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Visit to Acton Reynald Hall

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.

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Visits to Much Wenlock

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.

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Links to History Societies and other Groups in Shropshire

Aqueduct Local History

Broseley Local History Society

Friends of Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust Facebook Page

Newport & District History Society

Shropshire Archaeological & Historical Society

Shropshire Family History Society

Shifnal Local History Society

Wellington History Group

Wrekin Historical Group

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