Fun things to do in Shropshire

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    Shrewsbury

    by grayfo Written Oct 18, 2013

    Shrewsbury is famed for its castle, spires, abbey, parklands, over 660 historic listed buildings (including timber-framed medieval houses), steep narrow streets and alleyways. Must see sights include: The Quarry (a 29 acre riverside park), Shrewsbury Museum & Art gallery, Shrewsbury Castle and some of the nine bridges that span the River Severn to name but a few.

    March 2013

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    Ironbridge

    by grayfo Written Oct 14, 2013

    Ironbridge is located on the River Severn in the heart of Ironbridge Gorge, Shropshire. The town takes its name from, the famous Iron Bridge, a 100 foot (30 metres) cast iron bridge built across the river in 1779. This market town was once home to heavy industry and iron works. Must see sights include: Ironbridge Gorge, Blists Hill Victorian Town and any of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums.

    March 2013

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    Lilleshall Abbey

    by Skillsbus Written May 9, 2013

    Lilleshall Abbey is an Augustinian abbey in Shropshire, England, today located 6 miles north of Telford. It was founded between 1145 and 1148 and followed the austere customs and observance of the Abbey of Arrouaise in northern France.

    The church was built in the 12th and 13th centuries. Its size and magnificence indicates it had wealthy benefactors; Henry III visited twice circa 1240. The surviving abbey buildings almost all date from the late 12th and early 13th centuries. Other buildings have been lost, but their foundations were partially recovered by excavations in the late 19th century. The central buildings stood in a much larger monastic precinct, enclosed by a stone wall and gates. Ancient yew trees are now an important feature of the site, particularly on the cloister side to the south. Care of the abbey remains was taken over by the Ministry of Public Building and Works in 1950. It is now in the guardianship of English Heritage.

    The remains of the abbey church are still imposing, as the main walls still stand. Today they benefit from earlier maintenance and retoration: during the 1960s they had to be held up with timber because of mining subsidence. The church was cruciform and over 60 metres in length, with a stone vaulted roof. The north transept has almost disappeared.

    Visitors are confronted by the still-impressive west front, with a wide central doorway, surmounted by a round arch. This western end was finished comparatively late, in the 13th century, and the round arch of the doorway is meant to complement the earlier work visible through the portal. The massive stonework on either side originally carried the weight of a great western tower, probably destroyed in the siege, along with the west window. The northern base has suffered least and still has arcading at the level of the vanished window sill, decorated in a trefoil pattern. The pointed gothic arches of its windows contrast sharply with the late romanesque gateway. Moving through the gateway, it is possible to climb a narrow staircase on the north wall of the nave to the level of the arcade, thus obtaining a good view of the remains of the church and of the landscape beyond. There is a small, well-preserved lavabo on the southern wall of the nave.

    Two screens divided the length of the church: a rood screen and a pulpitum. Only the footings of both survive, although they are very clear. There are also foundations of two nave altars against the pulpitum. Beyond the screens, the chancel and presbytery are the oldest parts of the building, begun in the later 12th century. The only major subsequent alteration was the insertion of a large and impressive east window in the 14th century. This still dominates the church, as it was intended to do.

    On the south wall, next to the transept, is a still-impressive processional entrance. The door pillars are surmounted by a segmental arch, and above that a round arch of three orders, the area between forming a tympanum. The entire exterior of the doorway is carved in a detailed zig-zag pattern, which was probably used widely aound the building. Beyond this lay the cloister, from which the canons would enter the church in procession.

    The cloister was a garden courtyard, surrounded by the domestic buildings of the abbey, mostly constructed in the late 12th century. The eastern buildings, adjoining the transept, are well-preserved, and it is possible to walk through the slype that gave access to the parlour, chapter house and possibly the infirmary. The south range is ruinous but the walls mainly survive. It contained the refectory, which was divided in the 14th century to provided a warming room. The range was much more complete in the early 19th century, when it still had most of its upper floor. This probably contained the abbot's lodging. There were many buildings further west and south, and the abbey's guest facilities must have been very large to accommodate visitors of very high status, with their enormous retinues.

    Free Admission
    Open 10.00 to 18.00

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    Wenlock Olympian Games

    by Skillsbus Written May 9, 2013

    Much Wenlock, earlier known as Wenlock, is a small town in central Shropshire, England. It is situated on the A458 road between Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth. Nearby, to the northeast, is the Ironbridge Gorge, and the new town of Telford. The town holds the Wenlock Olympian Games set up by Dr William Penny Brookes in 1850. Dr Brookes is credited as a founding father of the Modern Olympic Games, and the Olympic mascot for London 2012 is named Wenlock after the town.

    The "Much" was added to the name to distinguish it from the nearby Little Wenlock, and signifies that it is the larger of the two settlements. Notable historic attractions in the town are Wenlock Priory and the Guildhall. The name "Wenlock" is known as an old wooden ship found in Much Wenlock and Little Wenlock (and also Great Wenlock, a now obsolete name, but found in some historic sources is probably derived from the Old English *Wenan loca meaning "Wena's Stronghold" (wéna being feminine and meaning "hope"). The town was recorded in the Domesday Book as Wenloch.
    The town grew around an abbey or monastery founded around 680 by Merewalh, a son of King Penda of Mercia. King Penda installed his daughter Milburga as abbess in 687. Milburga of Wenlock was credited with many miraculous works. The abbey flourished until around 874 when a Danish Viking attack occurred. In the 11th century another religious house was built on the same site by Leofric, Earl of Mercia and Countess Godiva his wife. In the 12th century this was replaced by a Cluniac priory, established by Roger de Montgomerie after the Norman Conquest, the ruins of which can still be seen and which is now in the hands of English Heritage. It prospered until the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539.

    Other architectural attractions include the 16th century Guildhall, many other historic buildings in the Early English style and an annual well dressing at St Milburga's Well on Barrow Street. The town was incorporated under the name of "Bailiff, Burgesses and Commonalty" by Edward IV in 1468 at the request of Sir John Wenlock, and "in consideration of the laudable services which the men of the town performed in assisting the king to gain possession of the crown," and the charter was confirmed in 1547 by Henry VIII and in 1631 by Charles I.

    The town is known for Wenlock Olympian Games set up by Dr William Penny Brookes in 1850. In 1861 he was also instrumental in setting up the Shropshire Games and later in 1866, the National Olympian Games. Dr Brookes is credited as a founding father of the Modern Olympic Games, and meetings between him and Baron Pierre de Coubertin took place at the Raven Hotel (as did the feast which concluded each year’s Olympian Games). Today in the Raven Hotel are displayed many artefacts from those early years, including original letters from de Coubertin to Brookes. The Wenlock Olympian Games, a four-day event during the second weekend in July, are still contested in the town annually. The town's secondary school is named after Brookes.

    On 30 May 2012, the Olympic flame of the London 2012 Summer Games, was paraded through Much Wenlock to acknowledge the founding footsteps of Brookes. The Olympic mascot for London 2012 is named Wenlock.
    Holy Trinity Church, in Wilmore Street, is the Church of England parish church. The first church on this site was built in Anglo-Saxon times. The present church dates from 1150 and was built by the Cluniac monks from Wenlock Priory. Features of interest include the plain Norman tower which had a spire until early in the twentieth century, and a memorial inside the church to W. P. Brookes as well as the refurbished family gravestones in the churchyard. The churchyard is a large, open, green space with some tall trees. The *** Brook ran along the road towards the church before it was culverted. There is also a Methodist church in King Street. The town's former Roman Catholic Church of St Mary Magdalene, in Barrow Street, closed in 2008. The church of St Mary Magdalene was demolished in 2012 and domestic properties built in its place.

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    Wenlock Priory

    by Skillsbus Written May 9, 2013

    Wenlock Priory, or St Milburga's Priory, is a ruined 12th century monastery, located in Much Wenlock, Shropshire. The foundation was a part of the Cluniac order, which was refounded in 1079 and 1082, on the site of an earlier 7th century monastery, by Roger de Montgomery. It is thought to be the final resting place of Saint Milburga, whose bones were reputedly discovered during restoration work in 1101. Today, Wenlock Priory is in the care of English Heritage and is used mostly for recreational purposes. The grounds have a collection of topiary.
    Merewalh, King of the Magonsaete founded the original Anglo-Saxon monastery here circa 680 and Merewalh's daughter quickly became its abbess, and was later canonised. After her death circa 727, however, little is historically known of the monastery until the Norman Conquest. It is known that the priory was inhabited by monks until after the Norman conquest. In the 12th century, the abbey was replaced by a Cluniac priory for men.

    Following the reformation of the monastery, in the early fourteenth century, the priory church was lavishly and completely rebuilt, and as at today, considerable remains are left of the 350-foot-long church (110 m), including the north and south transept and the nave.

    Around the Priory, the town of Much Wenlock was formed. The town is made up of a small network of intricate, narrow streets lined with timber-framed black and white buildings. Within the town is the well of St Milburga of Wenlock which was said to have cured sight impairments and helped Victorian women find a suitor.
    Following the dissolution in 1540, several buildings, including the late 15th century Prior's House were converted into a private residence later known as "Wenlock Abbey". It remains inhabited to this day, and so is not accessible, however the fine architecture can still be seen and incorporates Norman and 15th century work.

    Adult £4.10
    Child (5-15 years) £2.50
    Concession £3.70
    Open from 10.00 to 18.00

    Wenlock Priory Wenlock Priory Wenlock Priory Wenlock Priory Wenlock Priory
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    Buildwas Abbey

    by Skillsbus Written May 9, 2013

    The Cistercian Abbey of St Mary and St Chad was founded in 1135 by Roger de Clinton, Bishop of Coventry (1129–1148) as a Savignac monastery and was inhabited by a small community of monks from Furness Abbey. The stone from which it was built was quarried in the nearby settlement of Broseley.

    The abbey's location near the border of Wales meant it was destined to have a turbulent history. Welsh Princes and their followers regularly raided the Abbey and on one occasion in 1406, during the rebellion of Owain Glyndwr, raiders from Powys even kidnapped the abbot. This however paled in comparison to an earlier event in 1342 where one of the Buildwas monks, Thomas Tong, murdered his abbot, managed to evade arrest, and then petitioned for re-instatement into the Cistercian order.

    The abbey was closed in 1536 by the order of Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries, whereupon the estate was granted to Edward Grey, 3rd Baron Grey of Powis.

    The abbots house and infirmary were later incorporated into the building of a private house in the 17th century for the Acton Moseley family, although the remaining buildings are now in the care of English Heritage and are open to the public, who can view the church which remains largely complete and unaltered since its original construction, although it is now without its roof.

    The remains are considered to be among some of the best preserved twelfth-century examples of a Cistercian church in Britain.

    Prices
    Member Free
    Adult £3.60
    Child (5-15 years) £2.20
    Concession £3.20

    Open on Wednesdays to Sundays 10.00 to 17.00

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    The most famous ironworks in the world

    by Skillsbus Written May 3, 2013

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    Step inside the mighty Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and explore the remains of the water powered blast furnace where Abraham Darby I perfected the smelting of iron with coke instead of charcoal.
    Also you can marvel at the great skill of the Coalbrookdale craftsmen in a fabulous display of domestic and decorative ironwork.
    View fantastic works of art that bring the Industrial Revolution to life.
    Admire the Boy and Swan Fountain cast by the Coalbrookdale Company in 1851 for the Great Exhibition.
    Take a look at the magnificent Deerhound Table designed by John Bell for the Paris International Exhibition of 1855.
    Discover the cast iron Coalbrookdale Cooking Pots that launched Abraham Darby I into the iron trade.

    You should allow 1-2 hours for a visit to Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and The Old Furnace. A caf¨¦ is available in the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron serving light meals and drinks. A large gift shop in the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron sells a range of cast-iron goods and souvenirs.

    Open 7 days a week 10am ©\ 5pm

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    Darby Houses

    by Skillsbus Written Apr 27, 2013

    Discover rooms packed with original family furniture, china, mementoes, costumes and family papers inside Rosehill House and Dale House.
    You can marvel at the Darby family collections and view the desk Abraham Darby III may have used when planning the Iron Bridge.
    Fancy abit of fun? then you can dress up in period costumes or the children can take part in a fun trail.
    Afterwards you can take a look at the nearby Quaker burial ground which is only a short walk away.

    You should allow 1 hour for a visit to the Darby Houses. A café is available in the nearby Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron serving light meals and drinks.

    Open 7 days a week
    10am - 5pm

    Dale House Dale House Dale House Rosehill House Rosehill House Kitchens
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    RAF Museum Cosford

    by Skillsbus Written Oct 25, 2012

    The Royal Air Force Museum Cosford is located in Shropshire and offers a fun, entertaining day out for all the entire family. Situated next to an active airfield, this is the only place in the Midlands where you can get close to so many breathtaking aircraft for free.

    Over 70 aircraft of international importance are housed in three Wartime Hangars and within the National Cold War Exhibition. See the world’s oldest Spitfire and a Lincoln Bomber, just two of the highlights in the Warplanes Collection. In Test Flight, there is the TSR2 and Bristol Type 188 constructed from stainless steel. The Transport Collection in Hangar 1 includes the Comet 1A and Gnat T1, previously used by the Red Arrows. The engine and missile collections total over 60 and are arguably one of the finest collections in the world.

    In 2007 the £12.5 million National Cold War Exhibition was opened at Cosford by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne. This land mark building truly has the ‘wow’ factor with its eye catching architecture and design. A number of the 19 aircraft are suspended in flying attitudes. Iconic cars, models, audio visual hotspots and life-size Russian (Matryoshka) dolls, tell the story of the Cold War in an innovative way. This is the only place in the UK where you can see Britain’s three V Bombers: the Vulcan, Victor and Valiant.

    With so much to see, the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford really is an entire day out for the whole family

    Main entrance Research & Development aircraft War Planes Short Brothers Belfast Transporter planes
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    Tar Tunnel

    by Skillsbus Written Oct 25, 2012

    The Tar Tunnel is located on the north bank of the River Severn in the Ironbridge Gorge at Coalport, England, and now forms part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.

    Miners struck a gushing spring of natural bitumen, a black treacle-like substance, when digging a canal tunnel for the Coalport Canal in 1787. The plan was to connect the canal alongside the River Severn to the lower galleries of the mines below the Blists Hill area. After digging some 3,000ft into the hill the canal project was abandoned in favour of bitumen extraction.

    The tunnel was a great curiosity in the eighteenth century and bitumen still oozes gently from the brick walls today. Bitumen's chief commercial use at the time was to treat and weatherproof ropes and caulk wooden ships, but small amounts were processed and bottled as a remedy for rheumatism.

    After the canal project was abandoned the Hay Inclined Plane was built instead, its base being alongside the canal basin. The tar tunnel is one of the Ironbridge museums attractions; visitors are provided with hard hats and may enter the first 300ft of the brick-lined tunnel as far as an iron gate. Electric lighting is provided.

    The tunnel house & tea rooms Tar Tunnel Tar Pit Tar Tunnel Hay Incline Railway
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    Coalport China Museum

    by Skillsbus Updated Oct 25, 2012

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    Explore the exquisite National Collections of Coalport and Caughley China in the magnificent listed buildings that were home to the famous Coalport China Factory until 1926. You can discover displays and demonstrations explaining the history and techniques of china making.

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    Jackfield Tile Museum

    by Skillsbus Updated Oct 25, 2012

    Galleries show exquisite examples of individual tiles and period room settings depict various locations that would have been decorated with tiles. You can walk through an Edwardian Tube Station, the bar of an Hotel, a children's hospital ward and a 1930s 'front room'.

    Huge panels depicting mediaeval stories and nursery rhyme scenes have been rescued from buildings and now grace the walls of the galleries

    The Jackfield Tile Museum is located on the south side of the Ironbridge Gorge and housed in the former works of Craven Dunnill and Company. With its displays, educational facilities and manufacturing tenants, the museum is a celebration of the British decorative tile industry between 1840 and 1960 a period in which this works, and that of nearby Maw & Co, played a significant role.

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    Blists Hill Victorian Town

    by Skillsbus Written Oct 25, 2012

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    Blists Hill Victorian Town, originally called Blists Hill Open Air Museum, was opened in 1973, and has been slowly growing ever since. The museum's buildings fall into one of three categories: buildings that were already part of the industrial site (e.g. the brickworks); buildings that simply represent a generic type (e.g. the sweet shop), some adaptively reusing existing premises on site or being replicas of those still standing elsewhere; and original buildings that have been relocated to the museum (e.g. The New Inn public house, which originally stood between Green Lane and Hospital Street in Walsall).

    Each building is manned by one or more costumed demonstrators, who have been trained in the skills and history of the profession they re-enact. For example, in the printshop, visitors can watch posters and newssheets being printed. Staff may also be seen performing such diverse tasks as operating stationary steam engines, iron founding and mucking out pigs.
    The High Street area of the Upper Town has been developed around a London and North Western Railway interchange siding with a plateway which is an original feature of the site. Shops erected on the site include a chemist (with fittings from Bournemouth), butcher (from Ironbridge), grocer (replica of a building from Oakengates), and printer (with equipment from Kington, Herefordshire). Small crafts include an iron foundry, a shoeing smith, bootmaker, locksmith, decorative plasterer (with equipment from Burton upon Trent), builder, and sawmill.

    Premises in Quarry Bank include a tallow candle manufactory (from Madeley), a bakery (from Dawley), a physician’s surgery (in a Sutherland Estate cottage from Donnington), and a Board School (from Stirchley).

    Recent new developments have included the addition of 'Canal Street', which was a new build closely modelled on extant and historic buildings in the Telford area. This area includes a new Fish and Chip Shop, Drapers shop and Post Office, as well as an enlarged Sweet Shop.
    In 2009 a £12 million programme of redevelopment was completed which included new buildings on Canal Street, a new World Heritage Visitor Centre, a mine railway and an inclined lift. The lift and mine railway have been subject to criticism on the grounds of authenticity, since they fall outside the former curatorial policy of maintaining the appearance of an industrial town in c.1900. The mine railway is intended to represent a 1920s clay mine, although the rolling stock is modern and the mine is formed by a concrete bunker. The project did not fund the restoration of the Scheduled Ancient Monuments and associated archaeological features on the site.

    Visitor Entrance Canal Street Shropshire Canal Incline railway Horse & cart rides
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    Boscobel House

    by Skillsbus Written Oct 5, 2012

    Boscobel House was built in about 1632, when John Giffard of Whiteladies converted a timber-framed farmhouse into a hunting lodge. The Giffard family were Roman Catholics, at a time when the religion suffered persecution. Tradition holds that the true purpose of Boscobel was to serve as a secret place for the shelter of Catholics in times of need.

    The house was, however, destined for greater fame. Following the execution of King Charles I in 1649, his eldest son made a brave though misguided attempt to regain the throne. In 1651 his hopes were crushed at Worcester in the final conflict of the Civil War. Young Charles was forced to flee for his life.

    Initially the future King Charles II set out to cross the River Severn into Wales, but found his way blocked by Cromwell's patrols. He sought refuge instead at Boscobel, hiding first in a tree which is now known as The Royal Oak and then spending the night in a priest-hole in the house's attic. He then travelled on in disguise via other safe houses before escaping to France.

    Boscobel later became a much visited place, although it remained a working farm. Visitors can also see the dairy, farmyard, smithy, gardens, and a descendant of The Royal Oak. White Ladies Priory, another of Charles's hiding places, is nearby.

    Boscobel House
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    Hodnet Hall Gardens

    by Andrew_W_K Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you enjoy visiting gardens then Hodnet is a special place for you. The gardens are extensive and quite stunning and will take a couple of hours to get round.
    You will need to check their website or call them for opening days before you go because the gardens are only open on limited days throughout the year.
    The village of Hodnet is in north Shropshire approx 15 miles north of Telford and 10 miles east of Shrewsbury.
    The gardens are well signposted from the village.
    The admission prices for 2010 are £4.50 for adults and £2.00 for children.

    Hodnet Gardens Hodnet Hall and Gardens Hodnet Hall and Gardens

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Shropshire Hotels

See all 130 Hotels in Shropshire
  • Premier Inn Shrewsbury Town Centre

    Great Hotel, very friendly staff comfortable rooms and a great location, could ask for nothing more!

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  • Fishmore Hall

    This is an excellent hotel: it's in an old school but fully refurbished, and the rooms are...

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  • Falcon Hotel

    St Johns Street, Bridgnorth, WV15 6AG, United Kingdom

    Satisfaction: Average

    Good for: Families

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Shropshire Things to Do

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