Shrewsbury is built on rising ground in a loop of the river Severn which almost forms an island. England’s ‘finest Tudor town’ has always occupied an important position near the Welsh border and was the seat of the Welsh princes of Powys back in the 5th and 6th centuries. Later it became part of the region of Anglo-Saxon Mercia and during the Norman period was enhanced by its mighty stone castle as Edward l set out to subdue his Celtic enemies. Once an important centre of the clothing trade, this county town still has more than 600 listed buildings. The river is crossed by two fine bridges traditionally known as the English Bridge and the Welsh Bridge.|
|The castle was restored in the 18th century by the engineer and architect Thomas Telford. More famous these days is the local 11th century Benedictine abbey, setting for the Brother Cadfael novels by author Ellis Peters. The Cadfael connection is explored in 'The Shrewsbury Quest', a themed visitor centre near the Abbey. Shrewsbury public parks and gardens were made famous by the television appearances of their creator, gardener Percy Thrower and each year the town hosts the Shrewsbury Flower Show.|
Charles Darwin (1809-1882) was born here and educated at the all-boys Shrewsbury School, founded by Edward Vl in 1552. Maybe there was something in the air in those days but he went on to pen his ‘On the Origin of the Species’ and change forever the way we interpret the world around us.
Outside the town stands the one-time Roman citadel of Viroconium which has undergone excavations from as far back as the 1860s. At one time it had a population numbering over 6,000 and is thought by some to have been a stronghold of King Arthur.