We enjoyed a delightful and informative afternoon at Shrewsbury Cathedral discovering how the Roman Catholic faith was persecuted and later emancipated in both a national and county perspective. Helen Haynes provided an overview of the key developments and the records that are available at Shropshire Archives. Father Phillips described the history of the building and how it has developed since it was built in 1856, and led us on a tour of the cathedral.
Author Archives: buildingbeginnings
We were delighted to welcome Dr Kate Croft from the University of Birmingham to deliver our annual lecture: ‘Healthy and Expedient’: Childcare and Charity at the Shrewsbury Foundling Hospital 1759-1772
The Foundling Hospital in London is well-known as an example of eighteenth-century philanthropy and childcare. What is less well-known is the involvement of several branch hospitals that were set up in during the time known as ‘General Reception’. One of these branch hospitals was based in the Midlands, at Shrewsbury in Shropshire. Kate’s talk looked at the history of the Shrewsbury Foundling hospital, its relationship with Thomas Coram’s London hospital, and the lives of children who lived there.
Alumni officer and archivist Julie Brook led a splendid afternoon with a talk about the legacy of Thomas Harper Adams and a visit to the Bamford Library.
We learned that Thomas Harper Adams was a Shropshire farmer who died in 1892 leaving a substantial estate he had inherited from his godfather and brother. He left instructions in his will for the founding of a college ‘for the purpose of teaching practical and theoretical agriculture‘.
The college was built on farmland in 1901 with lecture rooms downstairs and dormitories upstairs and has thrived as an independent establishment ever since.
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
The Friends’ AGM this year was held in the former stables at the Flax Mill Maltings. Penny Ward gave a talk on the history of the Flax Mill and how it came to be sited in Shrewsbury, its connections with the Shropshire canal and the railway, its time as a maltings, and subsequent decline. Flax Mill administrator Richard Benjamin then described the extensive renovations currently in progress and declared that the mill building would open in the spring of 2021. We then had a guided tour of the site from Penny to conclude our visit.
Tuesday, 22 May 2018
A friendly welcome, a fascinating tour and wonderful tea were the highlights of our visit to Hardwick Hall, a grand Grade II* listed Georgian Hall of three floors and a cellar. The house was built by John Kynaston who had inherited the land in 1693 and finished the house before his death in 1733.
A morning of talks and demonstrations showing the remarkable and extensive work carried out by volunteers at Shropshire Archives. Volunteers make an enormous contribution to the Archives and their work in cataloguing, indexing, conserving and research is largely unseen by most researchers who benefit from their endeavours.
There were presentations about digitising photographs and locating them on a map, Reebrook College, Shropshire Family History Society’s help desk and the paintings of the Reverend Edward Williams. As well as a display of documents there were active demonstrations of conservation, reprographics and cataloguing, plus an opportunity to meet and talk to some of the volunteers.
We were delighted to welcome Dr Roger Bruton to deliver our annual lecture on the subject of ‘The Road to Enlightenment: Shropshire 1750-1830‘. Roger’s lecture was a comprehensive guide to the effect on Shropshire of improvements in transport and communications, industrial development and agricultural improvements. The overarching theme was the sharing of ideas, knowledge and experience in the ‘enlightenment’ spirit of the age. After a Q&A session, coffee was served, and the audience was invited to view original documents relating to the lecture.
A day celebrating the history of Bishop’s Castle with excellent talks on subjects as diverse as Sir Albert Howard, community archaeology, the railway, and Myndtown Church all kicked off with an introduction to some aspects of the town’s history. Over a dozen local history groups mounted a fine exhibition of their work and interests. During the afternoon we enjoyed tours of the town and its museums as well as the Three Tuns brewery.
Wednesday, 9 August, 2017
A delightful guided walk of Bridgnorth by Blue Badge guide Dorothy Nicholle followed by a cream tea at the Old Mill Antiques Tea Room. From the Castle at the south end of town to St Leonard’s Church at the north end, Dorothy took us through some of the key events in Bridgnorth’s history, peppering her talk with fascinating stories and introducing some of the characters from the town’s past.
Tuesday, 18 July, 2017
The Friends had a glorious day for their visit to Combermere Abbey where we enjoyed a fascinating guided tour from Myra Logan around this interesting building.
The Combermere Abbey Estate sits on the border of Shropshire and Cheshire between the market towns of Nantwich and Whitchurch. Its important contribution to the history of Cheshire and the North West since 1133 has been well-documented and it remains an inspiration for many. Originally a Cistercian Monastery and later home to the Cotton (Combermere) and Crossley families, it has entertained many well-known personalities.