Bettws-y-Crwyn can be found some 15 miles, or so west of Craven Arms, and it looks down on the remainder of the county in a rather spectacular fashion. On a clear day has views to rival any in the county. It is hill country at its best, and home of the Kerry and Clun breeds of sheep. In parts of this large parish, atop of the hills, the stunted and bent trees at the road-side speak of bleak winters when wind and snow must make it a hard place to live, but in the valleys the lush growth implies a fertility and warmth that is hard to match. The church of St. Mary stands at an altitude of almost 1,300 feet and is said to be one of the highest churches in England. It is a lonely, windswept place with no signs of an earlier village to have induced the builders of over seven centuries ago to found a church here.
is a small, rural parish and market town some 12 miles NW of Craven
Arms. Because of it being a hill town, Bishop's Castle seems to lack a
definite centre. In reality, the combined lengths of Church Street and
High Street, running from the castle at the top to St. John's Church at
the foot of the hill form the centre. The most interesting building in
Bishop's Castle, and probably the most photographed, is the 'house on
crutches' which has its upper floor supported on posts. Probably more
through neglect through the ages than design, it is believed to have
changed little since being built in the early 17th-century. Further
towards the top of the hill stands the Castle Hotel, a rather
impressive hotel for such a small town, which is dated 1719 and stands
on part of the site of the original castle.
Cardington can be found to the east of All Stretton. The village of Cardington lies to the western end of the parish and is a rather nice village with stone houses huddled around the church rather than being strung along a single road. Towards the eastern end of the parish is Plaish. Plaish Hall was built by Judge William Leighton and is the earliest example of brick in the county. He seems to be the victim of a tale which recounts that at the time of building the Hall he was trying a prisoner at the Shropshire Assizes. The prisoner, an expert chimney builder, pleaded for his life and said he would build the finest chimneys ever if he was reprieved. The resulting magnificent chimneys are still there to be seen.
Parish of Chirbury
lies on the B4386, to the south west of Shrewsbury. Chirbury lies in
the mouth of a valley and was obviously an important junction of routes
long before the roads were metalled. Its church, dedicated to St.
Michael, is impressive and its size is explained by the fact that here
was once a priory.