Shrewsbury the Birthplace of Darwin
Brief History of Shrewbury
It is believed the area of Shrewsbury was settled in the 5th century by refugees from the nearby Roman City of Wroxeter, but the first physical evidence dates from the 7th century Saxons who named the town "Scrobbesbyrig".
The next major developments occurred after the Norman conquest, when Roger de Montgomery founded the Castle (1074) and the Abbey (1083). The castle was built on a defensive site occupying the only land entry into Shrewsbury. The rest of the town being enclosed by a loop in the River Severn.
Over the next two hundred years the Welsh made repeated attempts to capture Shrewsbury. The most notorious being Llywelyn II who after many years and many battles was killed in 1282.
Edward I was a regular visitor to the Shrewsbury area and it is believed that he convened the first English Parliament at Acton Burnell Castle in 1263. Further meetings took place at the Chapter House in Shrewsbury Abbey.
One of the bloodiest battles in English history took place just north of the town. This was, ‘The Battle of Shrewsbury’, in 1403, it saw the death of over 6000 soldiers over a period of just three hours. Sadly bodies were strewn over a three mile area.
In 1642, at the start of the English Civil War, Shrewsbury was a Royalist stronghold, but not very well defended and as a result, was very quickly overwhelmed by the Roundheads. The town then remained in Roundhead hands until the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660.
Despite the proximity of Ironbridge, the industrial revolution had little effect on the character of Shrewsbury. It remained essentially a country market town. Thomas Telford did leave his mark on the town, for example he ‘modernised’ the castle and drove one of his roads through the middle of Shrewsbury Abbey grounds. In 1809 Charles Darwin was born in the town and was educated at Shrewsbury School before moving on to University.
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