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Church Stretton History Group - Events



The cost for members attending the talks is £2 and for non-members, £4.

Monday, 15th July - Members Only

2 pm - meet at the canon outside Ludlow Castle

Led by Kathy Cowell:

Crimes and Misdemeanors  -cost only £5 pp

 A private tour of the dark side of Ludlow

To reserve your place, please email


Monday, September 16th

2.00pm at the URC Hall

Neil Clarke:

The Closure of our Local Monasteries

Shortly before Easter, 1540 saw the end of almost a millennium of monastic life in England. Until then religious houses had acted as a focus for education, literary, and artistic expression and even the creation of regional and national identity. Their closure, carried out in just four years between 1536 and 1540, caused a dislocation of people and a disruption of life not seen in England since the Norman Conquest.

James Clark explores the little-known lives of the last men and women who lived in England's monasteries before the Reformation. He challenges received wisdom, showing that buildings were not immediately demolished and Henry VIII's subjects were so attached to the religious houses that they kept fixtures and fittings as souvenirs. This rich, vivid history brings back into focus the prominent place of abbeys, priories, and friaries in the lives of the English people.


Monday, October 21st 

Dr Roger White:

The Wem Hoard

The hoard comprises 336 items of later Roman hacksilver (including 37 coins), most of which have been deliberately broken up to be reused as bullion. The hoard is only the sixth of its kind from the British Isles and was most likely deposited at some point in the later 5th century – after the Romans had left (circa AD 410).

Dr White excavated the hoard which is of key importance to Shropshire’s history, where there is limited evidence of people living within the county at this time. It would have been a period of great uncertainty, resulting in the collapse of the monetary system and huge disruption to trade, so that bullion was used for the bartering of services paid for by the weight of precious metals.


Monday, November 18th

2.00pm at the URC Hall

Robert Walker

Medieval Stained Glass

Retired Herefordshire Conservation Officer Robert Walker is the author of a lavishly illustrated book ‘The Medieval Stained Glass of Herefordshire and Shropshire’, which features glass from over 100 medieval churches and is the result of years of painstaking research.

At the start of his project, Robert consulted Britain’s National Survey of Medieval Stained Glass which, he discovered, covered only 8 churches in Herefordshire and 15 in Shropshire. Having a reasonable idea of the stained glass treasures to be found throughout those two counties, he thought it imperative that they should be properly surveyed, and so that’s what he did! The result is a gazetteer of all known surviving stained glass in the two counties for the periods 1300-1700,  which he will tell us about in his talk.


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