Place:Church Stretton, Shropshire, England

NameChurch Stretton
Alt namesChurch-Strettonsource: Family History Library Catalog
Stretton-Churchsource: Family History Library Catalog
Mintonsource: township in parish
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish, Urban district
Coordinates52.533°N 2.817°W
Located inShropshire, England
See alsoMunslow Hundred, Shropshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Church Stretton Rural, Shropshire, Englandrural district 1894-1899
Ludlow Rural, Shropshire, Englandrural district 1967-1974
South Shropshire District, Shropshire, Englandadministrative district covering the area 1974-2009
Shropshire District, Shropshire, Englandunitary authority covering the area since 2009
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Church Stretton is a small town in Shropshire, England, 13 miles (21 km) south of Shrewsbury and 15 miles (24 km) north of Ludlow. The population in 2011 was 4,671.

The town was nicknamed Little Switzerland in the late-Victorian and Edwardian period because of its landscape and became a health resort.The local geology includes some of the oldest rocks in England and a notable fault is named after the town.

Today, Church Stretton is a busy market town in the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Historically the town was known for its textiles, using the abundant local wool, and a notable location for this industry was Carding Mill Valley. The carding mill there was built in the 18th century, and named after a stage in making cloth, the three stages being carding, spinning and weaving. Carding would have been done by children, and involved using a hand-card that removed and untangled short fibres from the mass of raw material. The cards were wooden blocks with handles and covered in metal spikes, which were angled (to make it easier to untangle) and set in leather. When untangled, the material would be spun, and then woven into the final product.

The carding mill closed and was demolished at the beginning of the 20th century, though the adjacent factory building remains in the valley today.

end of Wikipedia contribution

Church Stretton was located in the Munslow Hundred. When rural districts were established in 1894, Church Stretton became part of Church Stretton Rural District, but in 1899 it was considered to have sufficient population density to become an urban district. Its two townships, All Stretton and Little Stretton, to the north and to the south, were made civil parishes in 1894 and were both within Church Stretton Rural District. In 1934 both Church Stretton and Church Stretton Rural District were dissolved. Church Stretton and most of the rural district parishes to the south (including Little Stretton) transferred to Ludlow Rural District to the south. Other parishes in the Rural District (including All Stretton) were transferred to Atcham Rural District.

In 1974 urban and rural districts throughout England were abolished and replaced with new metropolitan districts which combined the rural districts, urban districts, municipal boroughs and county boroughs that existed within their newly drawn geographical borders. Ludlow Rural District became part of the South Shropshire District which existed until 2009 when it was replaced by a unitary authority called the Shropshire District. This covered the whole of the county with the exception of The Wrekin District (to the east of Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough) which was formed in 1998.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Church Stretton from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"STRETTON-CHURCH, a small town, a parish, a [registration] sub-district, and a [registration] district, in Salop [or Shropshire]. The town stands on the Shrewsbury and Hereford railway, in a fine rugged hollow, between Long Mynd and Wenlock Edge, 12¾ miles S by W of Shrewsbury; is a seat of petty sessions, and a polling place; consists chiefly of one street; and has a head post-office, a [railway] station with telegraph, a cruciform early English church, an Independent chapel of 1866, a free school, alms houses, a workhouse, charities £20, a weekly market on Thursday, and 5 annual fairs. The parish includes All-Stretton and Little-Stretton townships and comprises 10,716 acres. Real property: £5,949. Population: 1,695. Houses: 350. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Hereford. Value: £542. Patron: O. Pemberton, Esq."

Research tips

  • The historical short form for Shropshire was "Salop". This is quite often found in archive material.
  • Shropshire Archives, Castle Gates, Shrewsbury SY1 2AQ
  • Shropshire Family History Society.
  • The GENUKI main page for Shropshire provides information on various topics covering the whole of the county, and there is also a link to a list of parishes. Under each parish there is a list of the settlements within it and brief description of each. This is a list of pre-1834 ancient or ecclesiastical parishes but there are suggestions as to how to find parishes set up since then.
  • GENUKI also provides transcriptions of parish registers for numerous parishes throughout Shropshire. These will be noted at the bottom of this list as time permits for the parishes involved. Each register is preceded by historical notes from the editor-transciber and other details than simply births, marriages and deaths that have been found in the individual books from the parishes. These registers probably only go up to 1812 when the proscribed style for registers across the country was altered.
  • GENUKI lists under each parish further references to other organizations who hold genealogical information for the local area. (URLs for these other websites may not be up to date.)
  • The FamilyTree Wiki has a series of pages similar to those provided by GENUKI which may have been prepared at a later date and from more recent data. The wiki has a link to English Jurisdictions 1851. There is a list of all the parishes in existence in 1851 with maps indicating their boundaries. The website is very useful for finding the ecclesiastical individual parishes within large cities and towns.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time, Shropshire, section "Units and Statistics" leads to analyses of population and organization of the county from about 1800 through 1974. There are similar pages available for all civil parishes, municipal boroughs and other administrative divisions that existed pre-1974. Descriptions provided are usually based on a gazetteer of 1870-72 which often provides brief notes on the economic basis of the settlement and significant occurences through its history.
  • The two maps below indicate the boundaries between parishes, etc., but for a more detailed view of a specific area try a map from this selection. The oldest series are very clear at the third magnification offered. Comparing the map details with the GENUKI details for the same area is well worthwhile.
  • Map of Shropshire illustrating urban and rural districts in 1900 produced by UK Ordnance Survey and provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time. Parish boundaries and settlements within parishes are shown. (Unfortunately the online copy of this map has pencil codings in each parish which make it difficult to see the orignal.)
  • Map of Shropshire urban and rural districts in 1944 produced by UK Ordnance Survey and provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time. Parish boundaries and settlements within parishes are shown. This is not a repeat of the first map. There were a number of changes to urban and rural district structure in the 1930s.
  • A map of the ancient divisions named "hundreds" is to be found in A Vision of Britain through Time. Some of the hundreds were broken into separate sections with other hundreds in between.
  • The website British History Online provides four volumes of the Victoria County History Series on Shropshire. Volume 2 covers the religious houses of the county; Volume 4 provides a history of agriculture across the county, and Volumes 10 and 11 deal with Munslow Hundred, the Borough of Wenlock and the Telford area (i.e., the northeastern part of the county). The rest of the county is not presently covered. References to individual parishes will be furnished as time permits.
  • A transcription of the Church Stretton parish registers is online and is provided through the auspices of GENUKI.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Church Stretton. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.