We were delighted to welcome Thomas, second Lord Berwick of Attingham, to Shropshire Archives to tell us about his ancestors, his life – and his descendants! Martin Jones took on the persona and regaled us with ‘tales and travails’ of his family and the history of Attingham Park. Facts, interpretations and stories were imparted with flair and humour giving us a very entertaining and enjoyable event.
Category Archives: Gallery
Our visit to Acton Scott Hall was enthusiastically guided by our hosts, Francis and Alison Acton who each took three groups of us in turn round different parts of the interesting house which dates back to the late 16th Century. Friend and volunteer Tam guided us round the grounds where we were grateful for the shade of the trees on one of the hottest days of August! The walk included a wander through the rock garden created in the old quarry. Edward Acton Scott, son of the family, served a very welcome tea.
Our first Summer outing this year, 20 July 22, was to Acton Reynald Hall. This was originally a 17th century country house, which was part of the Corbet Estate. In the early 1800’s major alterations to the house were completed for the Corbet family in the Neo-Jacobean style. It became a School for Girls in 1919 until 1995 and is now a private home, which is not open to the general public. The Friends of Shropshire Archives were privileged to be guided by Chris Mackley the owner of this fantastic Grade II* listed building.
After a very interesting tour of both the outside and interior of the house, during which many points of interest were described, we were treated to afternoon tea prepared and served by the lady of the house, Judith Mackley, and committee member Vicky Embrey and her mother. During tea our host described to us some of the history of the house. Overall, a really fascinating tour and we are very grateful to the Mackleys for opening their home to us.
Following the Friends’ AGM at the Priory Hall, we split into two groups. The first was led by local historian Sue O’Dowd who took us on a walking tour of Much Wenlock’s nine former farms and shared her extensive knowledge of some of the town’s other fine buildings. Sue used the 1940s National Farm Survey to reveal the extent of farming and livestock husbandry being practised there during the War, and showed us photographs of some of the farm buildings, many now repurposed. We were also privileged to have access to the Guildhall by the kind permission of custodian Richard who gave us an overview of its history.
Another group of Friends was treated to a fascinating tour of the private house Wenlock Abbey gaining an insight into its restoration and the artistic life of Louis de Wet (1930-2018), whose vision for the house is evident in every room. The tour was an amazing mixture of medieval art and architecture, and de Wet’s own artwork including his studio.
Gabrielle and Vivien provided a huge amount of information during the tour, combining both historical and personal insights. The tour concluded with excellent tea and cake, and we all left with much to digest and process.
Saturday, 5 March 2022
Our sale of surplus 6″ scale Ordnance Survey maps was a great success. We raised over £900 and introduced some new users to the wonderful collections held at Shropshire Archives.
Saturday, 13 November 2021
Gareth Williams delighted his audience at our 2021 annual lecture with his illuminating insights into the history, architecture and art of some of Shropshire’s country houses. Our virtual tour of these prestigious properties, illustrated by many instructive documents, drawings and photographs, was enhanced further by Gareth’s in-depth knowledge of his material, much of which was researched at Shropshire Archives, which he put across in his naturally engaging and enthusiastic style. Gareth has kindly donated a copy of his book The Country Houses of Shropshire which is available to view at Shropshire Archives, or can be purchased through the publishers Boydell & Brewer.
Wednesday, 8 September 2021
Neil Clarke led us on a fascinating and informative guided walk around Little Wenlock on a beautiful, sunny afternoon. We covered a lot of ground including the parish church which houses the county’s earliest cast-iron grave slab, the Royal Arms of George IV, and the Forester memorial east window; the range of the village’s domestic buildings (16c-20c); the historic road pattern; and remains of the industrial history of the area. It was a very interesting and enjoyable tour.
Thursday, 19 August 2021
We were delighted to be able to repeat our visit to Pitchford Hall this summer – our first in-person event for 20 months due to the pandemic. As before, we were expertly taken through the house and ground by four guides and given a delicious tea afterwards.
Wednesday, 9 June 2021
We held our 2021 Annual General Meeting online via Zoom and were delighted to have 26 Friends attend. This was a special event as we had been unable to hold our AGM in 2020 due to COVID-19. Through the magic of the online polling system, we were able to conduct our essential business, update our Constitution and elect the officers and members of the Committee.
After the AGM, we heard a most interesting and informative talk by local archaeologist Nigel Baker about Shrewsbury Abbey and its waterfront onto the River Severn. Nigel is a very engaging speaker and his illustrated presentation was greatly appreciated.
Saturday, 16 November 2019
We were delighted to welcome back Dr Kate Croft to deliver our annual lecture ‘Women of Excellent Understanding: The Wives and Daughters of the Lunar Society‘. The talk looked at some of the Lunar Society wives and daughters to consider the role they played in their husbands’ businesses as well as their scientific investigations and philosophical thought. We learned about Mary Priestley, Honora Edgeworth, Sally Wedgwood and her daughter Sarah, and the Peggy and Ann, the two wives of James Watt. Kate’s clear presentation of her research left us in no doubt that these women most certainly did play an important role.