SHROPSHIRE in 1824
"SHROPSHIRE, a county.
DIVISIONS. The common divisions of Shropshire are:-
1 The hundred of Oswestry.
2 " Pimhill.
3 " Bradford.
4 " Brimstry; or Brimstree.
5 " Ford.
6 The liberties of Shrewsbury.
7 The hundred of Condover.
8 The franchise of Wenlock.
9 The hundred of Chirbury.
10 " Purslow.
11 " Munslow.
12 " Stottesdon.
13 The liberties of Bridgnorth.
14 The hundred of Clun.
15 " Overs.
The hundred of Oswestry is divided into the upper and lower divisions; the hundred of Pimhill into the Ellesmere and Baschurch divisions; the hundred of Bradford into North and South; and again into the Whitchurch and Drayton divisions of the North part, and the Wellington and Newport divisions, of the South part; the hundred of Brimstry into the Shiffnal, Bridgnorth, and Hales Owen divisions; the hundred of Condover into the Cound and Condover divisions; the hundred of Chirbury into the upper and lower divisions; the hundred of Purslow into the Bishopscastle and Stow divisions; the hundred of Munslow into the upper and lower divisions; the hundred of Stottesdon into the Cleobury and Chelmarsh divisions; and the hundred of Clint into the Mainstone and Chin divisions. See appendix.
CLIMATE. Owing to the irregularity of its soil and surfaces in conjunction with other causes, there is no inconsiderable difference in the climate of Shropshire. On the eastern side of the county, when the land approaches nearer to a plain, the harvest is frequently ripe about a fortnight sooner than in the interior, where the valleys are extensive, the surface more dense, and the bottom of clay, And yet in this part, both hay and grain are gathered earlier than on the western side, where the valleys are narrow, and the land frequently more elevated; though here, the land is not so stiff, and lies for the most part on a rocky bottom, full of femora& In spring the easterly winds prevail, and in autumn those from the west. In the opinion of Archdeacon Plymley, the easterly winds are more regular, than those from the west; generally blowing for a series of five or six years; and then, for nearly the sane space of time, being less frequent, and less violent. The same may be observed of the wet and dry seasons; but the periods of both appear to be much shorter. The air is generally very salubrious, not only through the county at large, but even in the mining districts.
PLAIN OF SHREWSBURY.
The plain of Shrewsbury is a track of considerable extent, divided by the Severn into two unequal portions, and, though flat when compared with the surrounding hills, is very varied in its surface. Its greatest extent from north to south may be about thirty miles, comprehending the space between Whitchurch and Church- Stretton: its breadth from Oswestry to Coalbrookdale is about 28 miles. A range of limestone from Rhuabon to Llanymynech, and the Breddin hills, form the western boundary; the northern extremity terminates on the borders of Cheshire and Flintshire; the eastern line consists of the hills on the Staffordshire border, the Wrekin, the hills of Acton-burnel, Frodesley, the Lawley, and Caer-Caradoc: the southern boundary is formed by the Longmont, Stiper-stones and Longmountain.
From Hawkstone southwards to Lea and Grinshill hills, extends a line of calcareous freestone, chiefly of the red kind, except at Grinshill, where there is a considerable quantity of white, resembling the Portland stone, of which great use has been made in the bridges, churches, and other modern edifices of Shrewsbury. To the west of this is another ridge of the same kind of stone, beginning a little north of Ellesmere, and in its progress southwards dividing into two branches, one of which descending between Ellesmere and Whixall-moss, touches upon Wem, includes Middle and Harmer-hills and terminates in Pimhill: the other branch passing to the west of Ellesmere, reaches the river Perry, which it accompanies to its junction with the Severn under the names of Nescliff and Leaton shelf, then crossing the Severn, it terminates in the high grounds at Bickton and Onslow.
It is not known that any shells or other marine exuviae are found in these rocks. The valleys between each ridge contain marl, more or less mixed with sand or clay. At Hawkstone and Pimhill, the summits of some of the rocks are tinged with green carbonate of copper. This tract, about 17 miles from north to south, and varying in breadth from eight to fourteen, has but few running waters, but abounds in large pools or meres, of which the chief are the pools of Ancot, Marton, Fennymoor, and five others of considerable size near Ellesmere.
From hence westward, there is a narrow slip of loose sand, which borders upon another of mainly clay mixed with alluvial, fragments, in which near Chirk, Ruabon, and Oswestry, are found considerable quantities of coals. This clay is bounded by a low ridge of tender shale, reposing on the base of the limestone rocks which overhang it: but between Chirk and Oswestry (where the lime is entirely wanting, or most probably lies at a great depth below the surface,) rising immediately upon the slate mountain of Selattyn, one of the Ferwyn chain. The exterior boundary to the west consists of the limestone, which descending from the vale of Clwyd, rises into the Eglwyseg mountains and Chirk lime-rocks, is interrupted near Oswestry, and appears again in the hill of Llanymynech, in which is found carbonate of copper interposed between the strata of lime. The rock composing the whole of this range is very hard, and contains but few shells.
On the north-east of the plain, the calcareous freestone extending from Hawkstone towards Salop, is bordered by a range of argillaceous schistus; commencing in Haghmond hill, about two miles from Shrewsbury. This hill is composed of primitive argillaceous schistus interspersed with mica, and based upon porphyry; the strata are nearly perpendicular to the horizon, and its escarpement faces the Severn, that flows within half a mile of its bottom. The valley eastward, between this ridge and the Wrekin, consists of alluvial soil and tender shale. The Wrekin itself, with two other smaller hills on the north and south of it, consists of a coarse dark grey whin, red on the surface, owing to the oxidation of its iron. It is craggy at the top, and so much higher than the surrounding hills, as apparently to rise alone from the middle of the plain; its plan is a long oval, pointing nearly north and south; its figure very exactly resembling that of a whale asleep on the surface of the sea; the strata, which are perpendicular to the horizon, lie east and west, or across the short diameter. The most precipitous side of the mountain is the eastern; its height is reckoned about 1200 feet. Eastward of the Wrekin is found clay and shale containing coal. Next to this, from Newport to Coalbrookdale, between Wellington and Shiffnal, extends a vast body of ironstone and coal, which is bounded on the east by a long broad line of sand and calcareous freestone, beginning north of Shiffnal, then crossing the Severn, and accompanying its course on both sides of the river from Bridgnorth to Wolverhampton, which is the furthest distance it has been traced; but in all probability it accompanies the Severn as far as the lime-rocks near Bristol. Parallel to the Severn, and at a little distance from it, between the Wrekin and Coalbrookdale, runs a narrow ridge of aggregate rock, consisting of quartz, ochre, and other rounded pebbles in a calcareous cement; the pebbles vary in size from coarse sand to the bulk of a pigeon's egg. Large cubical blocks of this stone are used for the foundation of the new iron bridge erected at Buildwas abbey. The rocks on both sides of the river, at the entrance of Coalbrookdale from Shrewsbury, are composed of lime; and from the northern extremity of a long range which passes by Wenlock in a south-west direction as far as Ludlow. It is this singular combination of coal, iron ore, and lime, together with the advantage of water carriage, that renders Coalbrookdale the centre of the most extensive iron works in the kingdom; the ore for the most part is so poor as in less favourable situations to be hardly worth the trouble of reducing, yet here, where the fewel and flux are near at hand, it is made the source of astonishing wealth, and supports a population of many thousands.
Close to the inclined plane from the Ketley canal to the Severn, is a spring of petroleum, or fossil-tar; it was cut into upon driving a level into the hill (which is of red sandstone,) in search of coal; the quantity that first issued was to the amount of three or four barrels per day, but at present there seldom flows out more than half a barrel in the same period. The limestone is for the most part of a light bluish grey, very hard, and inclosing but few remains of organized bodies: on the sides of the large excavation at Lincoln hill, petroleum is seen oozing out, but it appears to be merely percolating through the rock, not chemically uniting with it; for the lime thus impregnated, has nothing of that strong disagreeable scent which characterises the common swine-stone, which is a combination of the same substances, that in this instance are only very loosely mixed. The cliffs of Benthal Edge on the opposite side of the river, contain many fine specimens of crystallized lime, particularly a flesh-coloured tabular spar, sprinkled with ivory pyrites, and in appearance greatly resembling the sulphate of baryt.
Meteorology is a subject that of late years has excited the attention of several natural philosophers, and accurate registers are kept of the variation of temperature, the weight of the atmosphere, and the quantity of rain; on the last of these subjects, the calculations must necessarily be very inaccurate and imperfect, so long as pluviameters even the most correct are the only instruments made use of. The heaviest showers are generally those which are the most circumscribed, and it may often happen that one or two inches of rain may fall at one place, while another not a mile off does not receive a single drop; on this account it seems absolutely necessary, in order to draw general conclusions, to contrive some method of estimating the quantity of rain that falls upon very extensive surfaces; perhaps it is not easy to attain great accuracy in these more comprehensive observations, yet even imperfect results may be of great use when corrected by more exact, though more circumscribed ones. Part of every shower that falls is imbibed by the earth; and this will be proportioned to the antecedent dryness or moisture, depth or shallowness of the soil: a considerable portion however flows off into the brooks, and thence through the rivers into the sea. Now the whole of this portion may in most places be determined with considerable accuracy, and I know no station so well adapted to observations of this kind as Coalbrookdale. At the iron bridge, the river is confined on both sides by upright piers of masonry that serve as the foundation to the iron arch; the breadth of these piers on the water side is about 25 feet. If therefore a graduated scale was attached to the piers, to measure the rise or fall of the stream, and a log-line thrown twice or thrice a day under the arch to note the rate of the current, the quantity of water might thus be ascertained: in time a general ratio of the rate to the depth would be procured, and then the observation of the graduated scale alone would be sufficient. By these means the quantity of superfluous water from about 1260 square miles would be known, including besides the plain of Salop, a great part of the counties of Montgomery and Merioneth.
Having deacribed that part of the plain of Salop north of the Severn, we proceed to notice in the order of their position from east to west, those ridges which lie on the south side of the river. Of these the first is the limestone ridge, which commencing in Lincoln hill at Coalbrookdale, proceeds in a south-westerly direction towards Stretton; near which place being forced to the south by the hills round Hope Bowdler, it descends nearly in a right line to Ludlow. The form of these hills is the same with that of every other limestone range, at a sufficient distance from the primitive mountains.
The outline of a limestone hill commonly rises from the plane of the horizon with an angle of about 25 degrees, till it reaches the height of three or four hundred feet; it then proceeds in a direction nearly level with its base, but more usually ascending than descending, for the space of half a mile, or even a mile; and at length drops down into the plain at a very large angle, approaching frequently to a right angle; and this precipitous descent is called its escarpment. Of the range of hills now under consideration, the escarpment is to the southwest, and the steepest descent of the side is that towards the plain of Salop. Near Coalbrookdale the lime abounds in crystals, is very hard, and incloses few shells: about Wenlock the shells increase in number; there are few distinct crystals, but great part of the rock is a coarse confusedly crystallized marble. As the hills proceed further south, they alter somewhat in shape, the difference between the ascent and escarpement being less perceptible, like the shale hills; the lime is mixed more with clay, the strata become thinner and more like schistus; the only appearances of crystallization are between the strata, which enclose a great number of ammonities and other fossile shells: and the substance of the rock becomes so soft as to be easily broken down by a small hammer.
Westward of this ridge, is a valley whose soil consists of clay and lime: its breadth is about two miles, and its length from Coalbrookdale to Stretton valley is nearly fifteen miles. No coal is at present procured from any part of this tract, but it is evident from its position, its soil, and the remains of some old pits, that it contains beds of this very valuable commodity.
This valley, to the west, is bounded by some low hills of micaceous argillaceous schistus; ranging for the most part, without any intermediate valley, along the base of a ridge of primitive mountains. This ridge, of which the Wrekin is the northern extremity, appears on the south side of the Severn, in the same line with the Wrekin, and consists of the hills of Acton-Burnel, Frodesley, the Lawley, Caer-Caradoc, and Hope-Bowdler hills. Each of these, like the Wrekin, has the long diameter from north to south, and the direction of the perpendicular strata is the same with the short diameter; they are craggy at the top, and ascend from the plain of Salop very abruptly at an angle of about 60 degrees. They abound in whin, porphyry, green earth, fragments of whin &c., in a clay cement, and are based upon granite. Of this ridge, those hills which form the eastern side of Stretton valley, have their bases covered by a shivery shale rising to the height of 2 or 300 feet. The vale in which Church Stretton is situated, separates the whin mountains just described, from a very singular mass of hills called the Longmont. They ascend gradually from the plain to the height of about 400 feet, and then with a very level and unvaried summit, stretch for several miles towards Bishopscastle. Squareness seems the peculiar character of these hills, both in their plan and outline; and from Stretton vale this singularity appears to the greatest advantage.
Three or four lines of hills are seen rising above one another, the form of each of which was in all probability nearly a cube; at present however, from the diminution of their tops and the proportionate enlargement of their bases, they approach nearer to the figure of a truncated pyramid. Almost every individual is separated from the surrounding hills by a deep narrow valley or glen with a stream flowing through it, forming occasionally small cascades, and here and there overhung with woods. The substance of which the Longmont is composed, is a very shivery kind of schistus; it is covered for the most part with heath and short grass, and furnishes an extensive pasture for many sheep. Several brooks take their rise here, some of which flow northward into the plain of Shrewsbury, and others tend southwards, watering the country between Bishopscastle and Ludlow.
Following the mountainous line that forms the southern boundary of the plain of Salop, we next come to a very elevated rocky tract, between the high road from Shrewsbury to Bishopscastle, and the vale of Montgomery. The most elevated peak of this assemblage of lofty hills, is called the Stiperstones: its summit is extremely craggy, and overspread with enormous loose blocks of whin, that at a distance appear like the ruins of some great fortress. In height it is rather superior to the Wrekin, and forms the abrupt termination of a line of primitive mountains that hence extend south-west into Radnorshire. Towards the plain of Salop the base of the whin is bordered with banks of argillaceous schistus, and a black stone containing argil, lime, and iron; of this composition the lime forms so great a part that upon the addition of water, after calcination, the stone breaks down into a coarse powder; this in a country so far from lime ought to be a valuable article, and yet the only use that it has been put to, is mending the road between Minsterly and Wilmington.
Lead is procured in considerable quantity from various parts of the Stiperstones. The Hope and Snailbeach mines, are opened in the bank of schistus that reposes on the whin: the latter mine is worked to the depth of 180 yards. The matrix of the ore is crystallized quartz and carbonate of lime, both the rhomboidal and dogtooth spar; the rhomboidal is frequently covered with pyramidal quartz crystals, and the quartz itself is overspread in many specimens with iron pyrites and very minute needles of dog-tooth spar. The ore is,
I. Sulphuret of lead, both galena or steel ore, which latter contains silver.
II. Carbonate of lead, crystallized.
III. Red lead ore.
IV. Blende, or black jack.
The red lead ore was first discovered in these mines by Raspe, a German mineralogist. The specimens of red lead ore from Siberia, exhibit rhomboidal, obliquely truncated, tetrahedral prisms, and contain according to Macquart's analysis, per cent. lead 36, oxygen 87, iron 25, alumine 2. The Snailbeach red lead greatly resembles the pulverulent cinnabar ores, being entirely free from crystals. Its matrix is a dark stone evidently containing iron; whether however it derives its colour from the iron, or is a native misium, I know not. The lead ore is reduced at Minsterly and other places near the mines, whence it is sent by land carriage to Shrewsbury; here it is shipped, together with the raw calamine, in the Severn barges, and sent down to Bristol.
The country between the vale of Montgomery and the vale of Severn, is entirely occupied by two masses of hills, one the Long-mountain with its dependencies, the other the Breddin-hills; a brief description of these will complete the amount of the southern boundary of the plain of Salop. The Long mountain is about the same height as the Longmont, and those parts of it that border the vale of Montgomery resemble considerably, in squareness of form, the hills on the western side of the vale of Stretton. The principal part of the mountain is composed of a shale more or less tender, covered on the very top with an alluvial stratum of rounded pebbles of various sorts, in a grey clay; the escarpement towards the vales of Severn and Montgomery is very steep, and it sinks gradually into the plain. Almost opposite Pool is a circular entrenchment called Beacon ring, the eastern side of which, and of most other banks on the mountain, is covered with sheep-seats, while on the opposite side not a single one is to be seen; a singular and convincing proof of the violence and frequency of westerly winds. That side of the mountain which fronts the Severn, instead of being broken like the eastern into distinct hills, is almost one continued ridge. It differs also in its composition as well as form; the shale is much less shivery, and approaches nearly to the texture of coarse argillaceous schistus; as it approaches Breddin it becomes mingled with small rhomboidal crystals, or amorphous striated laminae of calcareous spar; serpentine with green, ferruginous and purple spots also occurs, especially near Breddin: the spar often forms so large a proportion of the reek, that it might probably be burnt, and used with advantage as a substitute for limestone.
A narrow winding valley, from the vale of Severn to the plain of Salop, separates the Long-mountain from the three hills of Breddin, Moel-y-golfa, and Cefn-cestyll; a mass of rock about 1,000 feet in height, with three distinct summits: the northern and western sides of this mountain are in most places perpendicular, and in some parts the summit overhangs its base; it is therefore inaccessible except on its southern and eastern sides, and even here the ascent is very laborious. The greater part of the rock consists of perpendicular strata of serpentine of a light green colour, with dark green or almost black spots, here and there mixed with lime in very small grains; it is remarkably tough, will not strike fire with steel, and has lately been used in architecture, the aqueduct over the Virnwy being built of it.
There are a few banks of shale and alluvial strata resting on the western base of this mountain. The view from Rodney's pillar on the top of Breddin, is perhaps the most striking of any of this part of the Welsh border: the near prospect is almost the same as has been already described from Llanymynech hill, consisting of the Severn, Virnwy, and Tannad; but, owing to the superior height of Breddin, the view, instead of being bound by the Ferwyn mountains, extends over these as far as Plinlimmon, Cader Idris, and Arran-ben-Llyn, whose pointed summits diversify the extensive line of horizon. Several rare plants also are found here: Crataegus aria, Veronica hybrida, Papaver cambricum, Sedun rupestre, Pteris crispa, &c.
From the Stiper-stones a range of low hills proceeds, in a north-easterly direction as far as Shrewsbury, known under the names of Lyth-hill, Baiston-hill, and the Sharp-stones: they consist for the most part of argillaceous schistus, mixed with mica; in some places, however, the rock is covered with an indurated stratum of various thickness, consisting of rounded pebbles, in size from a walnut to a grain of corn, cemented by clay; the pebbles are quartz, semi- transparent, varying in colour from pure white to flesh colour, and containing particles of mica.
On the west, however of Lyth-hill, descending to Mole brook, are several beds of a stratified rock, consisting of clay, sulphuret of iron, and lime: on the addition of nitrous acid a very lively effervescence takes place; it melts into a porous shining black slag on being kept a few minutes in a white heat in an open fire; when exposed to an inferior degree of heat and plunged into water, a considerable quantity of hepatic gas is extricated. This rock shelves gradually down to Pulley-common, and is there terminated by beds of soft lime and coals; this latter mineral indeed is found accompanying almost the whole course of Meole brook; there are three strata lying over each other; the first, called funkers, are intimately mixed with a large proportion of iron pyrites, and are only used for burning lime and bricks; the next are of superior quality, but the lowest are by far the best: they are of a deep shining black, soil the fingers but little, and are so inflammable as to take fire when held a few moments in a candle. [The coal from the WELBATCH PITS, is esteemed the best of any on the brook.] Salt springs are found in many of the pits, of which one at Sutton is in great repute as a very efficacious purgative,
The soil of the plain of Shrewsbury south of the Severn, is for the most part either a clay or gravel; by gravel I mean rounded pebbles of various sizes, mixed with sand and clay.
The pebbles may be divided into I. Calcareous. II. Decomposed granite and other primitive stones. III. Undecomposed granite, &c.
I. Calcareous pebbles.
These are 1. A dark grey limestone, consisting of an aggregation of spherules of lime about the size of a pea, in a. calcareous cement.
2. A dark blackish-grey limestone, of a chouchoidal fracture; containing lime, argil, and mica, resembling Kirwan's compact limestone. Var. 2.
3. Purple streaked marble.
4. Reddish brown marble with petrifactions.
5. Shelly indurated marl.
II. Decomposed primitive stones.
1. Quartz and calcareous spar, (secondary granit of Saussure.)
2. Hornblende schistus, with irregular strata of calcareous spar.
III. Primitive stones.
1. Simple grnnite, i.e. composed of quartz, felspar, and mica.
2. Granite, with red felspar.
3. Granite, with red felspar, iron pyrites, and carbonate of iron.
4. Sienite. (Of Kirwan.)
5. Sienite, with decomposed iron pyrites.
6. Porphyry, of various kinds, chiefly the argillaceous. (vid. Kirwan.)
8. Serpentine and felspar.
Various other combinations of Stones might no doubt be found among the alluvial fragments of the plain of Salop; those, however, above enumerated, occur most frequently, forming by far the largest portion of the stony substances that are distributed through the soil.
LAKES OF SHROPSHIRE. The lakes in this county are neither numerous nor extensive. On the west side is Marton pool, 640 yards by 510 yards, and containing 45 acres 2 roods 15 perches. From this pool one small stream runs S.W., another N.E., and another N.W. Ellesmere, adjoining the town of that name, covers 116 acres; Whitemere, 62 acres; Colemere 87 acres; and Crosemere, 44 acres. Newtonmere, Blackmere, and Kettlemere, are in the same neighbourhood, but of less size. Near Whitchurch, are also two meres. North also of Severn, is another Marton-pool, from 40 to 42 acres; Fennymere, 46 acres; Llynclys-pool, 8 acres; Hencot (called Ancot,) 25 acres; and that at Shrawardine about 40 acres, lately made, or rather restored, and which is a fine sheet of water. South of Severn, is Beaumere, a beautiful, but small lake; and almost adjoining it is Shomere, which probably once covered the adjoining morass. Thus, that side of the county which abounds most in running water has few pools of any size. Such as serve the purpose of keeping fish, are general throughout the county.
At Walcot and Hawkstone, are artificial lakes, or rivers, of very considerable extent; the latter is two-miles long. Sundorn and Halstone have embellishments of the same kind. The water in Acton Burnel park, covers 25 acres, and that at Aston 11 acres.
PLANTS, &c. The CROPS commonly cultivated in this county are wheat, barley, oats, pease, and turnips. Hops are cultivated on a small part of the Herefordshire side of the county; hemp, flax, and cabbages are only got up in small quantities. The culture of potatoes increases annually. The growth of hay and the improvement of pasture are more neglected than any other branch of agriculture. On the borders of the Severn and other flat lands contiguous to lesser streams, which occasionally overflow, and enrich the adjoining land by their deposit, there are natural meadows which are constantly mown without any manure being bestowed upon them. The crops on these are liable to be spoiled by floods during their growth; an evil which might be remedied by an act of parliament enabling the occupiers to raise a rate for embanking, opening the channel, and making beck-drains. The upland meadowss are better attended to.
The grasses most common in Shropshire are the following: anthazanthum adoratum, sweet scented vernal grass; phleum pratensis, timothy grass; alopecurus pratensis, meadow fox-tail. Some species of the agrostis are common but they flower so late as to be of little use for cultivation. Several varieties of the poa and of the festuoa abound.
Of plants, one of the most abundant is the valeriana officinalis, great wild valerian; the lithospermum arvenae, or corn grosswell, a common inhabitant of corn fields. Campanula rotundifolia, round- leafed bellflower, often called hare-hell. Campanula patula, field bell flower. Viola betes, yellow violet, sparingly scattered about Titterntene, and frequently met with near West Felton. Berberis vulgaris or common barbery. Cholcicum autumnale, meadow saffron, found in a few parts of the county. The archis bifelia, butterfly orchis, near Ludlow and Bedston, and in other parts. Asphalass trichomenes, trichomenes spleenwort, an elegant and beautiful plant, common about Ludlow. Asplenium adiantum nigrum black spleenwort; a less common but more beautiful plant than the preceding. Many lichens of a rare and beautiful kind, are found on the rocks and old walls in various parts of the county.
WOODS and PLANTATIONS. Notwithstanding large yearly falls of timber, there are still some fine woods of oak growing in this county. There is a good deal of hedgerow timber also, consisting of oak and ash principally; a few wych and other elms; still fewer beech, lime, and sycamore. Poplars are not uncommon by the sides of breaks and small rivers. There are a few yew trees; hollies have been plentiful, but that ornamental tree, and useful fence appears to have been neglected or destroyed. Birches, both as trees and as fences, are common in the south-west district. There are many modern plantations of various sorts of firs and pines, generally mixed with different deciduous trees. Timber in this county, as is all others, has been infinitely more destroyed than preserved. There still are many thousand acres of coppice-wood, the value of which depends much on situation; but on average it does not exceed seven shillings yearly per acre. As fuel, the demand for coppice wood is diminished, by the increased and increasing consumption of coal. Many sorts of iron are now manufactured with preparations of coal, which formerly could only be worked with fires of wood. It is not improbable that the demand for coppice wood will continue to decrease in proportion as the art of making iron is better understood. Notwithstanding the constant decrease of oak timber, this county is said to retain proportionably more than any other. Though great supplies have been sent to Bristol for ship-building, and the stocks have within the last thirty years, been considerably diminished, there is still sufficient remaining for domestick consumption, and for other markets. Underwoods are very extensive; they consist chiefly of oak, and the greater part are in such soils and situations as make the best return that could be expected. On the side of Shropshire near Bewdley, in Worcestershire, is a large tract of underwood, fallen at eighteen or twenty one years growth, for converting into charcoal to make bar- iron. In one of these coppices, adjoining to a park at Kinlet, there have been trained up young timber-trees, that are very promising, and will make one of the finest woods of oak in the county. On the estates of Lord Clive, and of other proprietors, plantations have been raised for ornament. These consist chiefly of larch and fir and beech, as being of quickest growth: sometimes oaks are intermixed.
WASTE LAND. In comparison with mnny other counties, Shropshire may be called an enclosed one, particularly with respect to field-land. Of the commons that remain, few are of large extent. One of the most considerable is the Morfe, near Bridgnorth, which is five miles in length, and may be two or three in width, but on which enclosures are now made to a considerable extent. There are smaller commons, amounting to some hundred acres, not far from it, all of which are highly capable of improvement from enclosure. There are several large tracts of waste land in the road from Shrewsbury to Drayton; these are of much inferior value, though they might be rendered profitable; on the very worst parts of them, the Scotch fir would thrive. The extensive common between Church Stretton and Bishopscastle, and beyond Clun to the borders of Radnorshire, are so elevated, and so well calculated for sheep pastures, that, perhaps, they cannot be better occupied,
There were formerly large tracts of moor-land, from near Boreatton to St. Martin's, usually covered with water in the winter. These are now, in consequence of enclosures and drainage, at no great expense, rendered of considerable value. They were frequented by numerous wild fowl, which have, since the above improvement, entirely deserted them. Vast quantities were annually taken at the decoy near Whittington, the property of Mr. Lloyd, of Aston; which being no longer of use is now suffered to go out of repair, and will probably never again be resorted to. There are several large mosses in Shropshire, and a great number of smaller ones. The chief district of moor-land is that surrounding the village of Kinnersley.
RENT. The average price of land per acre may be about 15s. titheable.
Land is measured by the statute acre, and it varies from 8s. or less per acre, to 12s. in districts where the roads are bad, and where the landlord has not interested himself in the improvement of his estate, or where the agent has gone on in the beaten track of superintendence: and from 15s. to 20s. per acre or more, the farm together in more favourable situations. Near towns land lets from £2. to £6. an acre; and in the manufacturing parts of the county small parcels of land also let very high. In old leases, reserves were made of a day's ploughing, or of some days work in the harvest; some poultry at Christmas; the keep of fighting cocks, or of dogs; but perhaps no stipulations are now inserted or made. The rack-tenants of a sporting landlord are frequently subject to the inconvenience of keeping dogs; and rack-tenants are in many places expected to draw a load or a certain number of loads of coal annually.
In consequence of the high price of grain in the winter of the year 1795, Mr. REYNOLDS, of Coalbrookdale suggests the following idea; and his sentiments will we are sure, be read with respect by those who knew him:- ' I had a thought which I communicated to the Marquis of STAFFORD, many of whose farms are, I apprehend, out of lease, and more coming out frequently; and he appeared to think it feasible, and that was, that gentlemen should reserve an option to receive their rents in corn, at a price per bushel proportionable to the value of the land. This, I think, would have a good effect on the price and quantity, enable gentlemen to sell to the poor at a moderate rate, without lessening their incomes, and at the worst, enable them to share the extra profits with their tenants, and prevent those disturbances which originate in an artificial, and not a real scarcity. From the best information which I can obtain, a farmer who pays 20s. an acre can well afford to sell wheat at 7s. per bushel, and the proportion would be easily fixed for barley, &c. This is only a hint, and I had not time to enlarge upon it, if I were better qualified. Do not the Universities set their lands by such a mode, though perhaps without availing themselves of it, further than to secure an income proportionable at all times to the value of money, for the purposes for which they were endowed with the possessions.? '
SIZES OF FARMS. The sizes of the farms in this county are very various; from that of one of 500 acres on the east side of the county, to the little farm of 20 acres on the borders of Wales: and even there, viz, on the west side of the county are several farms as large as most in each district; and the size has increased in all parts of the county, two, three, or four farms being put into one, though there are a few instances of large farms being again subdivided.
The following are the observations of Mr. Harries.
" The size of our farms is as various as our soil and surface. Many small tenements, to which are annexed from five to twenty acres, till they arise to an extent to enable the occupier to keep a plough- team, can hardly be denominated a farm. I think four, five, or six acres annexed to a comfortable cottage, to keep a cow and two pigs, and an acre or two to be ploughed by the employer of the labourer, I could wish to see more frequent than they are; but from that size, till there is sufficient to employ regularly a plough-team, I consider to be unprofitable to the occupier and the community; they are above being labourers, and for want of horses to work their lands, they are in a neglected state, and the occupiers needy. Less than three horses will not do to cultivate a farm; and to keep them regularly employed, there should be 30 or 40 acres of tillage land, and nearly as much in meadow and pasture. The generality of farms rises from 50 to 200 acres; we have a few from 200 to 500 or 600 acres; it is a pretty general practice to enlarge them.
"I look upon a farm of 100 to 200 acres as desirable for the occupier and the community, as any that can be fixed upon; upon these he keeps from four to six horses: about 160 acres is a quantity well adapted for five horses, which are considered as sufficient for a waggoner and plough-boy to look after: it is strength sufficient to work the strongest lands, to break up leys, to draw manure, to work two pair of harrows, to keep three waggons at work in getting in harvest. Five horses will prepare 60 or 70 acres for grain, and do the other business belonging to 160 acres. Large farms, where the occupier has abilities and capital, are the most profitable, or where entire new erections are to be made, are the most so to the owners; but where they are already built upon, I believe the owner will obtain a larger rent, and have his land cultivated with more neatness, from the size I have recommended; he will attend to several minutiae that the large farmer neglects: it renders an independent situation for a greater number of families, and of that description of people so desirable to a state."
SOIL and SURFACE.
Shropshire contains a great variety of soils and surface; and the former, in particular, have that variety so much intermingled, that any general account, in speaking of the climate (See CLIMATE,) must be received with every allowance for exceptions, greater or less. There is nearly an equal quantity of wheat and turnip land, the former rather predominant.- The north-east side of the Severn is chiefly of a turnip soil, intermixed with a tolerable proportion of meadow and pasture.
The banks of the Severn, which are often overflowed, produce hay in great plenty. On the south-west side of the river Severn, from Alberbury, about eight miles wide, down to Cressage, the lands are chiefly pretty good, and contain pasture, wheat and turnip land, but very variable; each sort lying in small quantities, and many farms containing each sort. That from Cressage, about six miles wide, to Bridgnorth, and from thence to Cleobury and Ludlow, is chiefly mixt soil upon clay, and part thin. The remainder of the county, and lying more to the south-west side, is very variable, mostly thin soil, some upon clay, other upon rock, extensive tracks of hills and waste: upon the whole, there are in this county all sorts of land, except chalk and flint.
Though no part of this county can be called flat, generally speaking, yet the north-east parts are comparatively so, and as contrasted with the hills on its southern and western borders, leading on to the Welsh Mountains, and with the bills of Derbyshire and Staffordshire to the east, unite with the still more level county of Chester, in forming a great plain, or valley. [See Plain of Shropshire.] The Wrekin hill has been celebrated, from the circumstance of its detached situation, rather than its height. It rises in a flat part of the county. North of it are excrescences of rock, and partial swells; to the south-west, the hills are more frequent; and on the west, and south-west borders, there is a succession of hill and dale. In an elegant and curious little tour, the height of the Wrekin is said to be " 1,200 feet;" but as no base is specified, no accurate idea is conveyed. The same work mentions the Longmynd, or Longmont, to 'ascend gradually from the plain to the height of about 400 feet.' As the inclosed lands rise for a considerable way before what is denominated the hill commences, the part of the plain from which this height is estimated, should have been mentioned. The base of the Longmynd at Woolstaston, is probably higher than the top of the Wrekin; and it is said that the Wrekin has been ascertained to rise no higher than the top of the glass door, at the east end of the parsonage-house in that village.
A brook rises near Stratton, which is in a flat below the Longmynd, and which runs several miles to the river Severn, and the Severn again runs for several miles to Coalport. The rise of this spring is much lower than the village of Woolstaston, and therefore supports, to a certain degree, the belief of what is said to have been ascertained formerly. Perhaps some of the highest ground of this county is near Oswestry, which town is 157 feet higher than Shrewsbury; and Cern y bwch is 600 feet higher than Oswestry.
Perhaps some further idea of the soil and surface may be given, by reviewing the different hundreds. In that of Oswestry, there is a considerable quantity of both deep loam and of gravelly soil. Some marl in that parish; and in the parish of West Felton, a large portion of black peaty bog, drained and draining. On the north-west borders of the hundred adjoining Denbighshire, the soil lies over strata of coal and limestone; and perhaps the summits of the hills in this district are the highest in the county, from their bases being upon very high ground. On the south-east side, the soil becomes sandy. Pimhill hundred contains a mixture of boggy land, and of sand, lying over a red sandstone, with a great proportion of sound wheat land. Bradford North has some low land, of a peaty nature, with some good meadow land; a considerable quantity of sand, and some gravelly soils. A manuscript account of this hundred says its ' most profitable subterranean earths, are clay for making of bricks; marl for improving of lands; and peat, or turf, for firing.' In the hundreds of Bradford (South,) and Brimstry, there is the least diversity; it is generally a sandy loam.' In the franchise of Wenlock, pale coloured clays prevail; though there is some light land, and strata of coal of iron-stone, and of lime-stone. In the hundreds of Stottesdon, Over, and Munslow, there is much clay also, and considerable quantities of coal, iron-stone, and lime-stone, over which is a stony soil, of great variety. The land which lies over the lime-stone, or is mixed with it, or with the calcareous gravel which resembles it, is frequently the best in the neighbourhood. The next is soil lying over free-stone: the upper surface of these rocks is frequently broken up by the plough, and becomes with the soil a rocky loam, fit for turnips and barley. Sometimes a slate marl lies under the surface; which soil is esteemed, but it is not common. There are some sands lying over a red sandstone, particularly near Bridgnorth, and some clays, of a reddish colour, particularly near Ludlow, being almost the extremities of the two first mentioned hundreds. The surface is irregular throughout the three; and in the hundred of Overs, the Titterstone Clee hill rises to a considerable height. Not far north of it, in the franchise of Wenlock, is the Brown Clee hill, a distinct mountain of some eminence; and from the south borders of Bradford South, through the same franchise, and denominated therefrom, runs a ridge of rock, to near the southern extremity of Munslow hundred: it is nearly perpendicular on its west side, and composed chiefly of limestone. In the hundred of Condover, there is more flat land, but still great inequality of surface. The Lyth hill stands within it: the Caerdoc and Lawley, which are distinct hills of some height, and the extensive common of Longmynd, which is still higher, connects it to the south and west, with the hundreds of Munslow and Purslow. In Condover hundred, there is a good deal of gravelly loam, sand and clay, and oftentimes intermingled in very small beds; clayey soils lying over red sandstone, and others, with gravel or sand, under them. In the liberties of Shrewsbury, and hundred of Ford, there is also much pebbly loam: some reddish rock and clay, north of Shrewsbury, and some lighter coloured clays, lying over limestone, on the north borders of Ford hundred: its southern district is very much a deep clayey soil, with coal under, and becomes at last gravelly, rocky, and uneven. The hundred of Chirbury is still more uneven, but has plains of a deep light-coloured loam or clay. Purslow and Clun are very uneven; but several of the hills are smooth, and fine sheep-walks, with a slaty rock under; in some places containing so much silex, as to form good roof-slate, and in others good building-stone; but most commonly the rock is argillaceous. There are some pale-coloured clays in these districts, and a considerable quantity of lighter soils, not so much gravelly perhaps, as mingled with argillaceous rock, and which becomes friable upon exposure to the air. In the vales, the meadow and pasture land is very good.
WASTE LAND OF SHROPSHIRE. See Plants, &c.
WATER. The river Severn runs through this county, from north-west to southeast, and is navigable the whole way; but its navigation is very much impeded by the lowness of the water in summer, and by floods in winter. It is the only navigable river. The vessels chiefly used on it are barges trows, wherries, and boats. The barges and trows have masts, which can be lowered to go under bridges: the stream carries them down, with or without a sail, and they are towed up by men, assisted, or not, in the same manner, according to the wind. The barges are from 20 to 80 tons burthen, and trade very much between Shrewsbury and Gloucester. The trows are larger, and belong to the ports lower down the Severn. They fetch timber from Pool-quay, in Montgomeryshire, and are used to convey goods between Gloucester and Bristol, that are carried in smaller vessels to or from the first of those ports; but much the greater number of barges is employed in carrying the produce of the mines near Coalbrook-dale into the counties of Worcester, Gloucester, &c. A horse towing-path is established from Bewdley to Coalbrook-dale, the office of towing barges by men, being looked upon as very injurious to their manners.
Coracles are another kind of vessel used upon this river by fishermen, who are skilful in the management of them whilst upon the water, and who carry them home, by depending them from the top of their heads, down their backs. Mr. Pennant mentions them, as used also upon the Dee. He says, "the ancient British boats, the Vitilia Navigia of PLINY, the modern coracles, are much in use in these parts, for the purposes of Salmon-fishing. They have now lost the cause of their name, being no longer covered with coria, or hides, but with strong pitched canvas. They hold only a single person, who uses a paddle with great dexterity. The Britons had them of large size, and even made short voyages in them. This account applies also to the Severn coracles, except that the latter appear the more genuine vessel, as they still retain the material from whence they are named. They are formed of ashen laths, two or three inches broad, and covered with horse-hides.
Wines and grocery goods are brought up the Severn, from Bristol and Gloucester, to Shrewsbury, and so on to Montgomeryshire; and from Coalbrook-dale many vessels are laden with coal, and with the produce of their iron-works, potteries, china, &c. The opposite shore of Broseley affords also the same ladings. There is limestone on both sides the river, but it is no great export, except when burnt into lime. There is a wharf, or quay, for vessels at Bridgnorth, some miles below Coalbrook-dale, and the same convenience at Shrewsbury, considerably higher up the river; but there is no great port in this county; perhaps 50,000 tons of coal are exported annually from Coalport, and a considerable quantity of goods, for the supply of Wellington, Newport, Shiffnal, &c. are imported there. The principal warehouse extends over the canal, and is upon the bank of the Severn, so that goods can be taken up through a trap-door out of the canal, and let down into vessels in the river, or vice versa. Flannels are exported from Shrewsbury, and grain, cheese, and lead. Soap is both imported to Shrewsbury from Bristol, by retail dealers, and soap made in Shrewsbury, is exported down the Severn, and starch.
The fish found in the Severn, as it passes through Shropshire, are 1. Salmon, which come up the river with the first flush of water after Michaelmas, and are in high season till May. This fish often sells now from 1s. 6d. to 2s. 6d. per pound. Some years ago it was cheaper; but in the beginning of the last century, it was full as dear as it is now, and was almost entirely bought up for the London market at that price; which is extraordinary, considering the value of money at that time, and the length of time necessary to convey it. At a former period, salmon is reported to have been so plentiful at Shrewsbury, that stipulations were made in the indentures of apprenticeship, fixing the number of days in a week on which the master may serve it as food to his apprentice. 2. Flounders, which are reckoned a delicate fish, from this river. 3. Pike, which, in the Shropshire part of the river, are rather scarce; but higher up, viz. in Montgomeryshire, are more plentiful, and most excellent. 4. Trout. 5. Grayling. 6. Perch. 7. Eels. 8. Shad, which come into the river in April, to spawn; and if caught before they have spawned, they are good; afterwards, on their return, they are very poor. 9. Bleak; a small fish, supposed by some persons to be young shad; but it is not known to be so. 10. Gudgeons, in good plenty. 11. Chubs. 12. Roach. 13. Dace. The three last fish are in great numbers. 14. Carp are found in some deep parts of the river. 15. There are some lampreys in the Shropshire part of the Severn; in Worcestershire they are more plentiful. 16. Ruff. 17. Bullhead. 18. Leach. 19. Stickleback. 20. Minnow. 21. Botling. 22. Lamperns. Mr. Pennant remarks 20 sorts of fish, which may be met with in the river Vyrnwy, and looks upon the number as remarkably large. According to this list, the Severn contains 22 different sorts.
There is neither lock nor weir upon the Severn, from Pool-quay, in Montgomeryshire, to the mouth of the Avon, near Bristol; a distance of 155 miles. From its source in Plinlimmon-hill to the sea, it runs about 200 miles, but is navigable only from Pool-quay. Its course through Shropshire is between 50 and 70 miles. Some years ago, attempts were made to procure the improvement of its navigation, by deepening the shallows and erecting locks, but the scheme was opposed, and defeated. The contributary rivers within the county, are, first, the Camlet which rises on Corndon-marsh, and which within a few miles of its source, runs nearly parallel with the Ony for some way, but upon a different declivity, when turning west and north west it runs into the Severn, a little beyond the confines of the county, and almost opposite to the village of Berriew, in Montgomeryshire, having fallen in the course of the last fourteen or sixteen miles, about 300 feet. The Severn comes into Shropshire near Melverley, having just received on its north bank, the considerable river Vyrnwy, which, for some miles previous to its confluence with the Severn, forms the boundary of the counties, and receives on its Shropshire shore the Morda-brook, increased by a smaller stream. A little below Montford bridge, the river Perry, increased by five smaller streams, runs into the Severn on its north bank. At Shrewsbury, the Meole-brook, a considerable stream, runs into the south side; four smaller streams having been before received on the same bank. The Meole is increased by the Rea, that rises out of Martin-pool, (there are at least two other brook, distinguished by the same general term, in other parts of the county). The Rea receives at least fifteen smaller streams, before its junction with the Meole.
Between four and five miles east of Shrewsbury, the river Tern joins the Severn on the north. It rises in Staffordshire, but soon enters this county, running south, near 30 miles perhaps, taking in its windings, which are not so contorted as those of many other rivers. Cherrington-brook, the Strine, the Lee, and the Roden, which unite near Walcot, with four nameless streams, are auxiliaries to the Tern. Bell-brook joins the Severn on the north, and Cund-brook on the opposite side, near a village and mansion of the same name. Rocque, in his map, makes this a stream of only two or three miles from its source, but it is in fact a continuation of the Quaking-brook, rising in the parish of Church Stretton, called at Longnor, the Rea-brook, and afterwards the Cundover and Cantlop-brook, and which runs from its source above thirteen miles north and east, having received three contributory streams without names, and at Cund-stank, the Bull- brook. Rocque's mistake is making the first eight or nine miles of the brook in question fall south into the Ony; but the division of the different declivities is near Church Stretton, and not within two or three miles of Cund; and the original spring or field where it rises, has the name of Cund-sitch. Between Cund and Bridgnorth, the Severn receives west, five or six smaller brooks, and on its east side, two of the same description. Near Bridgnorth, the Worf river, consisting of Hom-mill-brook, Cossford-brook, and at least four others. Below Bridgnorth the Severn receives, west, Marbrook, augmented by Beggars- brook, and another smaller stream. Lower down, on the same side, Bore-brook, increased by three others. Between Bore-brook and Dowles, the Severn receives two smaller streams west, and one east, and soon after enters Worcestershire, near the port and borough of Bewdley. The streams that irrigate Shropshire, north of the Severn, and do not fall into it, are the Morles, which rises in Selattyn-hill, and runs into the Ceiriog, which joins the Dee near Chirk. Shel-brook runs to the Dee from near Welshhampton. Elf-brook, near Whitchurch, and the Weever, with three contributary streams, become a considerable river through Cheshire. South of the Severn, and not far from the course of the Camlet, already stated to have run into that river, we meet with the Clun, which joins the Teme near Leintwardine, in Herefordshire. Kemp-brook, and four others, fall into the Clun. The Ony joins the Teme near Oakley-park. This river was stated to run for some way parallel with the Camlet, which in its course west north-west to the Severn, had a fall of about 300 feet. The fall of the Ony, from where it takes a different direction to the Camlet, to its junction with the Teme, is about 300 feet also. Quanny-brook and Stradbrook, having united, join the Ony before its confluence with the Teme; and at Ludlow, the Teme is augmented by the Corve, which flows for many miles through a valley to which it gives name. The Corve is augmented by two brooks, and one of them is a junction of three small streams. Ledwich-brook, with three contributary streams, and the Rea with five, join the Teme, which having varied somewhat in its course from the boundary of the county, and forming the boundary in some places, finally leaves it near Tenbury, in Worcestershire, and falls into the Severn below the capital of that county. The Teme is celebrated for grayling; there is trout also in plenty.
Thus we have a hundred or more rivers and brooks, or parts of rivers and brooks, that are of consequence enough to be noted in some of the maps of the county; perhaps the smaller streams and springs unnoticed in any chart, may be equally numerous. Those specified, according to the estimate to be made from a comparison of different maps, and from some local knowledge, run courses of near 620 miles in length. Where there is such opportunity of grinding corn by water, it is to be lamented that there are any wind-mills; for they afford more probability of general danger than water-mills: they are a nuisance to the eye in most prospects that exhibit them; and are particularly alarming to most horses that have occasion to go near them. It is a duty, indeed, but one not sufficiently attended to, to accommodate roads and these formidable fabricks, so far to each other, that they may have as little proximity as possible. In recommending water- mills, the observation should not be omitted, that if main streams are dammed up to supply them with water, a considerable quantity of ground may be made boggy, or unfit for the best purposes of agriculture; but if mills are supplied by phlegms, or small streams, carried off upon a high level above the parent stream for some way before they are confined, this evil is prevented; and the irrigation of land may be increased by the circumstance. See LAKES.
WATERING. There are some meadows floated, by preserving levels from streams of water, but little of this improvement is done in a masterly manner; though floating has been long in practice by a few of the best farmers, and the use of the spirit-level is known.
At Holly-grove, near Drayton, on the north-east borders of the county, and at Walcot, near Bishopscastle, on the south west, are some very complete water-meadows, and which can be flooded at pleasure; the river Tern, in the first instance, and a large artificial lake, supplied by running streams, in the second instance, lying above the level of the meadows. The principle is the same in both; that of conducting the feeders along a ridge-level, from which the water flows both ways. The meadows at Holly-grove were formed by the plough; those at Walcot by the spade, at an expense of, perhaps, £12 per acre. The latter were not worth many shillings per acre, in their original state; and now they will afford two crops of hay, or, what is better, graze late in the spring (a great advantage in a country of sheep walks,) and still afford about two tons of hay per acre, and a valuable crop of headgrow, or aftermath. Hill-watering is equally advantageous: many acres of good meadow-land have been made upon a farm that had no level ground, by collecting the springs, and bringing them along feeders cut on a declivity, when they overflow the lower side. Before ground is watered, all the low and moist parts should be well drained with stone, and covered over; and with this precaution, the rushy and mossy bottoms, and the dry banks are almost equally improved by watering. It has been known even to answer where the upper soil was poor, and the substratum a rocky clay, or cathrain. Many farmers hesitate to water, where the stream is clear or pure. One stream of water may be more enriching than another; but if there is a manure from water, owing to the fixed air that escapes during its decomposition, any water that can be brought over land in very thin layers, and that shall not flow too far, before it drops into a drain to carry it off again, must invigorate the soil.
Upon the river Tern, near Drayton, for some extent, the lands are regularly floated with a strong stream. They are grazed early in the spring with cows and other stock, (not sheep). If the grass, which is forced at that time upon the meadows, was to remain, the bottom would rot long before it was ready to cut. After the cattle are drawn off, the water is again turned on, and a plentiful crop of rather coarse hay is produced. The soil is generally of a black peaty nature. By means of the milldams or sluices across the river, a large body of water is brought in trenches, and distributed over the land in the same method as watering is practised in Wiltshire. Where a brook runs through a valley, the soil of which is shallow, and the sub-stratum clay, it becomes loaded after heavy showers, with particles of soil washed from the arable lands. As this water spreads over the valleys, it leaves behind it a sediment that acts as manure. The water courses, which only flow in the rainy and winter season, are often distributed by shallow floats over the meadow lands, and sometimes mixed with the draining of the fold-yard, which is a favourable circumstance. In that part of the county that partakes of hill and dale, the springs and rivulets are used for watering; and in the month of April force vegitation very much. Wherever the bottom is sand, or gravelly, no improvement equals the advantages derived from water."
[Transcribed information from A Gazetteer of Shropshire - T Gregory - 1824](unless otherwise stated)
[Description(s) transcribed by Mel Lockie ©2015]