North East Shropshire

For the purpose of this web site, North East Shropshire includes the towns of Whitchurch, Market Drayton and Newport

There are thirty-five parishes in this area, here are a few details of each of them.

Adderley lies on the A529, north of Market Drayton. To the east of the village lies the Shropshire Union Canal and Adderley Wharf, where, on a summer's day the hire boats work their way up or down the canal through a group of five closely-spaced locks bordered by well-tended towpaths and flower beds. The Parish church is a plain, functional building but pleasantly situated on the outskirts of the village. Its size shows how populous the area must have been at one time and it boasts a chapel with monuments to two local families of importance.

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 the
French revolution who sold the place in a hurry because he believed the world was about to end. Like many stories of the past it seems a little incomplete and it is not recorded as to whether he had discovered a means of taking his wealth with him after his death.

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.
Instead, Chetwynd is the park and the manor, Its farms and estate houses, and although they are no longer owned by one family they can stilI be seen as having once been an entity.

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 to
St. Andrew and was built in the latter half of the last century. It mainly lies in what is effectively a suburb of Newport amongst modern houses, but there are sufficient earlier properties within the parish to give it an older
charm. In particular, there are a number of 17th and 18th-century timber-framed houses standing on the maln road to Wellington.

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 the
vlllage, it is a very pleasant spot.

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
from his house at Lilleshall had its entrance between Pave Lane and the village of Chetwynd Aston.