Wellington is a town in the unitary authority of
Telford and Wrekin
and ceremonial county of Shropshire,
England and now forms part of the
new town of Telford, with which it has gradually become contiguous.
The total town population of Wellington was 25,554 in 2011 making it
by far the largest of the borough towns and the third largest town in
Shropshire when counted independently from Telford. However, the town
centre serves a greater area of approximately 60,000.
2 The creation of Telford
3 Shopping and local businesses
6 Education and health services
8 Community projects
9 Notable people
11 External links
Its name is most likely derived from that of a Saxon settler - Weola -
whose farmstead would have been located somewhere in the centre of
town, possibly near The Green. A church has stood near that site for
almost 1000 years and a priest is mentioned in the Domesday Book. The
original churchyard still remains. A new church, designed by George
Steuart, was built in 1789.
Wellington's first market charter was granted to Giles of Erdington,
lord of the manor, and is dated 1244 (See citation in external links)
and a market still exists today. The market had an open-sided market
hall by 1680 - and possibly much earlier - but this was dismantled
c.1805 (See Citation in external links). In 1841, a market company
formed to purchase the market rights from Lord Forester in 1856.
Several years later in 1848, the company built a town hall with the
butter market below, creating a permanent covered home for traders.
In 1642 King Charles I stayed overnight 'in the environs of'
Wellington (i.e. not in the town itself) when on his way from Newport
Shrewsbury to rally support for his cause (and to exchange cash for
honours), and while here he made his 'Wellington Declaration' in which
he said that he would uphold the Protestant Religion, the Laws of
England, and the Liberty of Parliament.
Shropshire Olympian Games, organised by celebrated Olympic
revivalist Dr William Penny Brookes, were held in Wellington in May
To the north-east of the town is the site of Apley Castle, originally
a fourteenth-century fortified manor house, the remains of which were
converted into a stable block with the building of a grand Georgian
house, which was itself demolished in the 1950s. The surviving stable
block has been converted into apartments and retains some medieval
Another street view of the pedestrianised centre of Wellington
The creation of Telford
Dawley New Town was designated by the Government in 1963, and was
expanded to encompass Wellington in 1968 under the new name of
Telford, named for the great engineer and first county surveyor of
Shropshire, Thomas Telford. The creation of
Telford has divided
opinion in Wellington ever since, with some celebrating the jobs and
investment it brought to the area and others bemoaning the negative
impact on Wellington's own economy – as well as its status and sense
of identity. The development of
Telford Town Centre since the 1970s
has hit Wellington's retail centre hard. The local football team had
its name changed from Wellington Town to
Local politics left Wellington in conflict with Wrekin District (now
Telford & Wrekin) Council for many years, with claims and counter
claims of neglect. In more recent years, however, the Council has
started making heavy investment to make improvements to the town.
Chief amongst these has been the redeveloped Wellington Civic and
Leisure Centre near the centre of the town, which has brought together
the library, town council, swimming pool and gymn, along with a new
register office. 200 borough council officers are also located at the
Wellington shown within
Telford in Purple.
Shopping and local businesses
The area's largest employers are located in nearby areas of Telford,
with Wellington itself housing hundreds of small businesses in its
shops, offices and small manufacturing units. A range of nationwide
chains have branches in Wellington (including Holland & Barrett,
Clarks and Boots) but over the last thirty years, many have shunned
Wellington in favour of premises in
Wellington is also one of the area's main centres for pubs,
restaurants and small hotels.
The Wrekin, one of Shropshire's most famous landmarks, provides
Wellington with a rolling green backdrop to the south-west. Located
just two miles from the centre of the town, it brings tens of
thousands of walkers and cyclists to Wellington every year.[citation
Located in the town's Victorian market hall, Wellington Market
operates four days a week and houses over 100 stalls. A Farmers'
Market takes place on the fourth Saturday of the month, bringing
Shropshire food producers and retailers in the
market's historic home of Market Square.
A short walk from the centre of the town is Sunnycroft, a Victorian
villa and mini-estate now owned and run by the National Trust.
The New Buck's Head football stadium, home to A.F.C.
is in Wellington. Other sporting clubs include the Wellington Cricket
Club, currently in the Birmingham League Premier Division, and Wrekin
Wellington is home to the Belfrey Theatre an amateur venue run by the
Wellington Theatre Company which puts on an annual season of plays and
The area's music and theatre groups host performances throughout the
year, and there are craft markets at both Belmont Hall and Christ
In March, the town marks Charter Day, when the 1244 charter is
delivered by a messenger on horseback. A jury then convenes in the
Market Square to appoint the town crier, ale taster and market clerk
for the year ahead.
During the summer, around 40 events take place in and around the town,
including the historically-inspired Midsummer Fayre, the town carnival
and Lions Day at Bowring Park, and the Wellington Walking Festival.
Sounds in The Square brings live music to the heart of the town across
weekends in July and August, and various concerts and fetes complete
Autumn kicks off with
The Wrekin Barrel Race, when teams race to carry
a nine-gallon beer barrel to the top of
The Wrekin hill. In October,
The Wellington Literary Festival heralds a month-long series of talks
and workshops with nationally-known authors and broadcasters,
alongside local writers and historians.
Education and health services
Wellington is the main education centre for the borough. Wrekin
College, New College
Telford College of Arts and
Technology (TCAT) are located around the outskirts of the town, along
with several primary and secondary schools.
The Princess Royal Hospital – one of Shropshire's two main hospitals
– is located just outside the town at Apley, as is the Severn
Hospice. Within the town itself, Wellington Health Centre is the main
GP practice, and the attractive former Cottage Hospital now houses
popular day care facilities as Wellington Cottage Care.
Wellington railway station
All Saints' Church in the centre of Wellington. Built in 1790.
Morrisons supermarket in Springhill, Wellington
Wellington Library, where the poet
Philip Larkin once worked. The
alley to the left of the photo is sign-posted "Larkin Way"
Wellington can be reached more easily than many
thanks to its excellent road links, its centrally located railway and
bus stations, and its position on routes 45 and 81 of the National
Wellington railway station was built in 1849 and has three platforms,
served by Arriva Trains Wales,
London Midland and Virgin Trains (West
coast) providing northbound trains towards
Shrewsbury and Wales, and
southbound trains to the West Midlands. One of the platforms is a bay
platform, which sees little use at present. Additionally, from
2008–2011 the town had a through train service to London Marylebone,
the first for almost 40 years.
In 1867, a branch line was opened to connect the town with Market
Drayton. The Wellington and
Market Drayton Railway operated for just
under one hundred years before closure under the
Beeching Axe in 1963.
The line remained open for goods only services until 1967, when this
service was also withdrawn. The track was lifted in the early 1970s.
There were also railway links to
Much Wenlock and Stafford, both
closed in the late 1960s.
A goods only link to a rail head at Donnington, on part of the former
Stafford line, has been re-opened. There has been some
campaigning to re-open the whole of the line from
Stafford through Wellington, Leegomery, Hadley, Trench, Donnington,
Wellington is located at the western terminus of the M54 motorway
Junction 7 and has good bus services making it one of the most
accessible towns in Shropshire.
A number of community organisations are active in the town.
Wellington's 'Walkers are Welcome' Group, for instance, organises
regular walks around the area in addition to the annual Walking
Festival, and Wellington H2A promote arts and heritage in the town
through a range of events. Local history and heritage are also
promoted by Wellington History Group and Wellington Civic Society. A
twinning group exists to maintain links with Wellington's twin town of
Chatenay-Malabry in France.
Amongst current community projects are the Peace Garden, started by
local nonagenarian George Evans, and the ambitious project to reopen
the former Clifton Cinema as a multi-purpose community-owned arts
centre, since the building was vacated by previous occupants Dunelm in
Main category: People from Wellington, Shropshire
The town's literary claims to fame include it being the birthplace of
Hesba Stretton (1832–1911), and the first job of
Philip Larkin was as librarian of Wellington Library from 1943 to
circa 1945. The poet
Philip Larkin described Wellington as a "hole of
toad's turds" and stated that his job as town librarian was to "hand
out tripey novels to morons". A walkway at the side of Wellington
Library was named Larkin Way in honour of Philip Larkin, but this
pathway was lost during re-development work on the library and the
Borough Council is considering renaming the new, slightly different
pathway, with the help of the public. This is not without
Patrick Brontë lived in the town for year while serving a
curacy before moving to Yorkshire and meeting his future wife there,
Maria Branwell. The abolitionist Dr
William Withering was born in the
town in 1741; he also investigated digitalis, used in the treatment of
heart disease. S. Parkes Cadman, who became a prominent clergyman in
the United States, was born there in 1864. Several members of the pop
group T'Pau (including vocalist
Carol Decker and keyboardist Michael
Chetwood) grew up in Wellington – the latter returning to run a
music shop in the town.
Other notable residents of the town and its hinterland include:
Richard Baxter (1615–1691), puritan church leader and scholar.
Sir George Downing (1685–1749), politician, founder of Downing
College, Cambridge. He was brought up in the household of his maternal
aunt at Dothill Park, her husband being politician Sir William
Andrew Plimer (c. 1763–1837), miniature painter.
Len Murray (1922–2004), trade union leader, was educated at
Wellington Grammar School.
Henry Gauntlett (1805–1876), composer, organist and organ designer,
born there when father was parish curate.
Thomas Campbell Eyton
Thomas Campbell Eyton (1809–1880), naturalist.
Cecil Lawson (1849–1882), landscape artist, born there.
Harry Hampton (1885–1963), footballer, born there, brought up in
Victoria Street, played for Wellington Town before, and after, his
more distinguished playing for Aston Villa.
William Allison White
William Allison White (1894–1974), World War I Victoria Cross
recipient, died there.
Stewart Lee, comedian.
Kamran Sheeraz (b. 1973), cricketer
Jonathan Corbett, TV presenter.
Brian Epstein, manager of
The Beatles studied at Wrekin College
Paul Blackthorne, who plays Detective Lance in Arrow, was born in
Peter Vaughan (1923–2016) actor, lived as child in Wellington before
moving to Staffordshire at age seven.
Tony McPhee (b. 1944) lead guitarist, singer, and composer for the
progressive blues/rock band The Groundhogs has lived in Wellington for
^ All Saints Church, Wellington
^ 'Wellington: Economic history', A History of the County of
Shropshire: Volume 11:
Telford (1985), pp. 222–232. Shropshire
market. Date accessed: 20 May 2008.
^ Historic England. "
Apley Castle (72267)". PastScape. Retrieved 26
^ British History Online
^ "Letter: What did
Philip Larkin ever do for Wellington?". Shropshire
Star. Retrieved 12 April 2012.
^ "Plans to re-name Wellington street thrown in doubt". Wellington
News. Retrieved 16 February 2011.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Wellington, Shropshire.
Wellington Town Council
Wellington History Group
Wellington Chamber of Commerce
Wellington Cricket Club
Wellington's Market Charter
Belfrey Theatre (Wellington Theatre Company)
Telford Culture Zone
Ceremonial county of Shropshire
Telford and Wrekin
Telford and Wrekin Council
See also: List of civil parishes in Shropshire
Shropshire Union Canal
Grade I listed buildings
Grade II* listed buildings