Shropshire is a largely rural county in the West Midlands, bordering Wales. Its history, however, has been dominated by its position on the Welsh borders, involving much bloodshed, and by the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. It was originally named Shrewsburyshire.
The county town is Shrewsbury, one of the finest towns in England, and almost surrounded by the River Severn. It was at one time the capital of the Welsh marches, and has a beautiful skyline pierced with spires and towers. The eccentrically named streets are full of beautiful timber framed houses, and it has a highly respected annual flower show, originated by the former Parks Officer, Percy Thrower.
Bridgnorth is a fine old market town on two levels. High Town is joined to Low Town by the only inland funicular railway in England. Ironbridge is dominated by its wonderful iron bridge over the Severn, and makes the most of its fantastic industrial past with an amazing collection of museums.
Ludlow is one of the nicest small towns in England, with the ruins of a mighty castle, many black and white timber buildings and an outstanding reputation for food. Oswestry is a market town with great character, with a distinctly Welsh air about it.
Stokesay has a picturesque moated manor house. Telford is one of England’s New Towns, begun in 1963.
Wroxeter is now a village, but was an important Roman town to which Watling Street led.
The county’s chief river is the Severn, and Shropshire has some fine hills, including the Wrekin, the Stiperstones, the Clee Hills, the Long Mynd and Wenlock Edge.
The poet A. E. Houseman loved Shropshire dearly, and wrote a series of poems entitled “A Shropshire Lad”.