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"MADELEY, (or Market Madeley) a parish and market town in the parliamentary borough of Wenlock, county Salop, 2 miles N.E. of Broseley, 6 S.W. of Wellington, and 15 S.E. of Shrewsbury. There are several stations in this parish on the Madeley and Coalbrookdale and the Severn Junction and Wellington branches of the Great Western line of railway, and a station on the Coalport branch of the London and North-Western line. Its name indicates its situation between two rivers, and its adjunct is derived from a grant of a market by Henry III. to a community of Cluniac monks at Wenlock, to whom Madeley then belonged. It is situated on the banks of the river, Severn, which is here crossed by two iron bridges, one of which has given name to the town of Iron Bridge. This bridge, which weighs 378 tons, and has an arch of 100 feet span, was constructed at Coalbrookdale in 1779. The other one was constructed in 1817. The parish includes the districts of Coalbrookdale and Coalport, and the market town of Iron Bridge. The main road from Iron Bridge to Shiffnal passes through the parish, which includes scenery that may vie with the most beautiful in the counties of Monmouth or Devon, especially in the neighbourhood of Coalbrookdale. The district abounds with coal, iron, stone, and potters' clay. A great many of the people are employed in the mines, quarries, and extensive ironworks of Madeley Court and Madeley Wood, as well as in the manufacture of porcelain, rope, and oil. The town is lighted with gas, and there is a courthouse in which the county court is held. The workhouse for the Poor-law Union of Madeley, which comprises 12 parishes, is in this parish. The original market having fallen into disuse, it was revived about the middle of the last century, when a field market-house was erected near the foot of the iron bridge in Coalbrookdale. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Hereford, value £300. The church is a stone structure of Grecian architecture, rebuilt towards the close of the last century, on the spot occupied by the old Norman edifice. The Rev. John Fletcher, a celebrated and much respected divine of the last century, was vicar of this parish. There is also a district church at Iron Bridge, the living of which is a perpetual curacy,* value £196, in the gift of the vicar. The Church of the Holy Trinity, at Iron Bridge, is a Gothic structure with a massive tower recently erected. The parochial charities amount to about £20 per annum. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each a chapel, besides chapels at Coalbrookdale and Iron Bridge, where the Society of Friends have a meeting-house. There are large National schools, conducted in a handsome building; also an infant school. Joseph Reynolds, Esq., is lord of the manor. Friday is market day. Fairs are held on 26th January, 29th May, and 12th October."[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2015]


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Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2015

  • " IRON BRIDGE, a village in the parish of Madeley, county Salop, 1 mile S.E. of Coalbrookdale. It is a station on the Severn Valley railway. The village is situated near the iron bridge over the river Severn, which bridge is 100 feet span, with a rise of 40 feet. The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the neighbouring iron works. The living is a perpetual curacy* in the diocese of Hereford, and in the patronage of the Vicar of Madeley."

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