2011.
  51. ^ "Direct rail services from Shropshire to London will start on December 14". Shropshire Star. 22 September 2014.
  52. ^ Lanyon, Emma-Kate. "Shropshire's Agricultural Collection". Discovershropshire.org.uk. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
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  54. ^ 'Gateway to Wales'. British-towns.net. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
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  56. ^ Call to reopen Wellington to Stafford Railway line « Shropshire Star. Shropshirestar.com. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
  57. ^ Telford Shopping Centre. Telfordshopping.co.uk. Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
  58. ^ "Darwin Shopping Centre". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  59. ^ "Müller - Faqs". 23 May 2008. Archived from the original on 23 May 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  60. ^ RAF – Stations Archived 5 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  61. ^ Contact Us Archived 22 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine. PDSA (29 July 2011). Retrieved on 25 August 2011.
  62. ^ "Wayback Machine" (PDF). 28 July 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 July 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  63. ^ a b Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  64. ^ a b includes hunting and forestry
  65. ^ a b includes energy and construction
  66. ^ a b includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  67. ^ GCSE: Top comprehensive schoolsThe Times
  68. ^ Thomas, William Gwyn (25 June 2009). "A report on the quality of education in Llanfyllin High School". Estyn. Retrieved 26 April 2015.
  69. ^ Shropshire Star New university for Shropshire given go ahead (28 March 2014)
  70. ^ Defra UK; ERDP – West Midlands ERDP Regional Chapter Archived 11 June 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  71. ^ Cadfael Literature/ITV.com Cadfael Classic TV Profile "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 22 August 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2008.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  72. ^ "Newport Nocturne Returns". 28 August 2008. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 14 December 2018.

External links

Craven Arms

Craven Arms is a small town and civil parish in Shropshire, England, on the A49 road and the Welsh Marches railway line, which link it north and south to the larger towns of Shrewsbury and Ludlow respectively. The Heart of Wales railway line joins the Welsh Marches line at Craven Arms and the town is served by Craven Arms railway station. The town is enclosed to the north by the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and to the south is the fortified manor house of Stokesay Castle.

Craven Arms is a market town for the surrounding rural area, with a number of shops, banks, estate agents, a supermarket, an abattoir and many commercial/light industrial businesses. It is also a visitor destination, being home or nearby to a number of attractions, and being central for visitors to the area of outstanding natural beauty. It describes itself as the "Gateway to the Marches".

Grade II* listed buildings in Shropshire

The county of Shropshire in England is divided into two unitary authorities: Telford and Wrekin and Shropshire Council. As there are 361 Grade II* listed buildings in the county they have been split into separate lists for unitary authority.

Grade II* listed buildings in Shropshire Council (A–G)

Grade II* listed buildings in Shropshire Council (H–Z)

Grade II* listed buildings in Telford and Wrekin

King's Shropshire Light Infantry

The King's Shropshire Light Infantry (KSLI) was a light infantry regiment of the British Army, formed in the Childers Reforms of 1881, but with antecedents dating back to 1755. It served in the Second Boer War, World War I and World War II. In 1968, the four regiments of the Light Infantry Brigade (the KSLI, Somerset and Cornwall Light Infantry, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and Durham Light Infantry) amalgamated to form The Light Infantry, with the 1st KSLI being redesignated as the 3rd Battalion of the new regiment.

List of places in Shropshire

Map of places in Shropshire compiled from this list

See the list of places in England for places in other counties.

This is a list of towns and villages in the ceremonial county of Shropshire, England. This list includes those places in Telford and Wrekin. Those with town status are shown in bold.

List of schools in Shropshire

This is a list of schools in Shropshire, England

List of windmills in Shropshire

This is a list of windmills in the English county of Shropshire.

Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire

This is a list of people who have served as Lord Lieutenant of Shropshire. Before the English Civil War, the lieutenancy of Shropshire was always held by the Lord Lieutenant of Wales, but after the Restoration, its lieutenants were appointed separately. Since 1708, all the Lord Lieutenants have also been Custos Rotulorum of Shropshire.

Newport, Shropshire

Newport is a market town in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England. It lies some 6 miles (10 kilometres) north of Telford and some 12 mi (19 km) west of Stafford, and is near the Shropshire/Staffordshire border. The 2001 census recorded 10,814 people living in the town's parish, making it the second-largest town in Telford and Wrekin and the fifth-largest in the ceremonial county of Shropshire. By the 2011 census, the population had risen to 11,387.Newport is a Britain in Bloom finalist and has been awarded the silver gilt award from the Heart of England regional, making it the first town in the country to win six gold awards in a row. The 2010 competition, wherein it won more points than any town in the United Kingdom gave Newport its seventh consecutive gold medal.

Oswestry

Oswestry ( OZ-wəs-tree; Welsh: Croesoswallt) is a market town and civil parish in Shropshire, England, close to the Welsh border. It is at the junction of the A5, A483 and A495 roads. It is one of the UK's oldest border settlements.

The town was the administrative headquarters of the Borough of Oswestry until that was abolished under local government reorganisation with effect from 1 April 2009. Oswestry is the third-largest town in Shropshire, following Telford and Shrewsbury. The 2011 Census recorded the population of the civil parish as 17,105 (up almost 10% from 15,613 in 2001) and the urban area as 16,660. The town is five miles (8 km) from the Welsh border, and has a mixed English and Welsh heritage. It is the home of the Shropshire libraries' Welsh Collection.Oswestry is the largest settlement within the Oswestry Uplands, a designated natural area and national character area.

SY postcode area

The SY postcode area, also known as the Shrewsbury postcode area, is a group of postcode districts primarily around Shrewsbury, but also covering Aberystwyth, Bishop's Castle, Borth, Bow Street, Bucknell, Caersws, Church Stretton, Craven Arms, Ellesmere, Llanbrynmair, Llandinam, Llanfechain, Llanfyllin, Llanidloes, Llanon, Llanrhystud, Llansanffraid, Llanymynech, Ludlow, Lydbury North, Machynlleth, Malpas, Meifod, Montgomery, Newtown, Oswestry, Talybont, Tregaron, Welshpool, Whitchurch and Ystrad Meurig. Despite being centred on the large English town of Shrewsbury, more than half of the postcode area is in Wales.

Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury ( (listen) SHROHZ-bər-ee, (listen) SHROOZ-) is the county town of Shropshire, England. The town is on the River Severn and the 2011 census recorded a town population of 71,715.Shrewsbury is a market town whose centre has a largely unspoilt medieval street plan and over 660 listed buildings, including several examples of timber framing from the 15th and 16th centuries. Shrewsbury Castle, a red sandstone fortification, and Shrewsbury Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery, were founded in 1074 and 1083 respectively by the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Montgomery. The town is the birthplace of Charles Darwin and is where he spent 27 years of his life.Located 9 miles (14 km) east of the Welsh border, Shrewsbury serves as the commercial centre for Shropshire and mid-Wales, with a retail output of over £299 million per year and light industry and distribution centres, such as Battlefield Enterprise Park, on the outskirts. The A5 and A49 trunk roads come together as the town's by-pass, and five railway lines meet at Shrewsbury railway station. The town is located 150 miles (240 km) north-west of London.

Shropshire Council

Shropshire Council is the local authority of Shropshire (excluding Telford and Wrekin) in England. It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined.

It replaced the former two-tier local government structure in the non-metropolitan county of Shropshire on 1 April 2009, which involved its immediate predecessor, Shropshire County Council, and five non-metropolitan district councils – Bridgnorth District Council, North Shropshire District Council, Oswestry Borough Council, Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council and South Shropshire District Council. These districts and their councils were abolished in the reorganisation.The area covered by Shropshire Council is 3,197 square kilometres, or 1,234 square miles. This is 91.7% of the ceremonial county of Shropshire, with the remainder being covered by the other unitary authority in Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Council, which was established as a unitary authority in 1998. Shropshire is located in the West Midlands region of England, on the border with Wales.

The council's seat is at Shirehall in Shrewsbury, the largest town (with a population of 70,600) in the unitary authority's area and historic county town of Shropshire. The council, however, has numerous offices across the county and area committees meet in the former district headquarters at Oswestry, Wem, Ludlow and Bridgnorth. The area covered by Shropshire Council is rural, with the second largest town being Oswestry with a population of just 16,600. Prior to the 2009 reorganisation, Shropshire was the least populated two-tier area in England.

Shropshire County Cricket Club

Shropshire County Cricket Club is one of twenty minor county clubs within the domestic cricket structure of England and Wales. It represents the historic county of Shropshire.

The team is currently a member of the Minor Counties Championship Western Division and plays in the MCCA Knockout Trophy. Shropshire played List A matches occasionally from 1974 until 2005 but is not classified as a List A team per se.The club plays at Shrewsbury and around the county at Bridgnorth, Oswestry, Shifnal, Wellington, and Whitchurch.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service

The Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is the statutory fire and rescue service covering Shropshire, including Telford and Wrekin, in the West Midlands region of England.

Shropshire's Fire and Rescue Service is provided by 512 full-time and retained firefighters based at 23 fire stations around the county. They currently deploy 46 operational vehicles and a number of specialist appliances.

Shropshire Union Canal

The Shropshire Union Canal is a navigable canal in England. The Llangollen and Montgomery canals are the modern names of branches of the Shropshire Union (SU) system and lie partially in Wales.

The canal lies in the counties of Staffordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire in the north-west English Midlands. It links the canal system of the West Midlands, at Wolverhampton, with the River Mersey and Manchester Ship Canal at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, 66 miles (106 km) distant.

The "SU main line" runs southeast from Ellesmere Port on the River Mersey to the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal at Autherley Junction in Wolverhampton. Other links are to the Llangollen Canal (at Hurleston Junction), the Middlewich Branch (at Barbridge Junction), which itself connects via the Wardle Canal with the Trent and Mersey Canal, and the River Dee (in Chester). With two connections to the Trent and Mersey (via the Middlewich Branch and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal) the SU is part of an important circular and rural holiday route called the Four Counties Ring.

The SU main line was the last trunk narrow canal route to be built in England. It was not completed until 1835 and was the last major civil engineering accomplishment of Thomas Telford.

The name "Shropshire Union" comes from the amalgamation of the various component companies (Ellesmere Canal, Birmingham and Liverpool Junction Canal, Montgomeryshire Canal) that came together to form the Shropshire Union Railways and Canal Company. The main line between Nantwich and Autherley Junction was almost built as a railway although eventually it was decided to construct it as a waterway.

Telford

Telford ( (listen)) is a large new town in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England, about 13 miles (21 km) east of Shrewsbury, and 30 miles (48 km) north west of Birmingham. With an estimated population (for the borough) of 175,271 in 2017 and around 155,000 in Telford itself, Telford is the largest town in Shropshire, and one of the fastest-growing towns in the United Kingdom.It is named after civil engineer Thomas Telford, who engineered many road and rail projects in Shropshire. The town was put together in the 1960s and 1970s as a new town on previously industrial and agricultural land and smaller towns. Like other planned towns of the era, Telford was created from the merger of other, smaller settlements, most notably the towns of Wellington, Oakengates, Madeley and Dawley. Many of the New Town's newer inhabitants were originally from Birmingham or Wolverhampton.

Telford Shopping Centre, a modern shopping mall, was constructed at the new town's geographical centre, along with an extensive Town Park. The M54 motorway was completed in 1983, improving the town's road links with the West Midlands conurbation.

On Telford's southern boundaries is the Ironbridge Gorge, a scenic tourist destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The town advertises itself as "The Birthplace of Industry", due to it having Coalbrookdale and other places in the Ironbridge Gorge area, within its boundary. These areas are internationally recognised as being important to the Industrial Revolution, and being to a large extent constructed on the Shropshire Coalfield. Its influence was greatly used to further Birmingham’s industry through innovations as well.

Wellington, Shropshire

Wellington is a town in the unitary authority of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England and now forms part of the new town of Telford, with which it has gradually become contiguous.

The total town population of Wellington was 25,554 in 2011 making it by far the largest of the borough towns and the third largest town in Shropshire when counted independently from Telford. However, the town centre serves a greater area of approximately 60,000.

Wem

Wem is a small market town in Shropshire, England. It is the administrative centre for the northern area committee of Shropshire Council, which has its headquarters at Edinburgh House in the centre of Wem. Wem lies nine miles to the north of Shropshire's county town of Shrewsbury and sits on the rail line between that town and Crewe in Cheshire.

Wem's civil parish is named Wem Urban. A separate civil parish in the surrounding countryside is named Wem Rural.

Whitchurch, Shropshire

Whitchurch is a market town in northern Shropshire, England. It lies 2 miles (3 km) east of the Welsh border, 20 miles (30 km) north of the county town of Shrewsbury, 20 miles (30 km) south of Chester, and 15 miles (24 km) east of Wrexham. At the 2011 Census, the population of the town was 9,781. Whitchurch is the oldest continuously inhabited town in Shropshire. It is twinned with Neufchâtel-en-Bray, France.

Climate data for Shawbury
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.2
(45.0)
7.5
(45.5)
10.1
(50.2)
12.7
(54.9)
16.0
(60.8)
18.8
(65.8)
21.0
(69.8)
20.6
(69.1)
17.9
(64.2)
13.9
(57.0)
10.0
(50.0)
7.2
(45.0)
13.6
(56.4)
Average low °C (°F) 0.8
(33.4)
0.6
(33.1)
2.3
(36.1)
3.5
(38.3)
6.5
(43.7)
9.3
(48.7)
11.3
(52.3)
11.1
(52.0)
9.1
(48.4)
6.3
(43.3)
3.2
(37.8)
0.9
(33.6)
5.4
(41.7)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 56.3
(2.22)
39.0
(1.54)
46.5
(1.83)
49.1
(1.93)
53.5
(2.11)
53.4
(2.10)
53.9
(2.12)
59.4
(2.34)
57.2
(2.25)
67.8
(2.67)
61.5
(2.42)
62.3
(2.45)
659.9
(25.98)
Source #1: Met Office[37]
Source #2: Met Office - RAF Shawbury (1971–2000 averages)
RAF Shawbury is located approximately 7 miles (11 km) NE of Shrewsbury, and 12 miles (19 km) NW of Telford.
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