Shrewsbury Things to Do

  • Statue of Hercules at Quarry Park
    Statue of Hercules at Quarry Park
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  • Bandstand at Quarry Park
    Bandstand at Quarry Park
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  • Quarry Park
    Quarry Park
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Best Rated Things to Do in Shrewsbury

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    Worship,History,Music and Murder

    by christine.j Written Oct 26, 2006

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    These four words can be used to describe the Abbey in Shrewsbury.

    Worship: Naturally ,since it is still a working church.

    History: Founded in 1083, this place has seen almost 1000 years!

    Music: Apart from the music being played during service, there are regular concerts being given in the Abbey. Every Wednesday there are the "Lunchtime Organ Recitals and Concerts" from 1:00 pm to 1:45pm. I was able to attend one of these concerts, it was a wonderful experience. Even though it was a normal work day, quite a lot of people had come. The concerts are free, you can buy some tea and sandwiches. I was told many people spend their lunch hour there.

    Murder: Author Ellis Peters chose Shrewsbury Abbey as the place where Brother Cadfael solves the crime and finds the murderer.Before I had come to Shrewsbury I had read to of these books. I found the description of the Abbey very interesting, it's actually more of a history book than a detective story.

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    St Alkmund's Church

    by christine.j Updated Oct 26, 2006

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    There are quite a lot of churches in Shrewsbury, some right next to each other. I was told it used to be the custom of rich people to build a church. These churches were not supposed to be used for service( maybe some, but not all), but the rich wanted to show their faith in God by building a church.
    One of these churches is St Alkmund's. There is beautiful window in it, a painting by Francis Eginton, done in 1795 on painted glass rather than stained glass. The glass was painted and then burned, so that the colour melted into the glass. It gives the glass a different look than stained glass windows.

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    Traitor's Gate

    by christine.j Written Oct 26, 2006

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    In the course of its long history Shrewsbury has seen more than its share of battles. Because of the natural defense system by the river, plus a strong city wall, it was not easy to conquer the town. In the course of the English Civil War one officer changed sites, left the town and told the troops outside about a gate near the Severn. This gate was then called St Mary's Water Gate. He led them through this gate and they were able to conquer the town. The gate changed its name and is now known as Traitor's Gate.

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    Charles Darwin was born here

    by christine.j Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Shrewsbury is very proud of its famous son, Charles Darwin. There is huge statue of him outside the library, a Darwin Society exists and the town holds a Darwin festival.
    Isn't it interesting that someone who has lived for almost the whole 19th century and whose ideas had been firmly accepted, that this man and his work are now being discussed extremely passionately again?

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    Shrewsbury Castle

    by MarvintheMartian Updated Aug 14, 2004

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    Shrewsbury Castle

    Shrewsbury Castle is half way up Castle Street and has excellent views over Shrewsbury and towards Wales.

    The oldest parts of the Castle were built between 1066 and 1074, during the reign of William the Conqueror. There were additions over several centuries. Later, in the late 18th century, Thomas Telford remodelled the interior as a private house. The Castle was acquired by the Corporation of Shrewsbury in 1924 through the generosity of Shropshire Horticultural Society.

    The Castle houses the spectacular collections of the Shropshire Regimental Museum Trust including pictures, uniforms, medals, weapons and other equipment from the 18th Century to the present day.

    Costs about £2 for entry to the Castle, although it seems you can walk around the gardens and walls for free. Maybe I was just lucky?!

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    The Flower Show (August)

    by MarvintheMartian Written Aug 14, 2004

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    The Dingle - within the flower show area

    The Shrewsbury Flower Show is one of the biggest of it's type of events in the country. It is also the oldest. The first show was held in July 1875. Now the show is held every year in August in the same location. The Quarry, just a couple minutes walk from the town centre.

    It's not just flowers either! There are events throughout the day including brass bands, choirs, childrens shows, horse jumping, motorbike displays and at the end of the day a grand firework display.

    For more information about the show, see the webpage linked below.

    I have also included photos from the 2004 show in my Shrewsbury travelogues.

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    The Market Square

    by uglyscot Updated May 18, 2008

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    The market square
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    In the market square is a Market Hall where buying and selling took place,
    At the beginning of the square is a statue to Clive , of India fame.

    The Old Market Hall is made from stone from the North of Shropshire. It had two storeys: the large upper room was originally used by the Shrewsbury drapers or dealers in cloth to sell Welsh wool . The post holes where fleeces were hung can still be seen today.
    The lower floor was used by farmers to sell their corn. The Old Market Hall was erected in less than four months. It bears the Royal Coat of Arms of Queen Elizabeth I, with the date of 1596, and the supporters are the English Lion and the Welsh dragon. On the North side of the Old Market Hall there is a statue of the Duke of York. It replaces a previous Market House that was built on the same site in the 1260s.

    Above the main arch there is a statue of a man in armour; he is thought to have been the Duke of York. This sculpture was originally located on the Welsh Bridge and it was moved to its current location on the orders of the town mayor in 1771. [from Wikipedia]

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    Source of inspiration for Charles Dickens

    by hundwalder Updated Dec 20, 2005

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    Headstone of the real life Ebenezer Scrooge

    At first glance the ancient headstone shown in the photo looks very ordinary and dull. The only inscription is the name of the ordinary and little known citizen of Shrewsbury whose grave the stone marks. It does not even reveal the year of his death. However, it is one of the more famous grave markers in the world.

    While strolling through the cemetary of St. Chad's church in ancient Shrewsbury sometime in 1843, the great novelist Charles Dickens paused at the very spot from where I snapped the photo. He found it unusual that the only engraving upon the headstone was the name of the name of the man buried there. Dickens thought for this to be the case, that Ebenezer Scrooge must have certainly been a lonely man who did not leave a favorable impression upon his family and fellow townspeople. With this in mind Dickens decided to give poor old Ebenezer's name to the principle character of the novel he was writng at the time. The scene from the movie in which the Ghost of Christmas Future showed Scrooge his headstone, was filmed at this location.

    It is probably correct to state that Ebenezer Scrooge, citizen of Shrewsbury, was a private man who led an ordinary life. How odd it is that his name has become so well known throughout the world.

    St. Chad's church is the oldest church is Shrewsbury, but was rebuilt following its destruction in 1788. It overlooks beautiful Quarry Park near the center of old town Shrewsbury.

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    St. Mary's church.

    by hundwalder Updated Dec 27, 2005

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    St. Mary's church near market square

    St. Mary's church is located in the very center of the city near market square. Construction on this magnificent looking church commenced about 900 years ago. Unlike the other ancient churches of Shrewsbury, most of the original St. Mary's church is still intact.

    The very steep pyramidal shaped brick belfry roof transforms to an octagonal shape about midway up. The roof design exhibits an interesting diversion in medieval Anglo-Saxon architecture. The steep spire, which symbolically points towards heaven, is believed to be the third highest in England. Note the stacked sets of Gothic dormers set in the belfry roof. They definately give the belfry an interesting appearance. The upper dormers are so small that I nearly expected a cuckoo bird to spring out of one of them. There is a clock on each wall of the belfry. Apparently it was important for the townsfolk of medieval Shrewsbury to know what time of day it was.

    St. Mary's church took hundreds of years to complete. The dazzling stained glasss windows are the latest edition to this fascinating ancient church. The church interior contains some excellent art works. Admission to the church is free, but as always donations are appreciated.

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    St. Chad's

    by antistar Updated Jan 29, 2014

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    St. Chad's, Shrewsbury

    The distinctive round shape of St. Chad's is a well recognised landmark in Shropshire, and has been for centuries. It sits above the beautiful Dingle, the gardens converted from an old quarry. It's two claims to fame are being the place of baptism for Shrewsbury's most famous son, Charles Darwin, and possessing the gravestone used in George C. Scott's Ebenezer Scrooge movie.

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    See the Abbey

    by uglyscot Updated May 18, 2008

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    the abbey
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    Shrewsbury Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery, was founded in 1083 by the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Montgomery. It was built on an existing ancient site where a wooden Saxon church of St. Peter,stood. It was recorded in the Domeday Survey.
    The Benedictine Abbey of today, however, dates to after the Norman Conquest . It is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul.
    It became a major site of pilgrimage after the bones of St. Gwenfrewi [St Winifred] were acquired .

    Across the road from the Abbey are of Houses of Holy cross, now a hospital which are also built of the same dark red sandstone as the abbey.

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    the Tudor House where King Henry stayed

    by uglyscot Updated May 18, 2008

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    the house Henry VII stayed in.

    Henry stayed in this house the night before the Battle of Bosworth Field.
    Henry Tudor landed at Milford Haven with a small force of mainly of French mercenaries in an attempt to claim the throne of England, held by Richard III .
    After his success in the battle he was crowned as Henry VII. Richard III was the last English king to be killed in battle. The Tudor Dynasty lasted 180 years, ending with the death of Queen Elizabeth I.

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    haunted! or not

    by uglyscot Written May 18, 2008

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    the lion hotel

    Near the Old Lion Tap , on the main road is the Lion Hotel. A lion statue is above the door. This is an old hotel , and there have been rumours that it is haunted . One of the main sites is the cellar.
    For more information see :
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/content/articles/2005/05/13/weird_edmunds_lion_hotel_feature.shtml

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    KING'S HEAD INN

    by balhannah Written Jan 28, 2012

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    King's Head Inn
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    There were several thing's that grabbed my attention about this Inn!

    First was the lean on the building, as each level lent over more and more and even though a substantial looking building, it looked like one day it might just topple over! I'm glad they didn't add another story!
    The other was the sign, with a painting I presume of, King Henry VII, stating first Tudor King, this was interesting!

    The Inn has stood here since 1404, and is very historical. It's been altered many times during its history, and it was during one of these times in 1962, that workmen discovered several interesting finds, including a priest's hole, part of which was being used as a broom cupboard, a bundle of sulphur matches, a scissor shaped candle trimmer and snuffer and several clay pipes.
    Another find when the part of the lounge wall was removed, was a letter in excellent condition and dated January 9th 1826.
    Addressed to the landlord, it reads.....
    "Sir will you have the goodness to look at the head of the bed ware I slept. I left my watch thare. If you will have the goodness to take care of it for me and send me word whether it is safe."

    Even in 1987, when more refurbishment's were being carried out, workmen removed brickwork from the front of a ground floor fireplace to expose an older chimney breast. There they found a wall painting hidden from view for several hundred years. It depicts the scenes of the Last Supper and the Annunciation. The figures are well preserved and are thought to date from the late 14th to the early 15th century. Further artwork of a later date was found in a room on the second floor and is made up of two stencilled patterns.

    During the 19th century, the lower end of Mardol, Roushill and the Quay area was the "Red Light" part of the town and the "ladies of the night" often brought the landlords of the King's Head into conflict with the law.

    In February 1843, the Landlord was charged with "Suffering notorious bad characters to assemble in his house."
    " P.C. Thomas informed the court that after hearing a great commotion at the inn around midnight, he entered and found about a dozen women entertaining around thirty men. The ladies left by the front door only to enter by the rear door after the police had left. When the police retuned an hour later the party was still going on "fast and furious" and several of the women were arrested, taken to court and fined £1 plus 9s-6d costs."

    I really loved reading the history of the Inn, and isn't it amazing still finding item's after so long!

    The inn is situated in one of the most attractive timber-framed houses in the town.

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    See St. Chad's Church

    by trvlrtom Written Sep 17, 2008

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    There has been a church in Shrewsbury dedicated to St Chad since early medieval times. By the end of the 18th century the old building was in bad condition, and in 1788 the church collapsed, leaving just a pile of rubble.
    The construction of the new (current) church was the cause of a great amount of conflict. The architect, George Steuart, designed a controversial circular plan that many didn't like. The design differs from typical Georgian buildings of the time, mixing Ionic, Doric and Corinthian styles. The central hall, with a sweeping double staircase to the gallery, is more like a country house than a church, as is the ceiling decoration. They say there were riots in town due to discontent with the new church.
    Inside, there is an Arts and Crafts style pulpit made of copper and brass that was put in later - you can see it in the second photo. While it is very different from the building's architecture, it is impressive and very notable if you like that period of design.

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