For the purpose of this web site, North East Shropshire includes the towns of Whitchurch, Market Drayton and Newport
These two families, the Kilmoreys and the Corbets seem to have been in disagreement with each other for many centuries and the scandalous goings on make today's soaps pale into insignificance. Their continual rivalry even spread to the running and use of the chapel and church, as both felt they were, in effect, the Lords of the Manor.
Bolas Magna, or Great Bolas, is a pleasant rural parish six miles west of Newport. It was here, in the late 1780s, that a Mr. Jones came knocking on the door of Hoggins, a farmer, seeking lodgings. There followed a love affair which is almost a fairy tale where the farmer's daughter, Sarah Hoggins, eventually married the stranger only to find out that he was the Marquis of Exeter, and she the Countess. It is said that she was warmly received in the highest of circles because of her pleasing and unassuming (Shropshire) manners. The love story was such a talk of the times that Tennyson even wrote of it, although it is not one of his better poems.
Cherrington is an agricultural parish straddling the B5062, to the west of Newport.. The house of the interest is the one that Jack built, Cherrington Manor, a handsome timber-framed house built in the early 17th century. The original rhyme about Jack was first published in 1755, but in a book dated 1820 there is an illustration accompanying the rhyme which looks rather like Cherrington Manor. To reinforce the theory that it is Jack's house, there is a former malt house in the grounds where the rats enjoyed the malt that lay in the house that Jack built, and being a rural area there must at one time have been a cow with a crumpled horn and even a maiden all forlorn. What other proof could we ask for? To be honest, the connection is quite simple. the story of The House that Jack Built, has European origins which predate Cherrington Manor, but when it was published in English it was illustrated by a Shropshire artist who used Cherrington Manor as the subject.
The village of Cheswardine, a little way southeast of Market Drayton, stands on a small hill with the church at the top. This hill effectively accentuates the character of the village, and even a complete stranger can feel at home with the sight of the main street leading up to the church. The nearest thing to a thoroughfare through the parish is the Shropshire Union Canal which passes to the west of Cheswardine village. As it leaves the parish it enters Woodseaves Cutting which is over a mile in length and ninety feet deep, creating a mini man-made canyon through the countryside. For the energetic, it could be that the canal is the best way to see Cheswardine, perhaps by parking at Tyrley and walking through the cutting and on into Cheswardine. There are a number of roads and footpaths leading from the canal to the village and, with the aid of an Ordnance Survey Map, a circular route could easily be planned.
The parish of Chetwynd lies immediately north of Newport, even lendlng its name to the town's northern suburb. It was mentioned as Catewinde in the Domesday Book and is probably from Ceattan wind - the winding path or ascent of Ceatta. It is mainly a flat parish, only rising modestly in the south to the wooded slopes of Chetwynd Park.
Like many great houses
in Shropshire there are tales to be told, and many have become
distorted and embellished with time. One of my favourites is
the one about the owner of Chetwynd at a time shortly before
At the bottom of Chetwynd's
modest hill stands St. Michael's church. It is a rather fine
l9th-century sandstone building, enhanced by the backcloth of
trees. There is no specific village by the name of Chetwynd.
Elsewhere is the main village of Sambrook which is a rather pleasant place, far enough away from the main A41 to be classed as peaceful.
The parishes of Church Aston and Chetwynd Aston lie immediately to the south of Newport straddling the A518 and A4 1. Both seem to live in the shadow of their larger neighbour, Newport, and neither have had much written about them. But in truth their history is probably older than Newport, and their earlier history, when they were simply townships, tied in with Edgmond which lies a mile or so to the north-east.
Church Aston lies on
the A518 and was once called Little Aston. A place of worship
was mentioned as early as the reign of Henry VIII when it was
a chapel in the parish of Edgmond. The present church is dedicated
Chetwynd Aston was
once known as Field Aston, Since the building of of the Newport
bypass, the village of Chetwynd Aston has been left in comparative
peace, and today, especially away from the main road through
A former lord of' the
Chetwynd Aston manor was the Duke of Sutherland, and his vast
industries around Donnington supplied most of the coal for Newport
by canal to a coal depot located in the parish A driveway