History

Its origins date back to the 5th and 6th Centuries. Legend has it that the Princes of Powys recognised Shrewsbury's strategic position and made it their seat called 'Pengwern'.
The positioning of the town in relation to routes into and out of Wales along the border, has given it a great historical importance.

Towards the end of the 8th Century it was given the name
'Scrobbesbyrig' by Saxon settlers, from which comes the name 'Shrewsbury'. It is recorded in the Doomsday book in the time of Edward the Elder.

After the Norman conquest, Shropshire was given to Roger de Montgomery, a Norman Earl and powerful Kinsman to William the Conqueror, who chose Shrewsbury as his headquarters and founded the Castle (1074) and the Abbey (1083).

At about this time, alternative names arose including 'Sloppesbury' or 'Salopsbury' from which the name 'Salop' is thought to derive.

For the next two hundred years shrewsbury was involved in wars with the Welsh, who made repeated, unsuccessful attempts to capture the town.

In 1403 the Battle of Shrewsbury was fought. Six thousand soldiers were killed in only three hours, making this one of the bloodiest battles in English history.

During the Tudor and Elizabethan periods great prosperity was gained in shrewsbury with trade in Welsh Wool and Flax. The powerful wool traders or Drapers built many of the magpie black and white mansions that still line the elegant streets of Shrewsbury to this day.

Shrewsbury continued to develop and became a major cultural, business and transport centre for the region.

Despite the closeness of ironbridge, the birthplace of the industrial revolution, Shrewsbury changed remarkably little until the Victorian era, when steam transformed Shrewsbury into a railway town and in the same century Charles Darwin, born and educated in Shrewsbury, would give his theory to the world, causing significant rumblings in the religious establishments of the day.