Shrewsbury History Timeline

Shrewsbury Time-Line  To be used with CAUTION 

This is an ongoing project and when my other writing commitments permit I will update and edit these pages dates and events.


Wroxeter or Viriconium, had been an important Roman city and by this time was the capital of the Cornovii, the local tribe. It was in use through to the mid-7th c (century) and still displayed features generally regarded as characteristically urban. [1] As the Romans adopted Christianity it is likely to have developed as a Christian centre with a local Bishop. Debate continues about when Viroconium was finally abandoned. At this time control of the region passed from the British to Mercian who established the settlement of Wreocensaete, those living near the Wrekin.[2]


Our town may have developed and taken on the role as the religious centre and a centre of communications with main roads north to Chester, south to Ludlow, east to London and west to the border lands along the Sabrina (Severn) Valley. It was easier to defend being surrounded by water with the narrow isthmus in the north. At least two early churches were built on the top of its two hills. There is some evidence that the west tower, added much later, used redressed stone from Wroxeter. Lewis slot at the base.


ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE – the footprint of an earlier church was found in Old St Chads Church which shows it was in use late in the 7thc. In St Mary`s Church archaeologic evidence of an earlier church came to light in the 19th c, when a heating system was installed in the nave.


The town was captured by the Saxons, under Offa, King of Mercia


EVIDENCE Pin found in old St Chads from 8th  – 9th c [3]

EVIDENCE Earliest surviving historical record of a transfer of land in Much Wenlock signed in Shrewsbury, which by this time was a Saxon Burh, it was defended with ramparts, ditches and troops.It had also developed as a religious centre and an administrative centre. This was a time that the Saxons were reorganising, under Edward the Elder, following Alfred`s desire to create a kingdom of the Anglo-Saxons, and larger towns were attached to surrounding areas and early or proto shires were created. [4]  This shire was known as Scrobbesbyrigcire.


EVIDENCE Ethelred II (the Unready) spent Christmas at Scrobbesbyrigscire[5]


Edmund Ironside punished the town for revolting in support of Canute.


Prior to the conquest Shrewsbury had become a royal town, the king received £7 16s 8d from the 252 Burgesses who paid him rent for their houses. An  average 7 ½d.


Shrewsbury was besieged by the Welsh, but it was successfully defended by the Normans.



The Norman Roger de Montgomery was made Earl of Shrewsbury.

He built the first castle here and pushed the English/Welsh border west into Powys. 51 household were knocked down to create space to build the castle.

St Michael`s was built within the outer bailey and later became a royal free chapel.



The Benedictine Shrewsbury Abbey was founded by Roger de Montgomery.


Orderic Vitalis, was born in Atcham and became a scholar and noted historian and recorded that Shrewsbury was a royal stronghold.



The Earl of Shrewsbury, Robert de Belleme, was exiled to Normandy following an unsuccessful rebellion.



There was an assembly of nobles at Shrewsbury who swore allegiance to William, the son of the Empress Maud.



Bones of St Winifred brought from Gwytherin, via the leper hospital of St Giles, where they awaited permission of the bishop to take them to the Abbey, here they effected cures of the sick.



Shrewsbury Castle was captured by King Stephen. However, the future Henry II would regain the castle before the end of Stephen’s reign.


1170 (c)

The present Shrewsbury Castle was built around this time, during the reign of Henry II.



Shrewsbury was captured by Llewelyn of Wales in December.



The forces of Henry III retook Shrewsbury.



Shrewsbury was again taken by the Welsh but it was held only briefly by them before being retaken by Henry III.



An Augustinian friary was founded in Shrewsbury.



Lawrence de Ludlow born and became a great wool merchant

In this decade the Market House was built on the site of the present Old Market Hall.



Edward 1 (Longshanks) becomes King of England



Edward I established his residence at Shrewsbury together with his Courts of King’s Bench and Exchequer.


Later Lawrence de Ludlow lends money to Edward I



Lawrence is lost at sea with his brother John



Edward I defeats William Wallace at Stirling


1300 (c)

Shrewsbury Castle was enlarged by Edward I.




Robert the Bruce and Scottish army defeat English army led by Edward II


Edward II held a grand tournament at Shrewsbury.



Richard II visited Shrewsbury.



Richard II held a Parliament at Shrewsbury on January 27th



The Battle of Shrewsbury took place on July 21st with the forces of Henry IV and Prince Henry defeating a rebel army led by Hotspur. Hotspur was killed and his uncle, the Earl of Worcester, captured and executed. Owen Glendower arrived too late for the battle.



Drapers Alms houses built in front of St Mary`s


1450 (c)

The Abbot’s House, in Butcher Row, was built.



Drapers get charter from Edward IV



The second and third sons of Edward IV, Richard and George, were born at the Dominican friary in Shrewsbury.


Edward’s son Edward V reigned for a very brief three months at the young age of thirteen before he and his younger brother, Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York, were moved to the Tower of London and then vanished shortly after Edward IV  died. Whilst rumours have circulated about their apparent demise over the years, the true reason for their disappearance (purported to be by order of their Uncle and ‘Protector’ Richard, Duke of Gloucester) has never been discovered. The next (and last) Yorkist to take the throne was Edward’s youngest brother Richard III, who was killed at the Battle of Bosworth near Leicestershire in 1485, thus also becoming the last of the Plantagenet kings.




Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham, was executed at Shrewsbury.



Henry, Earl of Richmond, was first proclaimed Henry VII at Shrewsbury.


1536 – 1540

Dissolution of the Monasteries starts



Henry VIII declares C of E and Catholic property is sold off or vandalised, iconoclasm evidence with the Font in St Mary`s and at the Abbey the removal of the monks canteen



King Edward VI Grammar School was founded in Shrewsbury.



The Old Market Hall was built.



Shrewsbury Grammar School was rebuilt.





During the Civil War, Shrewsbury was taken by the parliamentarians under Colonel Thomas Mytton.



Shrewsbury’s town walls were largely destroyed by the parliamentarians at the end of the Civil War.



James II visited Shrewsbury.



The Shropshire Infirmary was founded.



The Black Hole of Calcutta. When news of the ‘Black Hole’ reached London, a relief expedition led by Robert Clive was immediately assembled and subsequently arrived in Calcutta in October. After a prolonged siege, Fort William fell to the British in January 1757. Later in June, Clive and a force of just 3,000 men defeated the Newab’s 50,000 strong army at the Battle of Plassey. The success of the British at Plassey is often cited as the start of large-scale colonial rule in India, a rule that lasted until independence in 1947.[6]




Robert Clive, renowned as Clive of India, became MP for Shrewsbury and remained so until his death in 1774. He became mayor of Shrewsbury in 1762.



The English Bridge, across the Severn, was built.



Thomas Telford recently appointed County Architect is consulted and forecasts the collapse of old St Chads Church



The decayed Shrewsbury Castle was rebuilt by Thomas Telford as a private residence for Sir William Pulteney.

Timber frame house outside the Castle re-located from Dogpole for Anne Harrison



St Chad’s Church, in St Chad’s Terrace, was built.



The County Gaol was built at Shrewsbury.



The Welsh Bridge, across the Severn, was built.



The Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was opened on 26th November 1805, having taken ten years to design, build and test. The total cost for the project was £47,000 (close to £3,000,000 in today’s money). The careful planning that Telford dedicated to the project ensured that only one fatality was recorded during the entire construction period.[7]



Charles Darwin, author of ‘Origin of the Species’, was born in Shrewsbury.



General Rowland Hill becomes M.P.for Shrewsbuy



Work starts on building the Column as Napoleon is captured



Napoleon escapes and is beaten at Waterloo, Viscount Rowland Hill is on the field.



Column opens and Lord Hill is celebrated and later in 1828 becomes General Hill Commander in chief of the British Army



St. Michael’s Church was built.



Shrewsbury Municipal Borough was created by the Corporation Acts to put aside corruption.

Shrewsbury was abolished in 1974, Shrewsbury and Atcham. Guilds power to appoint public officers was eliminated




The Town Hall and County Court were built.


1841 Benjamin Disraeli becomes M P for Shrewsbury until 1847. He spoke against the repeal of the Corn Laws to protect farmers from cheap imports of food.  Prime Minister from Staffordshire voted against protectionism.



Shrewsbury railway station was opened, in October, on the Shrewsbury to Chester Line.



Representatives of the public schools of Shrewsbury, Winchester, Eton, Harrow and Rugby produced the first set of rules for the game of football at a meeting at Trinity College, Cambridge. However, it was not until the formation of the Football Association in 1863 when a universally accepted set of rules were agreed.



Shrewsbury Cathedral, on Town Walls designed by Edward Pugin, was completed. Young Pugin and Young Talbot took over from their fathers to complete the job.


Old Shrewsbury Show banned by Home secretary

See Blog    My Shrewsbury Tonight  –   Wednesday, 29 May 2013  –   Written by the late Pauline Fisk





Shrewsbury Town Football Club was founded.



The population of Shrewsbury according to the census was 26,967. Shrewsbury Golf Club founded



Gay Meadow, former home ground of Shrewsbury Town FC, was opened. The stadium was closed in 2007.



The population of Shrewsbury according to the census was 29,389.



The Royal Show held in Shrewsbury on the racecourse at Monkmoor



The Porthill Bridge, between The Quarry and Porthill, was built.



Shrewsbury Castle was purchased by Shropshire Horticultural Society and gifted to the town.



The English Bridge, across the Severn, was rebuilt and widened.



The population of Shrewsbury according to the census was 32,372.



The Castle Walk Footbridge was built. It was the first concrete and cantilever bridge to be built in the country.



The population of Shrewsbury according to the census was 49,566.



The Shirehall and Law Courts were opened.



Under the Local Government Act (1972), the Borough of Shrewsbury and Atcham was created from a merger of the former Municipal Borough of Shrewsbury and Atcham Rural District.



The population of Shrewsbury according to the census was 70,689.



The first Shrewsbury Folk Festival took place.



The New Meadow, home of Shrewsbury Town F.C., was opened.



Notes on Sportsment to follow up.

Arthur Rowley football leagues highest goal scorer

Joe Hart plays for England

James Taylor beat many schoolboy batting records while playing cricket at Shrewsbury School



[1] Baker N. Shrewsbury p 83-86

[2] VCH & Nigel Baker Shrewsbury p 6

[3] Pin V C H

[4] VCH & Nigel Baker Shrewsbury p7-8

[5] Anglo Saxon Chronicle, sn early name for Shropshire