Church Stretton History Group - Events



Please note that, because of speaker illness, we have had to change the advertised programme at very short notice several times this year. We have now prepared a list of reserve talks in case this happens again so, in an emergency, we may present a different topic from that advertised. 

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

Monday 17th October

2.00pm at the URC Hall

Shrewsbury Town Walls

Speaker: Hugh Hannaford

Shrewsbury's town walls date from the 1220s. They were maintained and repaired for the next 500 years but, since the middle of the 18th century, they have suffered from neglect and development in places. Hugh's talk will take us on a virtual tour of the walls, looking at what survives and at some recent work to enhance and conserve the town’s medieval defences.

Monday 21st November

2.00pm at the URC Hall

The King's Writ Does Not Run Here:

The Welsh Marcher Lordship 

Speaker: Philip Hulme of The Mortimer Society

The medieval Marcher Lordships were a region between England and Wales that, politically and administratively, didn’t belong fully to either. Within each of the nearly 50 lordships, the Marcher Lord had unique regal-like powers - with their own laws, judicial powers, and access to resources and armies. In this talk Philip Hume explores the origins and development of the Marcher Lordships in the context of the 200-year struggle for control of Wales, with particular reference to the Marcher Lordships of West Shropshire


Monday December 19th

Members’ Christmas Lunch

Monday January 16th, 2023

2.00pm at the URC Hall

Researching The People Of The Shrewsbury Flax Mill

Speaker: Penny Ward of the Friends of the Flax Mill Maltings

N.B. This talk was postponed from September 2022, due to the late Queen's funeral.

Ditherington Flax Mill opened in 1797 and is the first iron-framed building in the world, described as "the grandfather of skyscrapers", despite its five-storey height. Its restoration, with another three of the seven other important buildings on the site, was officially opened to the public on September 10th, 2022.


An exhibition, called The Mill, details the development of the site and its role in the industrial revolution. It includes digital and hands-on activities for all ages.  

Penny Ward will report on the progress of a research project which the Friends initiated a decade ago. Its object is to build a picture of the lives of the many people and families who worked at the Flax Mill over its 90 years of operation and the community that developed in the area around the site. No personnel records for the Mill survive, and so the project has had to use a wide range of records both in Shropshire Archives and online to tease out the many different stories that are now beginning to emerge.