This article is about the town of Shrewsbury in England. For other places of the same name, see Shrewsbury (disambiguation)


Missing image
Porthill Bridge crossing the Severn at Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury (pronounced both Shroozbury and Shrowzbury) is the county town of the county of Shropshire, England.



See main article History of Shrewsbury.

Shrewsbury is mainly popularly known as a medieval town, having been founded c.900 and it was during the "late middle ages" (14th/15th Centuries) in which the town was at its height in terms of national importance and wealth. This was mainly due to the wool trade with the rest of Britain and Europe.

The town was little affected by the industrial revolution, despite the proximity to Coalbrookdale and Ironbridge.

The most popular and well known recipe for Simnel cake is from Shewsbury.

See also:

  • Wroxeter Roman City - 5 miles SW of the town lies the (now ruined) Roman city of Viroconium.


The population of the town of Shrewsbury is approx 72,000 although the population of the borough is higher, at just under 96,000. The A5, A53, A49 and 5 railway lines connect the town to most corners of Shropshire and the town is regarded as the "Gateway to Wales", which is certainly true for those travelling from the West Midlands connurbation to the Principality. In 2000 and again in 2002, Shrewsbury unsuccessfully applied for city status. The borough council is expected to apply for city status again, whenever the next round of cities are to be made (normally at a royal occassion).

Within the borough, but not part of the town of Shrewsbury, is the large village of Bayston Hill. This was once a much smaller village but has grown up to become a suburb of the town. It remains, however, a separate entity to the town, with its own parish council, etc. Bayston Hill lies some 3 miles south of the town centre of Shrewsbury and on the A49 and near to the A5.


The historic town centre still retains its medieval street pattern and many narrow streets and passages. Some of the passages, especially those which pass through buildings from one street to the next, are called “shuts” (this is because they were once shut at night). Many specialist shops, traditional pubs and local restaurants can be found in the hidden corners, squares and lanes of Shrewsbury. Many of the street names have also remained unchanged in centuries and there are some more unusual names, such as Butcher Row, Longden Coleham, Dogpole, Mardol, Frankwell, Roushill, Grope Lane, Gullet Passage, Murivance, The Dana, Portobello, Shoplatch and Bellstone.

There are some very old public houses, which have been continuously open as pubs, such as the Golden Cross (established 1428 - the oldest pub in the town), the Dun Cow and the King's Head.

In the centre of the town lies the The Quarry. This 29 acre (120,000 m²) riverside park attracts thousands of people throughout the year and is enjoyed as a place of recreation. The town is known as the town of flowers and this is the motto printed onto many of the signs as you enter the town on major roads.

Shrewsbury is home to one of the largest and oldest horticultural events in the UK - the annual Shrewsbury Flower Show (Shrewsbury Flower Show website ( A two day event, the Flower Show takes place in mid August, has been running for more than 125 years, and attracts around 100,000 visitors each year. Set in the Quarry park, there are a multitude of events, exhibitions and displays, with a magnificent fireworks display at the end of each day. Some people dislike the fact that there is an admission charge to enter the park during the flower show, as there is usually no admission for entering the park. Keen residents could (and have) sailed dingheys across the River Severn from the historic Royal Shrewsbury Boat Club to gain entry for free.

The tourist information centre is at the Music Hall on The Square in the town centre. The three main museums are Rowley's House, Shrewsbury Castle (including the Shropshire Regimental Museum) and the Coleham Pumping Station. Also there is the art gallary at Rowley's House, the Gateway arts and drama centre and there are also various private gallaries and art shops around the town. The town is also noted for its antique shops as well as music specialists.

Shrewsbury School, a leading public school in the country, where Sir Philip Sydney, Charles Darwin, Michael Palin and Michael Heseltine were educated, is located on large commanding site ("Kingsland") just south of the town centre overlooking the loop of the Severn.

Park and Ride

Shrewsbury has a Park and Ride bus scheme in operation and three car parks on the edge of town are used by many who want to travel into the town centre. The three car parks are located at Harlescott (to the north) (coloured orange), Oxon (to the west) (coloured brown) and Meole Brace (to the south) (coloured green). It is proposed that a fourth one be built to the east of the town, at either Emstrey or Preston. (See the "future" section below).

Administrative functions

Shrewsbury is the administrative centre for both Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough and Shropshire County (which does not include the Telford and Wrekin borough, which is now a unitary authority). The County Council have their headquarters in the Shirehall, on Abbey Foregate and the Borough Council have their headquarters in the new Guildhall, on Frankwell Quay. The Borough Council have recently moved from their old Guildhall, "Newport House", which is on Dogpole (a street in the town centre). For an explaination of how the town (and its borough) is run, click here.

The town also serves as the administrative headquarters of the British Army's 5th Division, which has their administrative HQ at the Copthorne Barracks.


The town has many bridges, old and new, pedestrian, traffic and rail, which cross the River Severn and the Rea Brook. Here are listed the main ones, from upstream down:

Frankwell Footbridge (see Frankwell)
Welsh Bridge - built in the 1790s to replace St George's Bridge
Porthill Bridge
Kingsland Bridge
Greyfriars Bridge
English Bridge - rebuilt in the 1930s, historically called "Stone Bridge"

The railway station at Shrewsbury is partially located above the River Severn too.


Shrewsbury won the West Midlands Capital of Enterprise award in 2004. The town has two expanding business parks - the Shrewsbury Business Park and the Battlefield Enterprise Park. There are many developments currently under construction in the town, mainly residential (the town is becoming a place where many commuters who travel to Telford, Wolverhampton and Birmingham live). The borough council has also recently added to this building activity in the town, by building the new Guildhall and the council is planning on building a large new theatre in Frankwell, a new livestock market at Battlefield and a sports village in Sundorne.

The town centre has two large indoor shopping centres - the 'Pride Hill' and 'Charles Darwin' centres - and the company which owns them has announced plans to expand these two and link them together. Plans for the first phase of this work were approved by the borough council on the 1st February 2005. The approved scheme was for a new 6 storey building to be built on what is currently a surface car park, which will include a night club, fitness centre and centre management offices at the top.

OFCOM have recently announced that a radio broadcasting license will be granted for a new radio station for the Shrewsbury area. At present 2 groups are expected to compete for the licence, one of them Shrewsbury FM ( and the other Shrewsbury Local Radio ( The successful applicant is expected to begin broadcasting around Summer 2006.

A new Park and Ride car park site is proposed for either Preston or Emstrey, to the east of the town. Alternatively, a new railway station, to be known as "Shrewsbury Parkway", could be built at the Preston location, for commuters going out of Shrewsbury towards Telford and Wolverhampton as well as people travelling into town. As of present, plans are only at an early stage.

Suburbs of the town

Suburbs and districts surrounding the town centre:

Ditherington - location of the first iron framed building in the world
Sundorne - location of the Shrewsbury Sports Village (under construction)
Harlescott - location of the Shrewsbury Sunday Market
Mount Pleasant
Battlefield - site of the Battle of Shrewsbury 1403
Coton Hill

Cherry Orchard
Abbey Foregate
Telford Estate

Sutton Farm
Sutton Park
Meole Brace
Belle Vue

Kingsland - see also Shrewsbury School
Gains Park
Bicton Heath

Famous residents

Trivia - Proud Salopians

Story has it that when King Henry VIII created the Church of England he wanted a diocese of Shropshire, with Shrewsbury as the Cathedral City. However the town of Shrewsbury rejected the offer, claiming that it wanted to remain a "first of towns" rather than a second rate city. It is said that this is where the term "Proud Salopians" comes from; a term used for the people of Shrewsbury.

Fictional References

The Brother Cadfael novels by Ellis Peters, aka Edith Pargeter, take Shrewsbury Abbey for their setting.

Thc character William of Baskerville (played by Sean Connery in the movie) in the Umberto Eco book The Name of the Rose was from Shrewsbury.

External links

Shrewsbury Town

In 2004, the local football team, Shrewsbury Town F.C., were promoted to the Football League Division 3 (now called League 2) from the Nationwide Conference. They were in the Conference for just one year and became the first team in 10 years to bounce straight back up just one year after relegation.

Crest and motto

Missing image
Shrewsbury and Atcham Crest

Floreat Salopia - latin; "may Salop flourish" (Salop can mean both Shrewsbury and Shropshire).

This crest is that of the borough of Shrewsbury and Atcham - Shrewsbury's town crest is the same but without the bridge (which is the Atcham Bridge). Shrewsbury, Shrewsbury and Atcham, Shrewsbury Town FC and Shropshire all use the same loggerheads and motto.

Template:River Severn towns Template:Severn between Llandrinio and Ironbridgede:Shrewsbury es:Shrewsbury fr:Shrewsbury (Angleterre)


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