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Shropshire
EnglandShropshire.png
Geography
Status Ceremonial county & (smaller) Unitary district
Origin Historic
Region West Midlands
Area
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 13th
3,487 km2 (1,346 sq mi)
Ranked 4th
3,197 km2 (1,234 sq mi)
Admin HQ Shrewsbury
ISO 3166-2 GB-SHR
ONS code 00GG
NUTS 3 UKG22
Demography
Population
- Total (2008 est.[1])
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 42nd
454,900
130 /km2 (337/sq mi)
Ranked 26th
292,800
Ethnicity 97.3% White
1.2% S.Asian
Politics
No county council
Shropshire Council Logo.jpg
Shropshire Council
http://www.shropshire.gov.uk
_______
TelfordandWrekin.jpg
Telford and Wrekin Council
http://www.telford.gov.uk
Executive Conservative
Members of Parliament
Districts
New Shropshire Ceremonial Numbered.png
  1. Shropshire Council (unitary)
  2. Telford and Wrekin (unitary)

Shropshire (pronounced /ˈʃrɒpʃər/ or /ˈʃrɒpʃɪər/), alternatively known as Salop[7] or abbreviated, in print only, Shrops,[8] is a county in the West Midlands region of England. It borders Wales to the west. Shropshire is one of England's most rural and sparsely populated counties with a population density of 91/km² (337/sq mi.) [9]. The shire county and its districts were replaced by a unitary authority on 1 April 2009. The borough of Telford and Wrekin, included in Shropshire for ceremonial purposes, has been a unitary authority since 1998.[10]

The county is centred around six main towns starting with the county town of Shrewsbury, which is culturally and historically important,[11] although Telford, which was constructed around a number of older towns, most notably Wellington, Dawley and Madeley, is today the most populous.[12] The other main towns are Oswestry in the north-west, Newport to the east, Bridgnorth in the south-east, and Ludlow to the south. Whitchurch and Market Drayton in the north of the county are also of notable size.

The Ironbridge Gorge area is advertised as the 'Birthplace of Industry',[13] and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale and a part of Madeley.[14] There are additionally other notable historic industrial sites located around the county such as Broseley, Snailbeach and Highley as well as the Shropshire Union Canal.[15]

The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers about a quarter of the county, mainly in the south.[16] The Wrekin is one of the most famous natural landmarks in the county,[17] though the highest hills are the Clee Hills,[18] Stiperstones[19] and the Long Mynd.[20] Wenlock Edge is another significant geographical and geological landmark,[21] and 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 3,197 square kilometres (1,234 sq mi),[9] is England's largest inland county.[22]

The County flower is the round-leaved sundew [23]

Contents

History

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 Saxon kingdom of Mercia by King Offa in the eighth 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 Danish invasion, and fortresses were built at Bridgnorth and Chirbury.[24]

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.[25] 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[26] and Shrewsbury Castle.[27] 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 areas in later times fell under the diocese of St. Asaph until it ceased to exist in 1920.

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.[28]

The county also contains a number of historically significant towns, including Shrewsbury, Ludlow and Oswestry. 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.[29]

Etymology

The origin of the name "Shropshire" is the Old English "Scrobbesbyrigscīr" (literally Shrewsburyshire).

Salop is an old abbreviation for Shropshire, sometimes used on envelopes or telegrams, and comes from the Anglo-French 'Salopesberia'. It is normally replaced by the more contemporary 'Shrops' although Shropshire residents are still referred to as 'Salopians'. [7]

When a county council for the county was first established in 1888, it was called Salop County Council.[30] Following the Local Government Act 1972, Salop became the official name of the county, but a campaign led by a local councillor, John Kenyon, succeeded in having both the county and council renamed as Shropshire in 1980. [31]

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.[32]

Geography

Geographically, Shropshire is divisible into two distinct halves - North and South. The county has a highly diverse geology.

North Shropshire

Countryside of mid-Shropshire
The River Severn is the primary waterway of the county.
The Wrekin is a prominent geographical feature located in the east of 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 in general, 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.

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 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.

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 808 km2 (312 sq mi); [9] it forms the only specifically protected area of the county. Inside this area is the popular Long Mynd, a large plateau of 516 m (1,690 ft) and Stiperstones 536 metres (1,760 ft) high to the East of the Long Mynd, overlooking Church Stretton.

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.

Because of its valley location and character, Church Stretton is sometimes referred to 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).[33] 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.

Climate

The climate of Shropshire is generally 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. [34] 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 College, 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.

Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Avg. High (°C) 6.9
(L)
7.3 9.7 12.1 15.7 18.3 20.9
(H)
20.6 17.6 13.7 9.8 7.6 13.4
(AVG)
Avg. Low (°C) 0.7 0.5
(L)
2.1 3.2 6.0 8.9 11.0
(H)
10.8 8.6 5.9 2.8 1.4 5.2
(AVG)
Precipitation (mm) 58.5 42.9
(L)
49.0 47.1 51.1 54.9 47.3 59.1 60.8 60.4 60.2 64.5
(H)
655.7
(TOTAL)
Sunshine (hours) 48.7 63.6 96.1 138.6 187.9 174.9 191.6
(H)
172.7 126.3 94.9 61.5 41.5
(L)
1398.1
(TOTAL)
Wind at 10 m (knots) 9.0 8.9 9.3
(H)
8.1 7.6 7.4 7.2 7.1
(L)
7.3 7.4 7.9 8.6 8.0
(AVG)
Source: 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.

Geology

The rocks in Shropshire are relatively new, especially compared to the Cambrian mountains. Shropshire has a number of areas with Silurian and Ordivician rocks, where a number of shells, corals and Trilobites can be found. Mortimer Forest is an example where a number of fossils can be found.

Politics

Election results 2001
Election results 2005

Shropshire has five 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 Liberal Democrats = Orange).

The current MPs of Shropshire are:

In 2005 there was also a County Council election in which the Conservatives gained overall control of the shire county. Telford and Wrekin Borough Council remained at the time under Labour control but has since gone to no-overall control, with a Conservative executive. Being a rural county, there are a number of independent councillors on the various councils in the county.[35]

The Conservatives gained complete control of Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council in the May 2006 local elections.

Divisions and environs

see also: List of civil parishes in Shropshire

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.

The ceremonial county borders Cheshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, and the Welsh preserved counties of Powys and Clwyd.

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, as well as relative staff, deal with local matters such as development control and licensing.

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.[36] 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

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

see also: 2009 structural changes to local government in England

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 will not take place however until 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.

Transport

See also: Railways of Shropshire
New Marton Top Lock, on the Llangollen Canal near Ellesmere

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 transportation hub is Shrewsbury, through which many significant roads and railways pass and join.

Canals in the United Kingdom today serve primarily for leisure purposes and three British Waterways canals run through Shropshire: 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.[37]

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 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 two train operating companies working in the county are London Midland and Arriva Trains Wales. A new company, Wrexham & Shropshire, commenced services from Shropshire to London Marylebone station, in spring 2008.

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.

Towns and villages

Shropshire has no cities, but 22 towns, of which 2 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 70,560 (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. The larger settlements are primarily concentrated in a central belt that roughly follows the A5/M54 roadway. Other settlements are concentrated on rivers, e.g. Ironbridge on the Severn, as these waterways were historically vital to trade.[38]

Ceremonial county of Shropshire
Telford and Wrekin shown within

ShropshireCountyMap2009.jpg
Towns (by population):

Telford (138,241)[39]
Shrewsbury (70,560)
Wellington (34,430)[39]
Oswestry (15,613)
Bridgnorth (12,212)
Newport (10,814)
Ludlow (10,500)
Market Drayton (10,407)
Whitchurch (8,907)
Shifnal (7,094)
Bayston Hill (5,247)
Wem (5,142)
Broseley (4,912)
Church Stretton (4,186)
Albrighton (4,157)
Pontesbury (3, 500)
Ellesmere (3,223)
Much Wenlock (2,605)
Craven Arms (2,289)
Prees (2,688)
Bishop's Castle (1,630)
Ruyton-XI-Towns (1,500)
Baschurch (1,475)
Clun (642)
Colour Key:
     Rivers
     Motorways
     'A' Roads
     Settlements

Telford
Shrewsbury
Oswestry
Bridgnorth
Newport
Ludlow

Economy

Shrewsbury's town centre contains the Darwin, Pride Hill and Riverside shopping centres, as well as more traditional historic retail areas.
Telford Plaza in Telford Town Centre.
Beatties department store opened in 2004 at the west end of Telford Shopping Centre (Renamed House of Fraser in 2007).

The economy of Shropshire was traditionally dominated by agriculture.[40] However, in more recent years it has become more service orientated. The county town of Shrewsbury, the historic castle-dominated Ludlow and the industrial birthplace of Ironbridge Gorge are the foremost tourist areas in Shropshire,[41] along with the reclaimed canal network which provides canal barge holidays on the Shropshire Union Canal and linked canal networks 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 and Church Stretton and Newport where the main industrial factory Audco, closed in 1982. The town has then started to move more towards a agricultural and tourist industry much like Ludlow, though industry is starting to build up along the outskirts of the town on the A41 road, because of its possession on the route between Wolverhampton, Birmingham, Staffordshire and the north. Shrewsbury is becoming a centre for distribution and warehousing, as it is located on a nodal point of the regional road network.[42], [43 ].

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 teminal up to the East Midlands and the north, plus also re-connect Newport to the rail network [44], [43 ].

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.[45] Shrewsbury also has two medium-sized shopping centres, the indoor 'Pride Hill' and 'Darwin' centres (both located on Pride Hill),[46] 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.[47] The RAF have two bases at RAF Cosford and RAF Shawbury,[48] and the charity PDSA has its head office in Priorslee, Telford.[49]

In February 2009 NOM Dairy completed construction of it’s brand new state of the art DAIRY in Shropshire. Spending £60m in it’s new facility in the first stage of the project as well as creating a jobs boost for the Shropshire economy. The new dairy has been designed with a low carbon footprint, consistency of quality and natural recipe production at the forefront of the project teams minds.

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 published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British pounds sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[50] Agriculture[51] Industry[52] Services[53]
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[50] Agriculture[51] Industry[52] Services[53]
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

Shropshire has a completely comprehensive education system, with thirteen independent schools, including the prestigious Shrewsbury School, which the famed Charles Darwin attended. In the ceremonial county, the Telford and Wrekin borough has two selective schools, Castle House School and two independent schools. Newport Girls' High School and Adams' Grammar School(both of which are ranked within the top 30 schools in the country), All are located in Newport. Thomas Telford School in Telford is also a notable school and is one of the best comprehensive schools in England.[54] There is considerable rivalry between many of the counties schools. In Shrewsbury for example, the Priory and Meole Brace schools maintain a long-standing sporting rivalry whilst on a wider scale Wrekin College and Ellesmere College remain rivals, as do Shrewsbury School and Adams' Grammar School.

There are also two universities in Shropshire, the Telford campus of Wolverhampton University and in Edgmond, near Newport, Harper Adams University College, which offers mostly agricultural-based degrees.

In Ironbridge, Telford the University of Birmingham operate 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.[55]

Places of interest

Shrewsbury Castle

Attingham Park Mansion

Famous people

Clive of India statue in Shrewsbury's Square.
Charles Darwin, creator of Darwinism theory.

Cultural references

  • Shropshire has been depicted and mentioned in a number of works of literature. The poet A. E. Housman used Shropshire as the setting for many of the poems in his first book, A Shropshire Lad, and many of Malcolm Saville's children's books are set in Shropshire. Additionally, D. H. Lawrence's novella, St. Mawr, is partially set in the Longmynd area of South Shropshire.
  • In Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Jonathan Strange is from the county, and some parts of the book are set there. Another fictional character from Shropshire is Mr Grindley, from Charles Dickens' Bleak House. P. G. Wodehouse's fictional Blandings Castle, the ancestral home of Clarence, the ninth Earl of Emsworth, is located in Shropshire. In The Importance of Being Earnest, Jack pretends to live in rural Shropshire, to mask his double life.
  • The 1856 plantation literature novel White Acre vs. Black Acre by William M. Burwell features two Shropshire farms acting as an allegory for American slavery - White Acre Farm being the abolitionist Northern United States, and Black Acre Farm being the slaveholding Southern United States.
  • Tolkien's the Shire is thought to correspond to the West Midlands region of England, including Shropshire, as argued by Tom Shippey.
  • The county has also appeared in film: the 1984 film version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol was filmed in Shrewsbury. Appearances in television have included the county being used as a setting in both Coronation Street, the ITV1 soap; and also in the BBC's The Fast Show, for a Ted and Ralph special. The 1985 television programme Blott on the Landscape was filmed mainly in South Shropshire, notably in Ludlow. The 2005 sit-com The Green Green Grass is set in Shropshire and is filmed near Bridgnorth. Deduce, You Say is a 1956 Warner Bros. cartoon short of the Looney Tunes series, directed by Chuck Jones and written by Michael Maltese, with musical arrangements by Milt Franklyn. It features Daffy Duck as the dim-witted detective Dorlock Homes (a parody of Sherlock Holmes) and Porky Pig as his sidekick Watkins (based on Dr. Watson), as they attempt to locate and apprehend the dangerous "Shropshire Slasher". Australian soap Home and Away was filmed in and around Ironbridge during the late 1990s, when several characters ventured to England.
  • Shrewsbury Abbey of Shropshire features in the Cadfael Mysteries; Brother Cadfael is a member of the community at the Abbey.[56]
  • In music, the composer Ralph Vaughan Williams wrote "On Wenlock Edge" in 1907.
  • Shropshire has also been mentioned in the American sitcom Friends. In the episode "The One with Joey's Dirty Day", Rachel's British boss says to her "My niece, you see, is in town from London. Well, Shropshire really, but you know."
  • In 2008, Müller released a new advert featuring their Shropshire-based factory, using 'Ain't Got No, I Got Life' by Nina Simone as musical score, and emphasising the closeness of supply from the surrounding area of its factory in Market Drayton ("24 hours from farm to yoghurt").
  • In the novel A Room With a View, Charlotte Bartlett states that the romantic Italian landscape reminds her of the country around Shropshire, where she once spent a holiday at the home of her friend Miss Apesbury.
  • In series two of British comedy Green Wing, after assisting him to burn a corpse and and a motorhome, the character Joanna declares to Dr. Statham that they need to go somewhere where no-one would think of looking. One of Statham's suggestions is Oswestry.
  • In the Irene Adler series of books by Carole Nelson Douglas, the character Penelope (Nell) Huxleigh was raised by her parson father in Shropshire.

Sport

The New Meadow, stadium of Shrewsbury's STFC.
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

Some of the main football clubs in the county include Shrewsbury Town Football Club, AFC Telford United Football Club and The New Saints Football Club in Oswestry. A former football club is Telford United Football Club. 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.

Also every four years there is the Shropshire Star Newport Nocturne, which is Britain's only floodlit cycle race.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Population estimates for UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Mid-2008" (ZIP). National Statistics Online. Office for National Statistics. 27 August 2009. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_population/Mid_2008_UK_England_&_Wales_Scotland_and_Northern_Ireland_27_08_09.zip. Retrieved 26 September 2009.  
  2. ^ upmystreet.com: Mark Pritchard
  3. ^ upmystreet.com: Philip Dunne
  4. ^ upmystreet.com: Daniel Kawczynski
  5. ^ upmystreet.com: Owen Paterson
  6. ^ upmystreet.com: David Wright
  7. ^ a b Blandings: English Counties - broken link
  8. ^ SHROPS - What does SHROPS stand for? Acronyms and abbreviations by the Free Online Dictionary
  9. ^ a b c http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/factsfigures.nsf/viewAttachments/SSER-7U2EJQ/$file/m03-005-key-facts-about-Shropshire.pdf
  10. ^ http://www.statistics.gov.uk/geography/downloads/UK_LADUACty.pdf statics.gov website
  11. ^ Shrewsbury - Tourist Information & Accommodation for Shrewsbury, Shropshire
  12. ^ Wrexham & Shropshire :: Telford
  13. ^ Raven, Michael (1989). A Shropshire Gazeteer. pp. 197. ISBN 0-906114-13-6.  
  14. ^ http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/371 Ironbridge Page on UNESCO World Heritage website
  15. ^ BBC - Shropshire - Features - Industrial Archeology
  16. ^ Shropshire Hills AONB
  17. ^ shropshirerocks.org: The Wrekin & The Ercall
  18. ^ shropshirerocks.org: Brown Clee Hill
  19. ^ shropshirerocks.org: The Stiperstones
  20. ^ shropshirerocks.org: The Long Mynd
  21. ^ shropshirerocks.org: Wenlock Edge
  22. ^ Shropshire Council
  23. ^ http://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/plantlife-discovering-plants-county-flowers-england-shropshire.htm website
  24. ^ 1911encyclopedia.org Article on Shropshire
  25. ^ http://www.britannica.com
  26. ^ http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/~jphb/shropshire/Ludlow_Castle.html
  27. ^ Shrewsbury Museums Service - Shrewsbury Castle & The Shropshire Regimental Museum
  28. ^ Secret Shropshire
  29. ^ Climate in Wales
  30. ^ About Shropshire Calverhall Village
  31. ^ County's name change colonel dies BBC News
  32. ^ Vision of Britain - Ancient county boundaries
  33. ^ http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/factsfigures.nsf/viewAttachments/SSER-7U2EJQ/$file/m03-005-key-facts-about-Shropshire.pdf page 2
  34. ^ "Shropshire - MSN Encarta". http://uk.encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_781530177/Shrewsbury.html. Retrieved 2008-02-24.  
  35. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/news/election/ BBC Shropshire website Retrieved 10 September, 2007
  36. ^ National Statistics Bridgnorth district parishes
  37. ^ Shrewsbury and Newport Canal Trust
  38. ^ Shropshire Routes to Roots | Sources and collections | Trade directories
  39. ^ a b The new town of Telford officially contains the market town of Wellington. However, for the purposes of showing spacial town dispersion and generally where the most populated areas are (on the map), Wellington is listed separately. The Telford population figure still includes the population of Wellington.
  40. ^ http://www.discovershropshire.org.uk
  41. ^ Shropshire Towns - Towns in Shropshire, Shrewsbury, Ironbridge, Ludlow, Bridgnorth, Oswestry
  42. ^ http://www.british-towns.net/en/level_2_display_ByL1.asp?GetL1=142 'Gateway to Wales'
  43. ^ a b http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld200809/ldhansrd/text/90720-0002.htm
  44. ^ http://www.shropshirestar.com/2009/06/17/call-to-reopen-railway-line/
  45. ^ Telford Shopping Centre
  46. ^ Darwin Shopping Centre
  47. ^ Müller | Faqs
  48. ^ RAF - Stations
  49. ^ PDSA - Contact Us
  50. ^ a b Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  51. ^ a b includes hunting and forestry
  52. ^ a b includes energy and construction
  53. ^ a b includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  54. ^ GCSE: Top comprehensive schools - The Times
  55. ^ Defra UK; ERDP - West Midlands ERDP Regional Chapter
  56. ^ Cadfael Literature/ITV.com Cadfael Classic TV Profile http://www.itv.com/ClassicTVshows/crime/Cadfael/default.html

External links

Coordinates: 52°37′N 2°43′W / 52.617°N 2.717°W / 52.617; -2.717


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Shropshire [1] is England's largest inland county, covering an area of 1,347 square miles. To the west it borders Wales and to the south rural Herefordshire and Worcestershire. In the north is Cheshire and, to the east, Staffordshire and the West Midlands conurbation.

Map of Shropshire
Map of Shropshire
  • Shrewsbury - Shropshire's county town (Population: 70,000) and the birthplace of Charles Darwin
  • Bridgnorth - a town of two towns, described by Charles I as providing 'the finest view'
  • Church Stretton - Shropshire's 'Little Switzerland'
  • Ludlow - gastronomic capital of Shropshire and an official 'slow' town
  • Much Wenlock- birthplace of the modern Olympics
  • Newport, Shropshire - one of Shropshire's picturesque market towns
  • Oswestry - a market town on the Shropshire/Wales border
  • Telford - the largest town (Population: 130,000) and named after the famous Thomas Telford
  • Whitchurch - the oldest continually inhabited settlement in Shropshire
  • Wem - a North Shropshire market town and home to the modern sweet pea
  • Ellesmere - in the heart of Shropshire's meres and mosses and home to 9 glacial meres
  • Market Drayton - a North Shropshire market town and the home of gingerbread
  • Shifnal - a picturesque little town once an important staging post on the London to Holyhead road
  • Bishop's Castle - a traditional Old English town in South Shropshire
  • Clun - a South Shropshire town described by John Betjeman as 'the quietest place under the sun'
  • Cleobury Mortimer - a South Shropshire town surrounded by the Clee Hills and panoramic views
  • Whittington - a pretty little village near Oswestry and home to the impressive Whittington Castle situated in the heart of the village

Other destinations

Must see's in Shropshire include:

  • The Ironbridge Gorge Valley, home to the World's first Iron Bridge and home to the 10 Ironbridge Gorge Museums
  • The Shropshire Hills with magnificent views of Shropshire and its neighbouring counties
  • Stokesay Castle, near Craven Arms and the oldest and best preserved manor house in England
  • Ludlow, Shropshire's gastronomic town and the first UK Cittaslow town. Specialist food and drink shops and markets can all be found here.
  • Shrewsbury, Shropshire's county town and home to over 660 listed buildings including magnificent black and white examples.
  • Royal Air Force Musuem Cosford [2], home of the National Cold War Exhibition.

Understand

Since 1998, Shropshire has been administratively divided into Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire County Council. However for most purposes it is still one county with the same media, press, emergency services, records service, etc.

Talk

Some parts of West Shropshire have a Welsh influence in their place names, though the people living there speak English like the rest of the county.

Get in

Shropshire is relatively easy to get to by road and rail.

The A49 (which runs from Herefordshire to Lancashire) runs through Shropshire from north to south, while from the M6 the M54 and A5 run east to west.

Railways also run from the south to Shrewsbury, stopping primarily in Ludlow and Church Stretton. The main line from Birmingham and Wolverhampton also runs to Shrewsbury and then north to Chester or west to Wales. Shropshire doesn't currently have a main rail link to London, although London can be easily accessed via Birmingham New Street.

Air travellers will normally fly to Manchester Airport, Birmingham International and possibly John Lennon Airport, Liverpool. East Midlands Airport is also a possibility.

Get around

Shropshire is a predominantly rural area and sparsely populated. Car transport remains essential for travellers wanting to take full advantage of the county, despite recent efforts to increase public transport usage.

It is possible to see most of the major sites by public transport. However, trains and buses can be infrequent or seasonal.

Most towns in Shropshire have their own public transport and taxi service.

Seasonal shuttle buses give access to areas of Shropshire including the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (see Church Stretton).

See

With Shropshire home to over 32 castles, there is plenty of history and heritage to be found in Shropshire.

If gardens are more your thing, then you won't be disappointed. Shropshire is home to some 20 national collections including English Roses, Clematis and Tulips. Choose from the award winning Wollerton Old Hall Garden near Market Drayton, the Dorothy Clive Garden near Market Drayton and Hawkstone Park and Follies near Shrewsbury to name a few.

With over 90 attractions to visit, here is a taster of just some of the attractions that you can explore and discover:

Stokesay Castle. A very romantic 13th Century fortified manor house.

The Ironbridge Gorge Museums. The world's first iron bridge (oddly beautiful) spanning the River Severn. Birth place of the industrial revolution, Ironbridge is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ironbridge Gorge Museums are nine award winning museums and sites that tell this momentous story.

The Severn Valley Railway. Britains premier steam railway, 16 miles of glorious countryside and restored stations. Shropshire has many other steam train attractions besides.

Wroxeter Roman City (Viroconium). The fourth largest Roman city in Britain. Wroxeter was also the city of Camelot from the ledgend of King Arthur. Much to see and learn. You can follow the trail of the Real King Arthur.

The Royal Airforce Museum Cosford. Aviation history brought to life, the largest collection of missiles in the country. Exciting displays of civil and military planes…Last of the few.

Weston Park. Ancestral home of the Earls of Bradford. Lots of events, concerts and the occasional world summit too.

Hawkstone Historic Park and Follies. Wooded magical land of Grottoes, caves, cliffs and follies. Setting for the TV Chronicles of Narnia. Awesome.

Wroxeter Roman Vineyard. One of the worlds most northerly vineyards producing red, white and sparkling wines.

A working watermill, Victorian Judges Lodgings and a Nuclear Bunker. Just how diverse can we get?

Eat

Shropshire is is an excellent place to find locally grown produce, farmer's markets and delis. The county is home to the National winner of the retail cheese awards and a national finalist in the Taste of England awards.

Shropshire specialties include Shrewsbury biscuits,Gingerbread, Whimberry Pie and Fidget Pie.

Traditional pubs and inns, tearooms and fine dining restaurants can all be found in Shropshire.

Drink

Shropshire is renowned for its real ale and leads the way in the "home brew" revival. Here you'll find traditional pubs and inns and micro-breweries. The South Shropshire town of Bishops Castle has been happily brewing since 1642 and is home to some of the county's breweries.

You can even try Shropshire wine at Wroxeter Roman Vineyard, an historic site near Shrewsbury. Choose from a whole host of wines including Shropshire Gold, Wrekin Reserve and Wroxeter Medium. The vineyard also offers tours and tastings.

Stay safe

Shropshire is a rural county and generally safe with a low crime rate.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Database error article)

From LoveToKnow 1911

(There is currently no text in this page)


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Wikipedia-logo.png
Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Etymology

Old English Scrobbesbyrigscīr, from Scrobbesbyrig (Shrewsbury) + scīr (shire).

Proper noun

Singular
Shropshire

Plural
-

Shropshire

  1. An inland county of England bordered by the English counties of Cheshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the Welsh county of Powys and county borough of Wrexham.

Usage notes

The name is sometimes abbreviated to Salop, and hence the adjectival term Salopian.


Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

This article requires significantly more historical detail on the particular phases of this location's historical development. The ideal article for a place will give the reader a feel for what it was like to live at that location at the time their relatives were alive there..
Please help to improve this page yourself if you can..
Shropshire

<tr><td colspan="2" style="text-align: center; background: white;">Motto: “Floreat Salopia” (“May Shropshire flourish”)</td></tr>

File:EnglandShropshire.png
Geography
Status Ceremonial & (smaller) Non-metropolitan county

<tr><th>Origin</th><td>Historic</td></tr>

Region West Midlands
Area
- Total
- Admin. council
- Admin. area
Ranked 13th
3,487 km² (1,346.3 sq mi)
Ranked 14th
3,197 km² (1,234.4 sq mi)

<tr><th>Admin HQ</th><td class="label">Shrewsbury</td></tr><tr><th>ISO 3166-2</th><td>GB-SHR</td></tr>

ONS code 39
NUTS 3 UKG22
Demographics
Population
- Total (2006 est.)
- Density
- Admin. council
- Admin. pop.
Ranked 42nd Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
451,100
129/km² (334.1/sq mi)
Ranked 34th Image:Wp_globe_tiny.gif
289,100
Ethnicity 97.3% White
1.2% S.Asian
Politics
File:Salop arms.png
Shropshire County Council
http://www.shropshire.gov.uk

<tr><th>Executive</th><td>Conservative </td></tr>

Members of Parliament
Districts
File:Shropshire Ceremonial Numbered.png
  1. North Shropshire
  2. Oswestry
  3. Shrewsbury and Atcham
  4. South Shropshire
  5. Bridgnorth
  6. Telford and Wrekin (Unitary)

Shropshire (pronounced IPA: /ˈʃrɒpʃɪər, -ʃər/), alternatively known as Salop[6] or abbreviated Shrops[7], is a county in the West Midlands region of England. It borders Wales to the west. Shropshire is one of England's most rural and sparsely populated counties[8], with the population of the non-metropolitan/shire county 289,100 - making it the least populated two-tier governed area in the United Kingdom. The borough of Telford and Wrekin, included in Shropshire for ceremonial purposes, has been a unitary authority area since 1998.[9]

The county town is Shrewsbury, which is culturally and historically the most important town in the area[10], although the new town of Telford, which was constructed around a number of older towns, is today the most populous[11]. Other notable towns are Oswestry, Bridgnorth and Ludlow. The Ironbridge Gorge area has become known as the birthplace of industry[12]. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which covers Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale and a part of Madeley[13]. There are additionally other notable historic industrial sites located around the county such as Broseley, Snailbeach and Highley as well as the Shropshire Union Canal.[14]

The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers about a quarter of the county, mainly in the south[15]. The Wrekin is one of the most famous natural landmarks in the county[16], though the highest hills are the Clee Hills[17], Stiperstones[18] and the Long Mynd[19]. Wenlock Edge is another significant geographical and geological landmark[20], and the River Severn, Great Britain's longest river, runs through the county. Shropshire is landlocked, and with an area of 1,346 km2, is England's largest inland county[21].

Contents

Divisions and environs

The area under the control of the county council, or shire county, is divided into five non-metropolitan districts. They are North Shropshire, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Atcham, South Shropshire and Bridgnorth.[22] Telford and Wrekin is a unitary authority which forms part of the county for various functions such as Lord Lieutenant but does not come under county council control. Oswestry, Shrewsbury & Atcham and Telford & Wrekin have the status of boroughs. The county including Telford and Wrekin, the ceremonial county, borders Cheshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire, Herefordshire, and the Welsh preserved counties of Powys and Clwyd.

Local government reform

File:New Shropshire Ceremonial Numbered.png 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, are favoured by the government to be covered by unitary authorities in one form or another (the county can either become a single unitary authority, or be broken into a number of unitary authorities). Existing unitary authority areas within these counties' ceremonial boundaries (such as Telford and Wrekin in Shropshire) will not be affected and there will be no boundary changes.

Shropshire County Council, supported by South Shropshire District Council and Oswestry Borough Council, have proposed to the government that the non-metropolitan county of Shropshire become a single unitary authority (i.e. the district/borough councils would be abolished). The process would be similar to that of the Isle of Wight in the early 1990s, when its districts were abolished, leaving a unitary county authority. The ceremonial county of Shropshire would therefore consist of two unitary authority areas - Telford & Wrekin and Shropshire. The new unitary authority of Shropshire would be one of the largest in England in terms of area.

There has been opposition to the proposals, on the grounds of loss of local democracy and abolishing councils rated as "excellent" or "good", chiefly from Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council. The proponents, however, feel that the move will save funds and allow the area to gain more regional prominence.[23]

The proposal to create a Shropshire unitary authority, covering the area of the existing non-metropolitan county, is supported by the DCLG and April 2009 has been set as a target for the re-organisation to take place.

Part of the proposals include parishing and establishing a town council for the currently unparished area of Shrewsbury. This would create one of the largest civil parishes in England, with a population of over 70,000.

History

File:Old Shrewsbruy Market Hall.jpg File:Ironbridge002.JPG File:TelfordTownCentre.JPG

Main article: History of Shropshire

The area now considered Shropshire was annexed to Mercia by King Offa in the eighth 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 Danish invasion, and fortresses were built at Bridgnorth and Chirbury.[24]

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[25]. Many defensive castles were built at this time across the county to defend against Welsh and enable effective control of the region, including Ludlow Castle[26] and Shrewsbury Castle[27]. 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 areas in later times fell under the diocese of St. Asaph until it ceased to exist in 1920.

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.[28]

The county also contains a number of historically significant towns, including Shrewsbury, Ludlow and Oswestry. 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 in Shropshire is the location of the lowest recorded temperature (in terms of weather) in England and Wales.[29]

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.[30]

Geography

Geographically, Shropshire is divisible into two distinct halves - North and South. The county has a highly diverse geology.

North Shropshire

File:Lyth Hill 01.jpg File:SevernFromCastleCB.JPG Politically, North Shropshire is composed of Oswestry district, North Shropshire district, Shrewsbury and Atcham borough and the borough of Telford and Wrekin.

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 in general, 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.

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. File:TheWrekin.jpg

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 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.

Politically, the area is composed of South Shropshire district and Bridgnorth district. File:PICT5590.JPG South Shropshire is more rural, with fewer settlements and no large towns, and its landscape differs greatly than 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 Ludlow, with a population of around 10,000 people, Bridgnorth and Church Stretton. The Shropshire Hills AONB is located in the south-west, covering an area of 804 km²; it forms the only specifically protected area of the county. Inside this area is the popular Long Mynd, a large plateau of 536 m Stiperstones and 516 metres high to the East of the Long Mynd, overlooking Church Stretton.

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 (heritage) Severn Valley Railway runs from Bridgnorth into Worcestershire.

Church Stretton is known as Little Switzerland due to its valley location and character. 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 546 m.

South West Shropshire, or simply "Clun", is a little known and remote part of the county, with Clun Forest, Offa's Dyke and the River Clun. 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 town of Knighton.

Transport

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

Major roads in the county include the M54 motorway, sometimes referred to as the "Telford Motorway", which connects Telford 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 Cambrian Line, the Heart of Wales Line and the Wolverhampton to Shrewsbury Line. The three train operating companies working in the county are London Midland and Arriva Trains WalesWrexham & Shropshire operates direct services from Shropshire to London and Wrexham.

Shropshire is also the home of two major water supply aqueducts, 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.

Towns and villages

Further information: List of places in ShropshireImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif, :Category: Towns in ShropshireImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif, and :Category: Villages in ShropshireImage:Wp_globe_tiny.gif


Shropshire has no cities, but 22 towns, of which 2 can be considered major[31]. 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 70,560 (15%). Other substantial settlements include Oswestry, Bridgnorth and Ludlow. The majority of settlements can be classed as villages. Towns and villages are primarily concentrated in a central belt that roughly follows the A5/M54 roadway. Other settlements are concentrated on rivers, i.e. Ironbridge on the Severn, as these waterways were historically vital to trade. [32]

File:ShropshireCountyMap.jpg Towns (by Population):
Telford (138,241)

Shrewsbury (70,560)
Wellington (20,430)
Oswestry (15,613)
Bridgnorth (12,212)
Newport (10,814)
Ludlow (10,500)
Market Drayton (10,407)
Whitchurch (8,907)
Bayston Hill (5,247)
Wem (5,142)
Church Stretton (4,186)
Pontesbury (3,500)
Ellesmere (3,223)
Much Wenlock (2,605)
Craven Arms (2,289)

Ironbridge (2,457)

Bishop's Castle (1,630)

Borough Key:
1 - Telford & Wrekin (UA) (161,600)
2 - Shrewsbury & Atcham (96,300)
3 - North Shropshire (59,100)
4 - Bridgnorth (52,200)
5 - South Shropshire (42,300)
6 - Oswestry (39,200)

Colour Key:
     

Rivers
Motorways
'A' Roads
District boundaries
Settlements

Economy

File:PridehillCB.jpgFile:TelfordPlaza.JPGFile:TelfordBeatties.jpg The economy of Shropshire was traditionally dominated by agriculture[33]. However, in more recent years it has become more service orientated. The county town of Shrewsbury, the historic castle-dominated Ludlow and the industrial birthplace of Ironbridge Gorge are the foremost tourist areas in Shropshire[34], along with the reclaimed canal network which provides canal barge holidays on the Shropshire Union Canal and linked canal networks 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 other, rural towns such as Church Stretton and Newport. Shrewsbury is becoming a centre for distribution and warehousing, as it is located on a nodal point of the regional road network[35]. In Telford, a new rail freight facility is being built at Donnington.

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[36]. Shrewsbury also has two medium-sized shopping centres, the indoor 'Pride Hill' and 'Darwin' centres (both located on Pride Hill)[37], 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[38]. The RAF have two bases at RAF Cosford and RAF Shawbury[39], and the charity PDSA has its head office in Priorslee, Telford[40].

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 published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British pounds sterling.

Year Regional Gross Value Added[41] Agriculture[42] Industry[43] Services[44]
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[45] Agriculture[46] Industry[47] Services[48]
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

File:ShrewsburySchool.JPG

File:Adams' Grammar School.jpg

File:ShrewsburySixthFormCollege.JPG Shropshire has a completely comprehensive education system, with thirteen independent schools, including the prestigious Shrewsbury School, which the famed Charles Darwin attended. In the ceremonial county, the Telford and Wrekin borough has two selective schools and two independent schools.

Secondary education

The average number of pupils achieving five good GCSEs at grades A-C in England including Maths and English is 45.8%. For Shropshire it is 50.3, which is very good and the highest in the whole of the West Midlands for traditional counties (although excluding low-performing Telford will artificially boost Shropshire's average significantly). Every district is above the England average. Around 3500 school pupils take GCSEs each year in Shropshire, with the Oswestry district only having two schools and the Shrewsbury and Atcham district having the largest school population. Year sizes are mostly under two hundred; some counties have typical year sizes between 2-300. The best school at GCSE is The Corbet School in Baschurch, followed by the Church Stretton School and Priory School in Shrewsbury. Bottom place is shared by two schools in Shrewsbury - the Sundorne School and Sports College and the Wakeman School, however, it should be noted that these results can be skewed as there is no method to distinguish which schools use the GNVQ system (1 GNVQ = 4 GCSEs) and which do not. As such, The Wakeman, which uses no GNVQs, may appear worse than it actually is results-wise.

Below are the GCSE results as percentages, for each district/borough of the county:

Further education

At A level, results in Shropshire are above the average for England. The best performing school in the shire county is Concord College, a selective, independent institution. Shrewsbury Sixth Form College is the highest scoring non-independent establishment. [1]

Telford and Wrekin, although producing some lower than average GCSE results in general, has three superlative schools - two selective (Adams' Grammar School and Newport Girls' High School) and a City Technology College (Thomas Telford School) that produce results much better than any state or independent school in Shropshire; the score of the high school exceeding that of Concord College in 2006. Overall, Telford has slightly lower results than Shropshire at A level, although Telford New College performs at the England average.[2]

Places of interest



File:Shrewsbury Castle 2.jpg

File:Attingham Park Jones edited.jpg

File:Rocket.JPG



Key
Image:AP_Icon.PNG Abbey/Priory/Cathedral
Accessible open space Accessible open space
Amusement/Theme Park
Image:CL_icon.PNG Castle
Country Park Country Park
Image:EH icon.png English Heritage
Image:FC icon.png Forestry Commission
Heritage railway Heritage railway
Historic house Historic House
Museum (free)
Museum
Museums (free/not free)
National Trust National Trust
Zoo

Famous people

File:Clive of india statue in shrewsbury.jpg File:Charles Darwin aged 51.jpg

Politics

File:Shropshirepolitics2001.pngFile:Shropshirepolitics2005.PNG

Shropshire has five 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).

The current MPs of Shropshire are:

In 2005 there was also a County Council election in which the Conservatives gained overall control of the shire county. Telford and Wrekin Unitary Authority remains under Labour control. Being a rural county, there are a number of independent councillors on the various councils in the county. [49]

The Conservatives gained complete control of Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council in the May 2006 local elections.

Cultural references

Sport

File:Stfc stadium.jpg File:Hawkstone international 2007 hawkstone hill 01 jamie clarke.jpg There are a number of significant sporting clubs and facilities in Shropshire, many of which are found in Shrewsbury, in addition to a number of clubs found locally throughout the county. Below are some of the more major sporting entities of the county:

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.upmystreet.com/commons/member/search/l/Mark%20Pritchard.html
  2. ^ http://www.upmystreet.com/commons/member/search/l/Philip%20Dunne.html
  3. ^ http://www.upmystreet.com/commons/constituency/search/l/Shrewsbury%20&%20Atcham.html
  4. ^ http://www.upmystreet.com/commons/constituency/search/l/North%20Shropshire.html
  5. ^ http://www.upmystreet.com/commons/member/search/l/David%20Wright.html
  6. ^ http://www.blandings.org.uk/what/Counties.htm
  7. ^ http://acronyms.thefreedictionary.com/SHROPS
  8. ^ http://www.northshropshiredc.gov.uk/static/page1000.htm
  9. ^ http://www.statistics.gov.uk/geography/downloads/UK_LADUACty.pdf statics.gov website
  10. ^ http://www.shropshiretourism.info/shrewsbury/
  11. ^ http://www.wrexhamandshropshire.co.uk/telford.php
  12. ^ http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/about_us/ Ironbridge Official Website
  13. ^ http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/371 Ironbridge Page on UNESCO World Heritage website
  14. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/features/2002/09/iarecordings.shtml
  15. ^ www.shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk/
  16. ^ http://www.shropshirerocks.org/shropshiregeologicaltrail/thewrekinandercall
  17. ^ http://www.shropshirerocks.org/shropshiregeologicaltrail/browncleehill
  18. ^ http://www.shropshirerocks.org/shropshiregeologicaltrail/thestiperstones
  19. ^ http://www.shropshirerocks.org/shropshiregeologicaltrail/thelongmynd
  20. ^ http://www.shropshirerocks.org/shropshiregeologicaltrail/wenlockedge/index.html?sid=znW8fb6fLgN0GJpacyQq5Qs4cQsljjAW
  21. ^ http://www.shropshire.gov.uk/shropshirecc.nsf/open/DAA5298F1B218ED48025705A004C5806
  22. ^ Vision of Britain - Divisions of Shropshire
  23. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/shropshire/6915813.stm
  24. ^ http://www.1911encyclopedia.org/Shropshire
  25. ^ http://www.britannica.com
  26. ^ http://www.scit.wlv.ac.uk/~jphb/shropshire/Ludlow_Castle.html
  27. ^ http://www.shrewsburymuseums.com/castle
  28. ^ http://www.secretshropshire.org.uk/Content/Learn/Castles/MWar.asp
  29. ^ http://www.therightresort.com/travel%20guides/wales/climate.htm
  30. ^ Vision of Britain - Ancient county boundaries
  31. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/actionnetwork/A8308712
  32. ^ http://www3.shropshire-cc.gov.uk/roots/packages/src/src_t06.htm
  33. ^ http://www.discovershropshire.org.uk
  34. ^ http://www.shropshiretourism.info/shropshire-towns/
  35. ^ http://www.british-towns.net/en/level_2_display_ByL1.asp?GetL1=142 'Gateway to Wales'
  36. ^ http://www.telfordshopping.co.uk
  37. ^ http://www.darwinsc.enta.net/
  38. ^ http://www.muller.co.uk/faqs/
  39. ^ http://www.raf.mod.uk/structure/stations.cfm?selectLocation=West+Midlands
  40. ^ http://www.pdsa.org.uk/contactus.html
  41. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  42. ^ includes hunting and forestry
  43. ^ includes energy and construction
  44. ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  45. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  46. ^ includes hunting and forestry
  47. ^ includes energy and construction
  48. ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  49. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/news/election/ BBC Shropshire website Retrieved 10 September, 2007

External links

Template:County



This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Shropshire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.
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Simple English

Shropshire is a county in England. It has no cities and only a few large towns - Shrewsbury, Telford, Ludlow and Oswestry. The county is very rural and there are many hills, forests, farms and rivers. The county is also landlocked (has no coast).

Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, but Telford is the largest town in the county. Ironbridge is a famous area of the county and is a tourist location, because it was here where industry began and spread across the world, over 200 years ago. There is the very first iron bridge there, as well as many museums.

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