Shrewsbury has been a frontier town and a centre of England’s thriving woollen industry, sited on a major trading river. It witnessed conflict with the Welsh and between factions within England, which led to a series of fortifications and visits by many of England’s medieval kings.
Timber-framed buildings were erected by the merchants made wealthy by trade. Wealth was also brought to the town as a result of the abbey, notably after it gained the remains of St Winifrede with the resulting influx of pilgrims. But the abbey was also the early industrial hub of the city, and the site of two early parliaments.
In the Georgian period the town began to exert its influence as the county town, but not all was gentility. With the coming of the railways, suburbs grew and the economy further diversified. Services such as water supply and sewerage struggled to keep pace with the spreading town. After the Second World War, the town’s architectural heritage was threatened by redevelopment. The book ends with a consideration of recent developments in the nature of the town and what it indicates for the future.
Paperback | 272 pages | 242 x 171 mm | 2012
120 colour and 100 b&w illustrations