Place:Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England

Alt namesPengwernsource: Blue Guide: England (1980) p 386
Salopburysource: Canby, Historic Places (1984) II, 857-858
Scrobesbyrigsource: Blue Guide: England (1980) p 386
Sloppesburysource: Blue Guide: England (1980) p 386
TypeCivil parish, Borough (municipal)
Coordinates52.717°N 2.75°W
Located inShropshire, England     (400 - )
See alsoShrewsbury Liberty, Shropshire, Englandan early grouping of Shrewsbury and the neighbouring more rural parishes
Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough, Shropshire, Englandadministrative district covering the area 1974-2009
Shropshire District, Shropshire, Englandunitary authority covering the area since 2009
Contained Places
Haughmond Abbey
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, England. The town is on the River Severn and the 2011 UK census recorded a population of 71,715.

Shrewsbury is a market town whose centre has a largely unspoilt medieval street plan and over 660 listed buildings, including several examples of timber framing from the 15th and 16th centuries. Shrewsbury Castle, a red sandstone fortification, and Shrewsbury Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery, were founded in 1074 and 1083 respectively by the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Montgomery. The town is the birthplace of Charles Darwin (1809-1882) and is where he spent 27 years of his life.

Shrewsbury is located 9 miles (14 km) east of the Welsh border. The A5 and A49 main roads come together as the town's by-pass, and five railway lines meet at Shrewsbury railway station. It is located 150 miles (240 km) northwest of London. The town is almost surrounded by the River Severn which arrives from the west and loops around it to the south and northeast before making a right turn to continue on its journey to Dawley and Bridgnorth in eastern Shropshire.


Before becoming a municipal borough in 1835, Shrewsbury was the centre of Shrewsbury Liberty, an area much like the "hundreds" into which the more rural parts of Shropshire were divided from mediavel times to the Georgian era. It was a municipal borough from 1835 until 1974 when, under the Local Govenment Act 1972, throughout England rural districts, urban districts, municipal boroughs and county boroughs were discarded in place of a series of non-metropolitan boroughs which brought civil parishes of all sizes in a designated geographical area under a single body of government. In the case of the Shrewsbury area this was the Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough. (Atcham was the name of the rural district which had previously surrounded Shrewsbury.) The new borough existed until 2009 when it was replaced by a unitary authority called the Shropshire District which 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.

Throughout the 19th century the oldest parishes of the Church of England that served Shrewsbury were also civil parishes. These were Shrewsbury St. Mary, Shrewsbury Holy Cross with St. Giles (in the same location as Shrewsbury Abbey), Shrewsbury Holy Trinity, Shrewsbury St. Julian, Shrewsbury St. Chad and Shrewsbury St. Alkmund. Each of these parishes are covered separately in WeRelate. Despite its size and importance, Shrewsbury does not have an Anglican cathedral. Shrewsbury Cathedral is the main Roman Catholic church for the area.


For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Shrewsbury#History.

Research Tips

  • A list of the parishes in Shrewsbury Registration District from 1837 through to 2005
  • 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.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Shrewsbury. 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.