"MUCH WENLOCK, a parish, market town, municipal and parliamentary borough, locally in the franchise of Wenlock Borough, county Salop, 12 miles S.E. of Shrewsbury, and 5 from Ironbridge. It has a station on the Severn Valley branch of the Great Western railway. It is supposed to have been the site of the British station Llan Meilein. In 680 the Saxon princess Milburga daughter of King Merwald, built a monastery here, which, having been several times destroyed by the Danes, was refounded in 1080 by Roger Earl Warine as a Cluniac abbey. The extensive ruins include parts of the nave, S. transept and choir of the church, and remains of the lady-chapel, cloisters, Norman chapter-house, and the prior's lodge. At the Dissolution its revenues were valued at £401, and the site given to the Lawleys, from whom it came through the Berties and Gages to the Wynns, from whom it was purchased by J. Milnes Gaskell, Esq., M.P. and lord of the manor for the township of Wenlock. The town is situated on the road from Shrewsbury to Bridgnorth, under an extensive mountainous ridge of limestone rock, called Wenlock Edge. It contains the guildhall, an antique structure supported on oak pillars, and fitted with carved oak furniture, restored in 1848 at a cost of £1,000; the corn exchange, with the agricultural library and reading-room, erected in 1852 at a cost of £1,400; a savings-bank, commercial bank open for business on Mondays and Thursdays, excise office, a museum, farmers' club, police station, and timbered market house. The trade of the town is chiefly in agricultural produce, and business is done in malting, tanning, lime-burning, &c. The population of the town is about 1,500. It was incorporated by Edward IV., and under the Municipal Act is the head of an incorporation union composed of Broseley, Dawley, Madeley, and Much Wenlock, which are divided into three wards and governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors, with the style of "burgesses of the borough of Wenlock." The municipal revenue is about £600. The borough has returned two members to parliament from the reign of Edward IV. The borough quarter sessions are held at the guildhall before the recorder, and petty sessions fortnightly at Wenlock, Madeley, and Broseley alternately. There is also a court of record for the borough, and a court-leet for the manor. Races take place in the last week of July, on an oval course of a mile, near the town. Wenlock gives name to a deanery in the archdeaconry of Salop and diocese of Hereford. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Hereford, value £380. The church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was restored in 1853. There is a chapel-of-ease at Burton. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have chapels. The parochial charities produce about £40 per annum, including £15, the endowment of Southern's school. There are National and infant schools, erected in 1848. The Lawleys of Escrick Park, Yorkshire, have estates in the parish, and take the title of baron from this place. Market day is on Monday. Fairs are held on the second Monday in March, 12th May, 5th July for sheep, 17th October, and 4th December for cattle, sheep, pigs, &c."[Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2015]
- A transcript of the MuchWenlock parish entries from Samuel Lewis's 1831 Topographical Dictionary of England,
- A transcript of the MuchWenlock parish entries from Gregory's 1824 Gazetteer of Shropshire,
Transcribed from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland 1868 by Colin Hinson ©2015
- " ATTERLEY, a township in the parish of Much Wenlock, Wenlock liberty, in the county of Salop, 2 miles from Much Wenlock."
- " BOURTON, (or Burton), a township in the parish of Much Wenlock, Wenlock borough, in the county of Salop, 3 miles to the S. of Wenlock.
- " BRADLEY, a township joined with Farley, in the parish of Much Wenlock, Wenlock borough, in the county of Salop, 1 mile to the N.E. of Much Wenlock."
- " CALLAUGHTON, a township in the parish of Much Wenlock, borough of Wenlock, in the county of Salop, 2 miles from Much Wenlock."
- " FARLEY, a township united with Bradley and Wyke, in the parish of Much-Wenlock, county Salop, and situated within a short distance of the town of Much-Wenlock."
- " HARLEY, a township in the parish of Much Wenlock, county Salop, 1 mile from Much Wenlock. It is joined to Homer and Wigwig."
- " HOMER, a township in the parish of Much Wenlock, county Salop, 1 mile N. of Wenlock. It is united with Harley."
- " PRESTHOPE, a township in the parish of Much Wenlock, county Salop, 10 miles S.E. of Shrewsbury. It is situated under Wenlock Edge."
- " ROWLEY, a hamlet in the parish of Much Wenlock, hundred of Wenlock Borough, county Salop, 2 miles W. of Much Wenlock, under Wenlock Edge."
- " WALTON, a township in the parish of Much Wenlock, county Salop, near Much Wenlock."
- " WIGWIG, a township in the parish of Much-Wenlock, county Salop, 2 miles N.W. of Much-Wenlock. It is joined with Harley."
- " WYKE, a township in the parish of Much Wenlock, county Salop, 2 miles N.E. of Much Wenlock. It is in conjunction with Farley."
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