HOME
The Info List - Much Wenlock


--- Advertisement ---



Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
is a small town and parish in Shropshire, England, situated on the A458 road
A458 road
between Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
and Bridgnorth. Nearby, to the northeast, is the Ironbridge
Ironbridge
Gorge, and the new town of Telford. Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
was historically the chief town of the ancient borough of Wenlock. 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 probably comes from the Celtic name Wininicas, meaning "white area" (in reference to the limestone of Wenlock Edge), plus the Old English loca, meaning "enclosed place".[2] The town was recorded in the Domesday Book
Domesday Book
as Wenloch.[2] The population of the town's parish, according to the 2001 census, was 2,605, increasing to 2,877 at the 2011 Census. The Wenlock Olympian Games
Wenlock Olympian Games
established by Dr William Penny Brookes
William Penny Brookes
in 1850 are centred in the town. Dr Brookes is credited as a founding father of the modern Olympic Games, and one of the Olympic mascots for London 2012 was named Wenlock after the town.

Contents

1 History 2 Churches 3 Cultural associations

3.1 Other notable people 3.2 Films 3.3 Books

4 Schools 5 Transport

5.1 Bus 5.2 Rail

6 Twin towns 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

History[edit]

Historic council chamber, Guildhall, Much Wenlock

Richard Fletcher mentions Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
as one of the possible locations where a Sub-Roman British Christian community may have survived the Anglo-Saxon occupation and eventually integrated with the conquerors and influenced their culture.[3] The town of Wenlock is known to have grown up around an abbey or monastery founded around 680[4] by Merewalh, a son of King Penda
Penda
of Mercia, with the small town within its parish boundaries. King Penda installed his daughter Milburga as abbess in 687. Milburga of Wenlock was credited with many miraculous works.[5] The abbey flourished until around 874 when it is thought that a Danish Viking
Viking
attack occurred. In the 11th century another religious house was built on the same site by Leofric, Earl of Mercia
Mercia
and Countess Godiva
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
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. 11-year-old Alice Glaston from Little Wenlock
Little Wenlock
was hanged together with two men in Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
on 13 April 1546, for an unknown crime.[6][7][8] She is the youngest known girl legally executed in Great Britain. Sir Thomas Wolryche, 1st Baronet
Sir Thomas Wolryche, 1st Baronet
(1598–1668) was an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons for Wenlock between 1621 and 1625. He fought in the Royalist army in the English Civil War, serving as military governor of Bridgnorth. In 1611, Thomas Wolryche's father, Francis, had taken over the mortgage of the manor of Hughley, about 6 km from Much Wenlock. The debt was cleared in 1623 in return for the freehold of Hughley, an estate of 1,400 acres. In the 19th century the town and much of the surrounding land came into the possession of James Milnes Gaskell, from his wife's family the Williams-Wynns. James was MP for Wenlock for many years. His son Charles Milnes Gaskell restored the Priory lodging as a home with his wife Lady Catherine, daughter of the Earl of Portsmouth. There they entertained many famous people of the day, writers, politicians, artists and explorers, among them Thomas Hardy, Henry Adams, Henry James, Thomas Woolner, Henry Morton Stanley, Isabella Bird
Isabella Bird
and Phillip Webb.[9] The Domesday Book
Domesday Book
of 1086 records the manor as 'Wenloch' and forming part of the hundred of Patton. It was already at this time a fairly large settlement, with 73 households. The abbey is also recorded in the book, separately.[10] The borough of Wenlock was incorporated under the "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.[11] Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
has become known as the birthplace of Wenlock Olympian Games set up by Dr William Penny Brookes
William Penny Brookes
and his Wenlock Olympian Society (WOS) in 1850. In 1861 he was also instrumental in setting up the Shropshire
Shropshire
Games and later in 1866, the National Olympian Games. Dr Brookes is credited as a founding father of the Modern Olympic Games. In 1890 it was the turn of the Raven Hotel to be the venue for the annual post Wenlock Olympian Games' dinner, and Baron Pierre de Coubertin was the guest of honour. Copies of some of the WOS's archive images are on display in the hotel, including letters from Coubertin to Brookes. The Wenlock Olympian Games, a nine-day event staged on eight sites across Shropshire, are still held annually during July, and are still organised by WOS. Much Wenlock's secondary school is named after Dr Brookes. The Olympic mascot for London 2012 was named Wenlock[12] to honour Dr Brookes, WOS and Much Wenlock. On 30 May 2012, the Olympic flame of the London 2012 Summer Games, was carried through Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
to acknowledge the founding footsteps of Dr Brookes.[13] WOS Vice-President, John Simpson, carried an Olympic torch from the town into the William Brookes School. A borough of Wenlock existed until 1966 which, at its height, was – by area – the largest borough in England[14] outside London and encompassed several of the towns that now constitute Telford. The borough had unusual boundaries, covering Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
itself, but also Little Wenlock, Broseley
Broseley
and Ironbridge, a total area of 71 square miles (180 km2).[15] In 1966 the core Wenlock parts became part of the Bridgnorth
Bridgnorth
Rural District, with other parts also going to Dawley
Dawley
Urban District and to Wellington Rural District. Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
was the first community in the West Midlands to have a neighbourhood development plan. The plan was put to a parish referendum on 22 May 2014. There was a 41.8% turnout, and 84.6% of those voting said "yes" to the referendum question: "Do you want Shropshire
Shropshire
Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area." The Neighbourhood Plan was "made" (adopted) by Shropshire
Shropshire
Council on 17 July 2014. Planning applications in the town and surrounding parish must be considered against the Neighbourhood Plan as well as existing planning policy where appropriate, such as the Shropshire-wide Core Strategy and as well as the National Planning Policy Framework. Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
was the location for the third episode of the first series of the archaeology television programme Time Team
Time Team
in 1994.[16] Churches[edit]

Holy Trinity Church

Holy Trinity Church, in Wilmore Street, is the Anglican 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 20th 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 Shit 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, was demolished in 2012 and domestic properties built in its place. Cultural associations[edit]

The annual Live Arts Festival held during March is a section of Wenlock Olympian Games. There are competitions in music, creative writing and dance for young people aged 18 years and under.

Bookshop in Much Wenlock

Nearby is Wenlock Edge, an important geological feature. Both the Edge and the town are the subject of several poems by A. E. Housman
A. E. Housman
in his work A Shropshire
Shropshire
Lad, such as: "On Wenlock Edge
Wenlock Edge
the wood's in trouble..." and "Tis time, I think, by Wenlock town...". In 1909 six of these poems were set to music by Vaughan Williams as On Wenlock Edge, Song cycle for tenor and piano quintet.

The Victorian era
Victorian era
romantic painter and sculptor Robert Bateman (1842–1922) lived near Much Wenlock, at the 16th century Benthall Hall. In 1907 Walter Crane
Walter Crane
described his painting as of... "a magic world of romance and pictured poetry ... a twilight world of dark mysterious woodlands, haunted streams, meads of deep green starred with burning flowers, veiled in a dim and mystic light." The novelist Mary Webb
Mary Webb
(then Mary Meredith), lived in childhood at The Grange just outside the town, on the Church Stretton
Church Stretton
road, from 1882 to 1896.[17] St. Milburga's Well was supposed to cure eye diseases and the town was a destination popular for medieval pilgrims, coming to worship at St Milburga's Shrine. The London 2012 Summer Olympics
2012 Summer Olympics
mascot, Wenlock, is named after the town in honour of Dr WP Brookes and his Wenlock Olympian Society. Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
is host to an annual Poetry Festival, held the week-end after Easter. Founded by Anna Dreda of Wenlock Books, its patron is Carol Ann Duffy.

Other notable people[edit]

Rosemary Leach (1935 in Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
– 2017) English stage, [18] television and film actress Tony Levin (1940 in Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
– 2011) was an English jazz drummer, [19] who played at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club
Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club
in the 1960s Dame Rosemary Butler DBE (born 1943 in Much Wenlock) politician [20] and Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales
Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales
2011 to 2016. Gabrielle Drake
Gabrielle Drake
(born 1944) the actress, [21] lives in Wenlock Priory Mary Beard (born Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
1955) an English scholar and classicist, [22] the New Yorker characterises her as "learned but accessible" Roger Preece (born 1968 in Much Wenlock) was professional midfield footballer [23] between 1986 and 2004, playing over 350 games mainly for Wrexham A.F.C.
Wrexham A.F.C.
and Chester City F.C. Isobel Cooper (born Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
1975), operatic pop soprano singer, [24] known professionally as Izzy Duncan James the well-known English teacher from YouTube - known online as Mr. Duncan, lives in Much Wenlock.

Films[edit]

In 1950 the town and its surrounding countryside were the locations of the film Gone to Earth by Powell and Pressburger. In 1985 the film was fully restored by the National Film Archive, and premiered to great acclaim. The New Statesman review claimed the restored film to be... "One of the great British regional films ...(and)... one of the most beautiful films ever to be shot of the English countryside". The film was based on the 1917 novel of the same name by the Shropshire
Shropshire
writer Mary Webb, which was partly inspired by the Diary of Francis Kilvert. The John Cleese
John Cleese
film Clockwise was filmed partly in and around Much Wenlock. Parts of the film European Psycho were filmed here, with the Guildhall being used as a nightclub.

In July 2011, the documentary Tony Robinson's Olympics was filmed during the Wenlock Olympian Games
Wenlock Olympian Games
and also in and around Much Wenlock Books[edit]

The fiction based on fact novel A Spurious Brood is set in and around Much Wenlock. The book is based on the true story of Katherine More, youngest daughter of an ancient Shropshire
Shropshire
family, whose four children were taken from her to be transported to America on board the Pilgrim Fathers’ ship the Mayflower. Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
also features in the mystery novel Saint Milburga's Bones, by Jason Vail. Set in the 13th century, the novel is part of the Stephen Attebrook mystery series. The town is known as 'Greater Wenlock' in the novel, as the word 'Much' is derived from the Old English 'micel,' pronounced 'mich-el,' and meaning greater or larger. The novel involves the hunt for the bones of the saint.[25]

Schools[edit]

Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
Primary School[26] William Brookes School[27]

Transport[edit] Bus[edit]

2012 sees the introduction of a Shropshire
Shropshire
Hills Shuttle service that operates at weekends and on Bank Holidays during the spring and summer. The route, called the "Wenlock Wanderer", connects the town with Church Stretton
Church Stretton
and operates mostly along the B4371 which runs atop the Wenlock Edge, before turning off to Acton Scott
Acton Scott
and then to Marshbrook
Marshbrook
and the market town of Church Stretton.[28] The Arriva service 436 connects Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
with Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
and Bridgnorth
Bridgnorth
with hourly services.

Rail[edit] Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
used to be served by trains between Wellington and Craven Arms. The station became a terminus when through running southwards to Craven Arms
Craven Arms
ceased in 1951. The branch closed in 1962, just before Dr Beeching published his report.[29] Twin towns[edit]

Cysoing, Nord, France

See also[edit]

Little Wenlock
Little Wenlock
– nearby village. Wenlock Edge
Wenlock Edge
– nearby geological formation.

References[edit]

^ "Town population 2011". Archived from the original on 22 November 2015. Retrieved 21 November 2015.  ^ a b Hanks, Patrick; Hodges, Flavia; Mills, A. D.; Room, Adrian (2002). The Oxford Names Companion. Oxford: the University Press. p. 1238. ISBN 0198605617.  ^ Fletcher, Richard (1997). The Conversion of Europe,. London: HarperCollins. p. 172. ISBN 0-00-255203-5.  ^ Finberg, Early Charters of the West Midlands, 209, dates the earliest charter in the Testament as 675 × 90. ^ See H. P. R. Finberg, Early Charters of the West Midlands (1961), 197–216; A. J. M. Edwards, 'An early 12th century account of St. Milburga of Much Wenlock', T.S.A.S. lvii. 134–42. The publication of this new material relating to St Milburga involves a revision of the older accounts of the early history of Wenlock in Eyton, iii. 225 and Jnl. Brit. Arch. Assoc. 3rd ser. iv. 117. ^ Butler, Sir Thomas (1861). The Cambrian Journal, 49. London. p. 89.  ^ "Alice Glaston". wordpress.com. 19 March 2010. Retrieved 7 April 2018.  ^ "Children & juvenile executions". www.capitalpunishmentuk.org. Retrieved 7 April 2018.  ^ Gamble, Cynthia, 2015 Wenlock Abbey 1857-1919: A Shropshire
Shropshire
Country House and the Milnes Gaskell Family, Ellingham Press. ^ Anna Powell-Smith. "[Much] Wenlock Domesday Book". Domesdaymap.co.uk. Retrieved 29 July 2015.  ^ [1] Archived 4 March 2007 at the Wayback Machine. ^ [2] Archived 7 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine. ^ "Day 12: Olympic Flame visits Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
and the Ironbridge
Ironbridge
Gorge – London 2012 Olympics". London2012.com. Archived from the original on 17 August 2012. Retrieved 29 May 2013.  ^ " Shropshire
Shropshire
Borough & District Councils". Shropshire
Shropshire
History. Retrieved 1 July 2014.  ^ "The Liberty and Borough of Wenlock British History Online". British-history.ac.uk. Retrieved 29 July 2015.  ^ "Programmes - Most Popular - All 4". Channel4.com. Retrieved 29 July 2015.  ^ Dickins, Gordon (1987). An Illustrated Literary Guide to Shropshire. Shropshire
Shropshire
Libraries. pp. 74, 104. ISBN 0-903802-37-6.  ^ IMDb Database retrieved 13 February 2018 ^ The Guardian, 23 February 2011, Tony Levin obituary retrieved 13 February 2018 ^ BBC News Wales, 1 September 1999, UK: Wales: AMs retrieved 13 February 2018 ^ IMDb Database retrieved 13 February 2018 ^ The Observer profile, Sun 29 Apr 2012, The classicist with the common touch retrieved 13 February 2018 ^ SoccerBase Database retrieved 13 February 2018 ^ IzzySings website retrieved 13 February 2018 ^ Vail, Jason. Saint Milburga's Bones.  ^ http://www.muchwenlock.shropshire.sch.uk/ Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
Primary School ^ http://williambrookes.com/ William Brookes School ^ "Weekend Shuttle Buses into the Shropshire
Shropshire
Hills". shropshirehillsaonb.co.uk. Retrieved 29 July 2015.  ^ Holland, Julian (2013). Dr Beeching's axe : 50 years on : illustrated memories of Britain's lost railways. Newton Abbott: David & Charles. p. 82. ISBN 9781446302675. 

Further reading[edit]

British History Online The Liberty and Borough of Wenlock

External links[edit]

This article's use of external links may not follow's policies or guidelines. Please improve this article by removing excessive or inappropriate external links, and converting useful links where appropriate into footnote references. (July 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Much Wenlock.

Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Much Wenlock.

Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
Town Council Shropshire
Shropshire
Tourism – A tourism website for Shropshire Wenlock Olympian Society Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
Bowling Club Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
Visitor Guide by Virtual Shropshire A Literary Walk William Brookes School and Sixth Form Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
Forester Charitable Trust Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
Neighbourhood Plan Wenlock Poetry Festival Shropshire
Shropshire
Councillor for Much Wenlock, David Turner Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
Christmas Fayre Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
Christmas Fayre (Facebook Page) Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
Festival

v t e

Ceremonial county of Shropshire

Unitary authorities

Shropshire
Shropshire
Council Telford
Telford
and Wrekin Council

Major settlements

Bishop's Castle Bridgnorth Broseley Church Stretton Cleobury Mortimer Clun Craven Arms Ellesmere Ludlow Market Drayton Much Wenlock Newport Oswestry Shifnal Shrewsbury Telford
Telford
(Dawley Madeley Oakengates Wellington) Wem Whitchurch See also: List of civil parishes in Shropshire

Rivers

Camlad Clun Corve Ledwyche Onny Perry Rea Rea Brook Redlake Roden Severn Teme Tern Unk Vyrnwy Worfe

Canals

Llangollen Canal Montgomery Canal Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury
Canal Shropshire
Shropshire
Union Canal

Topics

Flag Geology Settlements History Museums Schools Parliamentary constituencies SSSIs Country houses Grade I listed buildings Grade II* listed buildings Lord Lieutenants High Sheriffs

.