being only about 3 miles south of Much Wenlock, the parish of Acton
Round is an extremely rural
area. The village of Acton Round itself can easily be mistaken for a
couple of houses on a bend. The present church is an ancient stone
building in the Tudor style with a timber-framed belfry. It is a solid
structure and a comfort to visit. The porch is particularly interesting
for its time worn beams and 700-year-old scrolled hinges.
Abbotts is a pleasant parish
immediately north of Bridgnorth, straddling the B4373 Bridgnorth to
Broseley road. The church in the village of Astley Abbotts is dedicated
to St. Calixtus who was a Bishop of Rome martyred in the 3rd century.
Inside can be found the faded remains of a 'maiden's garland', a heart
shaped wooden frame decorated with gloves, cloth and ribbons. Such
garlands were once the fashion to commemorate maidens who died before
marriage. The one at Astley Abbotts has a ribbon-like piece of paper
saying, in still legible handwriting, that it commemorates Hannah
Phillips who drowned while crossing the Severn on the eve of her
wedding. Nearby is Stanley Hall, a magnificent, red brick, building
with a gabled end and incorporating traces of a possibly earlier
sandstone building. The grounds are extensive and well tended, but
unfortunately it is not open to the public because many believe it is
one of the finest houses in the country
a small parish and extremely picturesque village on the Staffordshire
border about five miles north-east of Bridgnorth. In the early
nineteenth century, Badger Hall was the home of Isaac Hawkins Brown, MP
for Much Wenlock, a man who seems to have passed into history only to
be remembered as 'a good lawyer but a poor poet'. The hall has long
been demolished, but in its heyday it must have been an impressive
manor, not just for the house, which is said to have been a 'noble
brick mansion', but for the grounds which included the landscaping of
the village itself , where a series of ponds carried the water through
various levels. In the village one can still see traces of the estate's
'industries' in deserted barns and yards. In recent years these grounds
have been much restored to their former glory.
parish of Barrow lies
to the east of Much Wenlock, and in the north of the parish lies
Benthall with its hall which is now in the hands of the National Trust.
The house dates from the mid-16th century and is a beautiful stone
building standing at the end of a long drive leading from the
Broseley-Much Wenlock (B4375) road.
The parish and village of Broseley lie some six miles north of Bridgnorth perched high on the edge of the Severn Gorge. Perhaps because of its industrial heritage, Broseley has an air of the industrial north about it. Red brick is the main building material in a functional style with little decoration. Although Ironbridge gets most of the credit, it was here that much of the early industrial revolutions started, but the evidence has to be carefully sought out from where it hides behind its modern facade. One place to look is in the churchyard its cast-iron tombs The most magnificent example must be that shown by the Iron Master, John Wilkinson, who was buried in a cast-iron coffin with a cast-iron monument. Probably the greatest of his many creations was his iron boat, and he wrote to a friend on July 17th 1787:"Yesterday week my iron boat was launched, it answers all my expectations, and has convinced the unbelievers who were 999 in every 1000."