Shropshire History

Shropshire

Stage Coaches

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http://www.hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk/images/harpenden-road/hr-16-stage-coach.jpg

 

There were three main types of coach service :-

 

Stage Coach - this was a heavy vehicle, pulled by 4-6 horses, and travelled at a steady 8 miles per hour. Inside the coach were two cushioned seats, taking three persons on each side. Outside passengers travelled at a cheaper rate, either in the luggage basket, which was slung between the back wheels, or on the roof, clinging to the baggage.  

 

Mail Coach - carrying mail deliveries from 1784. It was drawn by four horses and had seating for four passengers inside and one outside with the driver. The mail was held in a box to the rear, where a Royal Mail post office guard stood. The mail coach was faster than the stage coach as it only stopped for delivery of mail and to change horses. They had priority on the road and all other road users were obliged by law to keep out of their way. They did not have to stop at toll-gates and, as they approached, the guard would play a vigorous tune on his horn to alert the toll-keeper so he could have the toll-gate standing open. A similar tune was played on the approach to an inn where a fresh team of horses should be waiting. They were very fast but also very expensive for passengers. They had been phased out by the 1850s, their role being replaced by trains as the railway network expanded.

 

Post Coach - tried to match the speed and luxury of the Mail Coach. They carried 4 passengers inside and parcels but no mail. Some allowed 1-2 passengers outside.

 

Travel by stage-coach was initially very expensive, only the wealthy could afford it and only the very wealthy could go by mail or post coach. The reason for this was that it was expensive to operate a service, ie the Shrewsbury to London route was 152 miles in just under 24 hours. For a daily service in each direction the operators needed:

 

4 stage-coaches, (at any one time, one coach was travelling south, another travelling north, and a spare coach was kept at each end of the route to allow for maintenance, breakdowns, etc.)

 

152 horses, (a team of four every eight miles, horses rested every other day, a simple equation that works out at one horse per mile of route.)

 

6 coachmen (drivers, 50 miles each per day)

 

4 guards (each did 24 hours on-duty then 24 hours off)

 

payment of stage-coach tax (a sum per mile)

 

payment of road tolls (substantial sums)

 

Mail-Coaches had a guard provided free by the Royal Mail, and did not have to pay road tolls, but they had to travel a specified route, not necessarily the best route for passengers, and they still had to travel even when there were no passengers. Travel by coach was never comfortable. Those who could afford it took a seat inside, where they were crammed into a tiny space, banged and jolted together for hours or days. The less well-off travelled outside at half the inside fare. In summer this may have been a pleasant way to travel but it was a grim experience in rain or snow.

 

On main roads there were inns every 8-10 miles and their main function was to provide fresh horses for coaches. It took just two minutes to change a team of four, then the coach was off on its next eight-mile stage. If spare time was available a stop may have lasted a little longer, giving passengers time to take refreshments and to make themselves comfortable but a twenty-minute stop was a rare luxury on a stage-coach journey. Horses were usually owned by an innkeeper and hired by the double mile (out and return). For a horse, an 8-10 mile stage was half a day's work. It then spent a short time eating and resting before drawing a coach travelling in the opposite direction, thus returning to its home stables. It usually rested on alternate days. A surprising number of old coaching inns still exist in town centres, villages and on old highways. These often in the most unlikely places because their locations were determined 200 years ago by the need to provide fresh horses there.

 

Coachmen (coach drivers) usually did about 50 miles before another took over. They expected a hefty tip from each passenger and harassed those who did not give to expectation. Most coaches carried a guard who also expected a tip. He usually stayed with the coach for the whole of its journey. Most coaches carried four passengers inside but a few carried six. On early coaches, outside passengers sat on the roof itself but by 1830 proper seats were provided on the roof. It was believed that horses found it easier to pull a load carried high above ground (large wheels do make a load easier to pull). This assumption resulted in coaches being made top-heavy. Extra passengers and luggage were allowed at roof level at a time when coach bodies were being made lighter. Thus the most common accident to befall a coach was overturning. Outside passengers were often thrown to the ground and many were injured or killed. The horses often stampeded after an accident, dragging the wreckage of the coach some distance and adding considerably to the injuries.

 

Timeline

 

1583 - Mr Smiles, in his book Lives of the Engineers, relates that "that valyant knyght, Sir Harry Sydney, entered Shrewsbury in his wagon, with his trumpeter blowyng, verey joyfull to behold and see." This was probably the first example of a stage coach being used for passengers rather than a horse.

 

17th Century - It was common, when a long journey was contemplated, for servants to be sent on beforehand, to investigate the country and report upon the most promising route.

 

1657 - in April, an advert appeared in Mercurius Politicus, a London Newspaper. A public coach service was about to start running between London and Chester. The 190 miles would take four days, and a passage cost 35 shillings. Prior to this, anyone who needed to make a long journey through England would have had to walk or go on horseback, unless he was exceedingly rich, had his own private carriage, and the many servants necessary to support a journey. Chester was the main port for travel between England and Ireland so the coach service was a success and other routes started linking London with major towns in the country. At this time most main roads in England were just wide strips of land that had disintegrated though lack of maintenance. In winter the roads became a quagmire.

 

1659 – in March, an advert in the Mercurius Politicus gave notice “… that from the George Inn, Aldersgate, goes every Monday and Thursday a coach and four able horses, to carry passengers to Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Newport, Whitchurch and Holywell, at reasonable rates, by us, who have performed it two years.” Thus Shropshire was on the route of one of the earliest stage coach services.

 

1681 –Sir William Dugdale wrote in his diary “… having occasion to remove from London to my country seat in Warwickshire, I came down by "Shrewsbury coach". The first night it stopped at Woburn; for in those times, in the then wretched state of the roads, no coach thought of travelling all night. The second night it stopped at Hill Morton (near Rugby) and thence proceeded on the third day for Coleshill, where Dugdale planned to alight. It then went along the old Chester Road to Aldridge Heath and Brownhills, and by the Watling Street from that point to Wellington. This was not the direct line from London to Shrewsbury but might be deemed the best road.

 

1703 - the Shrewsbury stage was robbed in January in the neighbourhood of Brownhills by a gang of men and women.

 

1739-40 - the coach from Chester to London first went to Whitchurch, a distance of 20 miles, where it stopped overnight. On the second day it stopped overnight at the Welsh Harp in Stonnall; the third night in Coventry; the fourth in Northampton; the fifth in Dunstable; and on the last day arrived in London before nightfall.

 

1740s – due to the poor state of the roads, the coach to London was taking on average 8 days.

 

1750s – improved roads reduced the journey time to 4 days.  

 

1751 - A new type of carriage started on the London route called the Caravan. It was fitted inside with benches against the sides, to take between 8-18 persons, and resembled a cattle truck. It was drawn by 6 horses and it was claimed that the journey now only took four days, although it was more often five. The caravan travelled on the old Chester road, until the beginning of 1752, when it began to break its journey by "lying on Tuesdays” at the Castle Inn, Birmingham. The single fare at that time was 15/-.

 

1753 - The roads were now beginning to come under the control of various turnpike trusts and were thus improved. The Birmingham & Shrewsbury Long Coach, with six horses, was now making the journey from Shrewsbury to London in four days. It started at the Old Red Lion in Shrewsbury and finished at the Bell in Holborn, with a fare of 18/-. A few months later a rival service, Fowler's Shrewsbury Stage Coach, began to run from the Raven Hotel in Shrewsbury in only 3½ days. At this time, the first regular direct postal service from Shrewsbury to London was introduced. It took 4 days for the journey but was expensive to ride in as a passenger.

 

1764 - The Shrewsbury to London service had only been weekly but in April a new service started, called The Machine. This operated 3 times a week and performed the journey in two days (staying overnight in Coventry) with a fare of 30/-. This level of service could not be maintained during the winter and the journey time was extended back to three days. By the following Spring, the Machine had returned to its former time of two days and was called the "Flying Machine".

 

1769 – the journey time was reduced to 1½ days, with an overnight stop at Dunchurch and a fare of 36/-.

 

1772 - the fare was reduced to 34/- with the passengers sleeping at Wolverhampton on the journey from London.

 

1776 – a new fast service called “The Fly” was introduced between Shrewsbury and London twice a week.

 

1779 - an advertisement from the innkeepers at Holyhead, Borth Ferry, Conway, St Asaph, Llangollen and Oswestry, who styled themselves "the proprietors of the new company for reducing the rates of travelling on the Welsh roads" thanked to those travelling between Holyhead and London, Bath, Bristol, etc, either by way of Shrewsbury or Chester, for the very great encouragement and support they have received. This had enabled them to carry out their plan of fixing the rates of travelling on the old Holyhead road (now the A5), to the same rates as in England. They stated their determination to run chaises with pairs at 9d a mile; post coaches with four horses at 1s. 3d and to render travelling through Wales agreeable and expeditious. A few weeks later, Robert Lawrence and others from Shrewsbury set up a post coach service from London to Holyhead via Coventry, Castle Bromwich, Birmingham, Walsall, Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury, Llangollen, Corwen and Conway. It stopped overnight at Castle Bromwich, the second night at Oswestry and on the third day arrived at Holyhead in 26 hours 55 minutes.

 

1780 - in May, Lawrence started a new post coach service from the Raven Inn, Shrewsbury to Holyhead via Oswestry, Corwen, Llanrwst and Conway in parallel with the earlier one. This alarmed the proprietors of Chester coaches to North Wales as they began to see how the new route would threaten their trade. Mr Lawrence took over the Lion Hotel in Shrewsbury for use as a coaching inn. In June a new service called the Defiance was introduced.

 

1782 – a newspaper article reported in April that the new road through Wales, via Llanrwst, has been kept open by Lawrence during the late inclement weather, notwithstanding that most other roads were rendered impassable by the heavy falls of snow. In September, the new Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, Earl Temple, travelled on the coach and stopped over at the Lion Inn en route. He said that “he was extremely glad the Shrewsbury road had been recommended to him, not only as he found it considerably shorter but because the accommodations were in every respect perfectly to his satisfaction".

 

1785 - In September Lawrence introduced a mail coach from London to Shrewsbury.

 

1788 – It was now only taking 22 hours to travel to London.  There were 7 coaches to London every day plus daily mail coaches to Chester, Hereford, Welshpool and Newtown. There were also 13 other coaches to Chester, Manchester, Worcester, Aberystwith, Holyhead and Birmingham.

 

1792 - a regular Stage service between Holyhead and London passed through Shrewsbury taking 27 hours and the postal business from Ireland to London via Holyhead and Shrewsbury increased prodigiously.

 

1800 - the union of the kingdoms of England and Ireland, and the consequent journeys of Government officials to and from London, made the Holyhead Road an even more important route.

 

1804 – Lawrence opened a slightly shorter route of the Holyhead Road, through Capel Curig and Bangor. This excluded Llanrwst and Conway, saving eight miles. In this he was assisted by the late lord Penrhyn, who erected a large inn at Capel Curig.

 

1807 - a coach service started running from Shrewsbury to Manchester via Whitchurch and Chester. This led to the development of coaching inns such as the Castle, White Horse, White Lion and Waggoners Arms, where horses could be changed and travellers refreshed. One coach company tried to cut out the Waggoners Arms by stopping at the White Lion but the landlady of the Waggoners immediately sent her sons round to forcibly drag the coach up the street to her inn.

 

1808 – a service was introduced from Wolverhampton to Bridgnorth. The London, Birmingham, and Shrewsbury Mail via Oxford was extended to Holyhead, going by Llangollen, Corwen, and Capel Curig.

 

1810 – Thomas Telford was commissioned to plan improvements to the Holyhead Road. A report by the Commissioners on Holyhead Road and Harbour stated “Many parts are extremely dangerous for a coach to travel upon”. He made a survey in 1811 but it was not until 1815 that the Government finally adopted his and the Commissioners’ reports and the Treasury found the money for the work. It was then decided that improvements should be made along the whole length of road between London and Holyhead but that the Shrewsbury to Holyhead portion, being incomparably the worst, should have the first attention. In the course of five years this first part of the work was completed.

 

1810 - John MacAdam published plans for a proper roadbed that required that a foundation of earth, raised above surrounding ground, built to ensure proper foundation drainage. The road was then covered with a layer of stones weighing no more than six ounces each and no larger than two inches in diameter. The roadbed consisted of several layers of stones uniformly spread and rolled, with a depth of 15 inches at the centre. MacAdam's roads were 20ft wide, allowing the passage of vehicles from both directions at the same time. His system for road building was cheaper and easier to build than others and this system of road building called macadamisation was generally adopted by 1823. Today, macadam still means a hard-surfaced road.

 

1815 - Joseph Ballard gave a clear picture of costs and the effect of competition on the growth of coaching during the Regency times. "… Besides the fare in the coach you have to pay the coachman one shilling per stage of about thirty miles and the same to the guard whose business it is to take care of the luggage, etc. Should the passenger refuse to pay the accustomed tribute he would inevitably be insulted. You must pay also at the inns the chambermaid sixpence a night, the boots two pence a day and the head waiter one shilling a day. The porter who takes your portmanteau upstairs moves his hat with ‘pray remember the porter, Sir.’ In fact, it is necessary in travelling through England to have your pocket well lined with pounds, shillings and sixpences, otherwise you never can satisfy the innumerable demands made upon a traveller. … The beds at the inns are surprisingly neat and clean. In many of the inns in a large town, the chambermaids furnish the chambers and depend upon their fees for remuneration. The stagecoaches are very convenient and easy. No baggage is permitted to be taken inside, it being stowed away in the boot places before and behind the carriage for that purpose. Here it rides perfectly safe, not being liable to be rubbed, as they ride upon the same springs that the passengers do. A person can always calculate upon being at the place he takes the coach for (barring accidents) at a certain time, as the coachman is allowed a given time to go his stage. The guard always has a chronometer with him (locked up so that he cannot move the hands) as a guide with regard to time."

 

1816 – Thomas Telford was appointed resident engineer on the Shrewsbury to Holyhead road and developed a system of road building based on a trench laid with a foundation of heavy rock. The roadbed was then built up so that it was raised in the centre while curving down to the sides to maintain drainage of the road surface. The base of large stones of cobblestone size was then overlaid with 7 inches of broken stone and a final 3 inches of finer stone. Telford's roads would stand up well even in marshy ground. The road included numerous bridges, including the 579ft span Menai Bridge, and was the best road in Europe at that time. This had placed the route through Shrewsbury beyond the reach of competition from Chester and the road now maintained a mail coach and two other daily coaches. The New Holyhead Mail from London to Holyhead was taking 38 hours.

 

1820 – work on the London to Shrewsbury portion of the Holyhead Road was begun. The Menai Bridge was opened and the time for the New Holyhead Mail was reduced to 32 hours.

 

1822 – the journey from Shrewsbury to London now only took 18 hours.

 

1825 - the Wonder Coach between London and Shrewsbury was the first to achieve over a hundred miles a day. It started from London at 0630 and was in Shrewsbury (a distance of 154 miles) at 2230 the same night.

 

1828 – work on the Shrewsbury to London part of the Holyhead Road was completed.

 

1830 - the time for the New Holyhead Mail was reduced to 29Ό hours.

 

1830 - it was a legal requirement that each parish had to take care of its own roads. A Surveyor of Highways was in charge, who was one of the locals, chosen by his neighbours. He could command his neighbours to work unpaid on the roads) for six working days every year. He could also demand the free use of horses, carts and tools from the richer members of the community. However, with no specialised tools or knowledge, it was not a success. If enough support could be gained, a Turnpike Trust could be set up by an Act of Parliament to allow the road makers to build a tollgate or turnpike at the beginning of their section of road and to charge a toll on all users. This would raise funds to help defray the cost of keeping the road in good repair. Some of the tolls were very complicated and very explicit about how much would be charged for what kind of traffic, eg a two-wheeled cart would be charged a different rate from a four-wheeled carriage. Some road users tried to evade the tolls and allowance was made for that in the notice posted up at the tollgate, which included the fines for evasion of tolls. Most of the trusts had about 10-12 miles of road, though some had many more. When coach owners saw the new roads, they made much better coaches. They were light, well sprung, and comfortable, rattling along at an average speed of 12mph. People could now go to places in one fifth of the time it had taken before. In the last 30 years of the Georgian period 1800-1830, traffic had increased in speed and numbers beyond anything which had ever been known.

 

1830s - The owner of the Lion Inn, Isaac Taylor, ran the coaching business there and it became the most important inn in Shrewsbury because he had fine horses, first rate coach drivers and good quality coaches.  He paid toll fees monthly to the turnpike gatekeepers who waved through his coaches so travelling times were reduced.  There were 5 horses in a team, with each working for one hour daily for 4 days and then a rest day. About 200 horses were stabled in Shrewsbury and ostlers washed them in the River Severn shallows. Sam Hayward was Taylor’s most celebrated coach driver in the early 19th century.  He drove a coach named The Wonder to London for 16 years, nicknamed the yellow belly. Over 100 miles per day could be achieved by Haywood because of frequent changes of the horses. Sam Hayward often completed the 158 miles to London in almost 16 hours, about 11½ mph.  A rival coachman tried 12 mph and several horses died in the attempt. Sam said no accidents had happened to him and he was always on time or within 10 minutes.  He was thought to be taciturn but explained that he needed to concentrate on driving, so spoke only when necessary.  Passengers bet on whether he would utter a single word during their journey. He was paid well, 10/- to 17/6d a week plus tips. His 5.00am departure from the inn started at the first stroke of the hour.  He and the guard, Dicky Ash, clambered into the coach, removed the horse blankets and dashed through the inn yard archway. The skid was then attached as they turned sharply down the steep hill of Wyle Cop. On return to the inn, the guard blew the horn to announce their imminent arrival.  The horses would gallop up the steep hill without a pause and turn into the archway at full speed with only inches to spare.  The space has been widened since for cars but the wheel marks can still be seen on one of the columns. The Shrewsbury - London route was the most lucrative with a fare of £1 inside and 10/- on top. The poor, however, used slower wagons or walked. There was great rivalry between the three main coaching inns in Shrewsbury and there was once a race between The Wonder and The Nimrod but the result was never recorded. 

 

1834 – in October, the Union Coach overturned near Haygate and the driver was killed on the spot.

 

1835 – there were 15 coaches leaving the Lion Inn, Shrewsbury daily to Aberystwyth and Barmouth (for seasonal bathing), Bath, Bristol, Holyhead, Liverpool, Manchester and London. 

 

1836 - the time for the New Holyhead Mail was reduced to 27 hours.

 

1837 - a bad winter depleted the number of passengers travelling on the coaches. 

 

1841 - Shrewsbury’s population had decreased by 5,000 and the Wonder Coach travelled only to Birmingham with a reduced team of horses.

 

1848 – a rail link was opened between Shrewsbury and Chester. The journey to London now only took 5 hours.  Other links followed over the next few years.

 

1851 – a coach was still running daily between Wolverhampton and Bridgnorth but this soon ceased due to competition from a horse-drawn omnibus.

 

1856 – there was still a coach every other day from Craven Arms station to Bishops Castle.

 

1857 - many of the coaching inns had ceased but some continued until the 1860s by running coaches on routes not provided by the railways. 

 

 

Commercial Directory 1818-20

History of Shrewsbury Vol 1 1825

Shropshire Gazetteer 1824

Stage Coach Timetables

 

 

Gazetteer of Coach Services

 

Many of the coach services had their own name but this can be confusing since some used the same name as others. In the timetables below, the modern 24 hour clock is used. The left hand column of times refers to the outward journey and the right hand column to the return journey. Usually the two journeys were run in parallel and they passed each other en route. Not all of the times have yet been confirmed so there are blanks. The date in brackets refers to the source of the information and the total distance of the route plus time taken is shown where known. The entries in bold refer to places in Shropshire. A link is provide to the detailed route the stage would have taken.

 

Aurora

Ludlow – London  A49

(1826 - daily except Sun, 151 miles)

1530

1400

Ludlow, Angel Inn

 

 

Tenbury

 

 

Worcester

 

 

Oxford

 

 

London

 

Bang-Up

Birmingham – Liverpool   A41  A5  A528

(1818 – daily, 112 miles)

0600

 

Birmingham

 

 

Wolverhampton

 

 

Shrewsbury, Talbot Hotel

 

 

Liverpool

 

Bang-Up

Shrewsbury – Liverpool  A528

(1830 – daily, 60 miles, 8 hrs)

0500

1600

Shrewsbury, Talbot Hotel

0700

1400

Ellesmere, Black Lion

0900

1230

Wrexham

1030

1100

Chester

1330

0800

Liverpool

 

Barmouth Coach

Birmingham – Barmouth  A41  A5  A464

(1818 – Sun, Tue, Thu, 166 miles)

2230

 

Birmingham

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Aberystwyth

 

 

Barmouth

 

Bewdley Post Coach

Ludlow – Bewdley  A4117 

(1798 - Wed only, 20 miles)

0700

 

Ludlow, Angel Inn

 

 

Bewdley

Meets Birmingham coach here and returns same evening

 

Birmingham Coach

Bridgnorth – Birmingham  A454

(1818 – Mon, Wed, Fri, 39 miles)

 

 

Bridgnorth, Bear Inn

 

1030

Wolverhampton

 

1000

Birmingham

 

Birmingham Fly

Shrewsbury – Birmingham  A5  A41

(1778 – daily, 48 miles)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Wolverhampton

 

 

Walsall

 

 

Birmingham

 

Chester Coach

London – Chester daily  A5  A41

(1739 – daily, 197 miles, 6 days)

 

 

London

 

 

Dunstable

 

 

Northampton

 

 

Coventry

 

 

Stonnall

 

 

Ivetsey Bank

 

 

Whitchurch, Swan Inn

 

 

Chester

Overnight stops at Dunstable, Northampton, Coventry,

Stonnall and Whitchurch

 

Chester Post Coach  A41  A5  A528

Birmingham – Chester  

(1818 – Mon, Wed, Thu, Sat, 76 miles)

1000

 

Birmingham

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Ellesmere, Red Lion

 

 

Chester

 

Day Mail

Shrewsbury – London  A5  A464  A41

(1846 - daily except Sun, 155 miles)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Wellington, Cock Hotel

 

 

Shifnal, Unicorn Inn

1000

1530

Wolverhampton

 

 

Birmingham

 

 

London

 

Defiance

Ludlow – Shrewsbury  A49

(1815 - Sun, Tue, Thu, 30 miles)

1200

1100

Ludlow, Angel Inn

1700

0600

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

Dispatch

Chester – Birmingham  A41  A5

(1830 – daily, 75 miles, 12 hrs)

0630

2230

Chester

0745

2115

Handley

0800

2100

Barnhill

0900

2000

Malpas

1000

1900

Whitchurch, Red Lion

1030

1830

Sandford

1100

1800

Bletchley, Castle inn

1110

1745

Ternhill, Ternhill Inn

1200

1700

Hinstock, Falcon Inn

1300

1600

Newport, Red Lion

1430

1430

Ivetsey Bank

1715

1200

Walsall

1830

1045

Birmingham

 

Greyhound

Shrewsbury – London  A5  A464  A41

(1846 - daily except Sun, 155 miles)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Wellington, Cock Hotel

 

 

Shifnal, Unicorn Inn

1730

1445

Wolverhampton

 

 

Birmingham

 

 

London

 

Hark Forward

Oswestry – Chester  B5009  A5

(1830 – daily, 27 miles, 4 hrs)

0630

1800

Oswestry, Queen’s Head Hotel

0900

1530

Wrexham

1030

1400

Chester

 

Heavy Coach

Ludlow – London  A49

(1815 - Mon/Tue only, 151 miles)

 

1900

Ludlow, Crown Inn

 

 

Worcester

 

1200

London

Arrives Ludlow day after leaving London

 

Hero

Birmingham - Bristol  A454  A442

(1818 – daily except Sun, 98 miles)

0630

 

Birmingham

 

 

Bridgnorth, Falcon Inn

 

 

Worcester

 

 

Gloucester

 

 

Bristol

 

Hero

Birmingham – Shrewsbury  A41  A5

(1828 – daily, 47 miles)

1830

 

Birmingham

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

Hero

Bridgnorth – London  A454

(1846 - daily except Sun, 135 miles)

 

 

Bridgnorth, Bear Inn

 

1745

Wolverhampton

 

 

London

 

Hibernia

Liverpool - Cheltenham  A41  B5476  A528  A5  B4380  A4169  A458

(1835 – daily, 142 miles)

 

 

Liverpool

1200

 

Wem, White Horse

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Ironbridge, Golden Ball

 

 

Much Wenlock, Gaskell Arms

1500

1100

Bridgnorth, Bear Inn

 

 

Cheltenham

 

Highflyer

Shrewsbury – Chester  A528

(1830 – daily, 40 miles, 5Ύ hrs)

0500

1645

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

0715

1430

Ellesmere, Bridgwater Arms

0900

1230

Wrexham

1030

1100

Chester

 

Holiday Coach

Ludlow – Newtown  A49  A489  B4385

(1798 - Mon during season, 39 miles)

0400

 

Ludlow, Crown Inn

 

 

Bishop’s Castle, Castle Hotel

 

 

Newtown

Season starts on nearest Monday to 4th July

Meets Aberystwyth coach and returns same evening

 

Holiday Coach

Ludlow – Aberystwyth  A49  A489  B4385

(1815 - Wed, Sat, 77 miles)

0400

 

Ludlow, Crown Inn

 

 

Bishop’s Castle, Castle Hotel

 

 

Newtown

 

 

Aberystwyth

Only during the bathing season and returns same night

 

Holyhead Mail

London – Holyhead  A41  A464  A5

(1818 – daily, 273 miles)

 

 

London

1130

 

Birmingham

 

 

Wolverhampton

 

 

Shifnal, Unicorn Inn

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Oswestry, Wynnstay Arms

 

 

Corwen

 

 

Bangor

 

 

Holyhead

 

Holyhead Mail

London – Holyhead  A41  A464  A5

(1846 – daily, 273 miles)

 

 

London

 

 

Birmingham

0300

 

Wolverhampton

 

 

Shifnal, Unicorn Inn

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Oswestry, Wynnstay Arms

 

 

Corwen

 

 

Bangor

 

 

Holyhead

 

Holywell Coach

London – Holywell  A5  A41

(1659 – Mon, Thu, 206 miles)

 

 

London

 

 

Birmingham

 

 

Wolverhampton

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Newport, Red Lion

 

 

Whitchurch, Swan Inn

 

 

Holywell

 

Independent Tally-Ho

Chester – Birmingham  A51

(1830 – daily, 79 miles, 10Ό miles)

0600

1600

Chester

0640

1520

Tarvin

0715

1445

Tarporley

0830

1330

Nantwich

0930

1230

Woore, Swan Hotel

1100

1040

Eccleshall

1200

1000

Stafford

1300

0900

Penkridge

1430

0745

Wolverhampton

1615

0600

Birmingham

 

Mail Gig

Bridgnorth – London  A454

(1846 - daily (parcels only), 135 miles)

 

 

Bridgnorth, Bear Inn

 

0400

Wolverhampton

 

 

London

 

Manchester Coach

Shrewsbury – Manchester  A49

(1807 – daily, 84 miles)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Whitchurch, Swan Inn

 

 

Chester

 

 

Manchester

 

Nettle

Whitchurch – Manchester  A49

(1830 - daily except Sun, 52 miles, 8 hrs)

0800

2000

Whitchurch, Swan Inn

0930

1830

Nantwich

1030

1730

Wheelock

1100

1700

Sandbach

1200

1630

Middlewich

1230

1500

Northwich

1415

1400

Bucklow Hill

1445

1330

Altrincham

1615

1200

Manchester

 

Nettle

Oswestry – Liverpool  A5

(1830 – daily, 43 miles, 6 hrs)

0700

1400

Oswestry, Wynnstay Arms

0740

1320

Chirk

0820

1240

Ruabon

0900

1200

Wrexham

1030

1030

Chester

1110

0950

Sutton

1230

0630

Tranmere

1300

0800

Liverpool

 

New Holyhead Mail

London – Holyhead  A41  A464  A5

(1817 – daily, 260 miles, 27 hrs)

2000

 

London

0910

 

Shifnal, Unicorn Inn

1100

 

Hay Gate, Falcon Inn

1200

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

1255

 

Nesscliffe, Old Three Pigeons

1345

 

Oswestry, Wynnstay Arms

2255

 

Holyhead

 

Nimrod

Shrewsbury – London  A5

(1834 – daily, 170 miles)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

London

 

Old Post Coach

Ludlow – Worcester  A49

(1798 - Tue only, 32 miles)

0500

 

Ludlow, Crown Inn

 

 

Worcester

Returns same evening

 

Prince of Wales

London - Holyhead  A41  A464  A5

(1818 – daily, 273 miles)

 

 

London

 

 

Oxford

1000

1800

Birmingham

1400

1500

Wolverhampton

 

 

Shifnal, Unicorn Inn

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Holyhead

 

Prince of Wales

Shrewsbury - London  A49

(1826 – daily, 170 miles)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Unicorn Inn

0800

 

Ludlow, Angel Inn

 

 

London

 

Prince Regent

Ludlow – Shrewsbury  A49

(1815 - Sun, Wed, Fri, 30 miles)

1300

1100

Ludlow, Angel Inn

1800

0600

Shrewsbury, Unicorn Inn

 

Retaliator

Birmingham – Holyhead  A41  A464  A5  A49  A41

(1818 – daily, 175 miles)

0900

 

Birmingham

 

 

Wolverhampton

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Chester

 

 

Liverpool

 

 

Holyhead

 

Royal Mail

Birmingham – Holyhead  A41  A464  A5

(1818 – daily, 175 miles)

 

1130

Birmingham

 

 

Wolverhampton

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Holyhead

 

Royal Mail

Bridgnorth – London  A454

(1815 - daily except Sat, 141 miles)

0745

1800

Bridgnorth, Bear Inn

 

 

London

 

Royal Mail

Chester - Hereford  A41  A49

(1826 – daily, 95 miles)

 

 

Chester

 

 

Shrewsbury, Unicorn Inn

1430

1030

Ludlow, Crown Hotel

 

 

Hereford

 

Royal Mail

Chester - Hereford  A528  A49

(1830 – daily, 95 miles, 14 hrs)

0545

1815

Chester

0700

1700

Wrexham

0800

1540

Ellesmere, Bridgewater Arms

1200

1330

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

1430

1100

Church Stretton, Talbot Inn

1615

0835

Ludlow, Crown Hotel

1745

0700

Leominster

1945

0500

Hereford

 

Royal Mail

Chester – London  A51

(1830 – daily, 189 miles, 23½ hrs)

0800

1800

Chester

0900

1700

Tarporley

1000

1600

Nantwich

1100

1500

Woore, Swan Hotel

1230

1330

Eccleshall

1315

1230

Stafford

1420

1120

Rugeley

1530

1000

Lichfield

1645

0945

Tamworth

1730

0830

Atherstone

1830

0730

Hinckley

1945

0545

Lutterworth

2130

0430

Welford

2315

0300

Northampton

0100

0130

Newport Pagnell

0200

0030

Woburn

0300

2330

Dunstable

0430

2200

St Albans

0730

1900

London

 

Royal Mail

Ludlow – Bishop’s Castle  A49  A489

(1815 - Sun, Wed, Fri, 21 miles)

 

 

Ludlow, Angel Inn

 

 

Bishop’s Castle, Castle Inn

 

Royal Mail

Ludlow – London  A49

(1798 - Mon, Thu and Sat, 151 miles)

 

 

Ludlow, Crown Inn

 

 

Leominster

 

 

London

Arrives back in Ludlow early evening

On Sun, Wed and Fri bags are made up for Bishops Castle

 

Royal Mail

Ludlow – London  A49

(1815 - daily except Fri, Sun, 151 miles)

 

 

Ludlow, Crown Inn

 

 

London

 

Royal Mail

Ludlow – London  A49

(1815 - Sat only, 151 miles)

1800

2100

Ludlow, Angel Inn

 

 

Leominster

 

 

Bromyard

 

 

Worcester

 

 

London

Return journey from Ludlow on Sun

 

Royal Mail

Ludlow - London  A49

(1826 – daily, 151 miles)

1100

1400

Ludlow, Crown Hotel

 

 

Worcester

 

 

Oxford

 

 

London

 

Royal Mail

Ludlow – Shrewsbury  A49

(1815 - Mon, Wed, Fri, 30 miles)

1200

1200

Ludlow, Crown Inn

 

 

Shrewsbury

Return journey from Shrewsbury on Tue, Thu, Sun

 

Royal Mail

Ludlow - Welshpool  A49  A489  B4385

(1826 – daily, 38 miles)

1430

 

Ludlow, Crown Hotel

 

 

Bishop’s Castle, Castle Inn

 

 

Montgomery

 

 

Welshpool

Returns to Ludlow following morning in time for London Mail

 

Royal Mail

Ludlow – Worcester  A49

(1798 - Sun, Wed and Fri, 32 miles)

0700

 

Ludlow, Crown Inn

 

 

Leominster

 

 

Worcester

Meets London mail coach here and returns same evening

 

Royal Mail

Ludlow – Worcester  A49

(1815 - daily except Mon, Sat, 32 miles)

0600

1900

Ludlow, Crown Inn

 

 

Leominster

 

 

Worcester

Meets London mail coach here and returns same evening

 

Royal Mail

Market Drayton – London  A529  A41  A5

(1815 - daily except Sat, 167 miles)

1700

2100

Market Drayton, Corbet Arms

 

 

London

 

Royal Mail

Oswestry – London  A5

(1815 - daily except Sat, 187 miles)

1500

2200

Oswestry, Wynnstay Arms

 

 

London

 

Royal Mail

Shifnal – London  A464  A41

(1815 - daily except Sat, 152 miles)

0200

1600

Shifnal, Unicorn Inn

 

 

London

 

Royal Mail

Shrewsbury – Holywell  A5  A41

(1815 - Sun, Wed, Fri, 57 miles)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Holywell

Arrives at Shrewsbury in evening

 

Royal Mail

Shrewsbury – London  A5

(1815 - daily except Mon, 170 miles)

 

2000

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

South Wales

 

 

London

 

Royal Mail

Shrewsbury – London  A5

(1818 – daily, 155 miles)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Wellington, Cock Hotel

 

 

Wolverhampton

1500

1200

Birmingham

 

 

Oxford

 

 

London

 

Royal Mail

Shrewsbury - London  A5

(1826 – daily, 169 miles)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

0600

 

Ludlow, Angel Inn

 

 

London

 

Royal Mail

Shrewsbury - Manchester  A49

(1826 - every other day, 84 miles)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Manchester

 

Royal Mail

Wem – London  B5476  A528  A5

(1815 - Mon, Thu, Sat, 176 miles)

1700

0400

Wem, White Horse

 

 

London

All Welsh and cross posts are dispatched immediately on arrival

of the Shrewsbury post with the London and other mails.

 

Royal Mail

Whitchurch - Birmingham  A49  B4364  A454

(1826 - Mon, Wed, Fri, 55 miles)

 

 

Whitchurch, Swan Inn

 

 

Ludlow, Angel Inn

 

 

Birmingham

Returns to Whitchurch following evening

 

Royal Mail

Whitchurch – London  A41  A5

(1815 - daily except Tue, 176 miles)

1400

0300

Whitchurch, Swan Inn

 

 

London

 

Royal Mail

Whitchurch - London  A49  B4364  A454

(1826 - Mon, Wed, Fri, 176 miles)

2300

 

Whitchurch, Swan Inn

 

 

Ludlow, Angel Inn

 

 

Birmingham

Returns to Whitchurch following evening

 

Royal Mail

Whitchurch - Malpas  A49

(1815 - Mon, Tue, Sat, 6 miles)

1200

 

Whitchurch, Swan Inn

 

 

Malpas

 

Salopian

Shrewsbury – London  A5  B4380  A4169  A464  A41

(1830 – daily, 155 miles)

 

1900

Shrewsbury, Talbot Hotel

 

 

Coalbrookdale, Meadow Inn

 

 

Ironbridge, Golden Ball

 

 

Shifnal, Unicorn Inn

1100

 

Wolverhampton

 

 

Birmingham

 

 

London

 

Shrewsbury Coach

Shrewsbury - London  A5 

(1681 – daily, 155 miles, 3 days)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Wellington, Cock Hotel

 

 

Brownhills

 

 

Aldridge Heath

 

 

Coleshill

 

 

Hill Morton (overnight stop)

 

 

Woburn (overnight stop)

 

 

Newport Pagnell

 

 

London

 

Shrewsbury Long Coach

Shrewsbury – London  A5  A464  A41

(1753 – 155 miles, 5 days)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Old Red Lion

 

 

Birmingham

 

 

London

 

Shrewsbury Stage Coach

Shrewsbury – London   A5  A464  A41

(1753 – weekly, 155 miles, 3½ days)

 

 

Shrewsbury, Raven Hotel

 

 

Birmingham

 

 

London

 

Shropshire Hero

Shrewsbury – Chester  A528  B5476  A41

(1830 – daily, 42 miles, 7 hrs)

0630

2030

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

0830

1830

Wem, Castle Hotel

0945

1630

Whitchurch, Red Lion

1030

1530

Malpas

1145

1445

Barnhill

1200

1430

Handley

1300

1330

Chester

 

Triumph

Birmingham – Liverpool  A41  A5  A49  A41

(1830 – daily, 98 miles)

 

 

Birmingham

0300

2330

Wolverhampton

 

 

Shrewsbury, Talbot Hotel

 

 

Chester

1030

 

Liverpool

 

Triumph

London – Holyhead  A41  A5

(1830 – daily, 273 miles)

 

 

London

 

 

Henley-on-Thames

 

 

Oxford

 

 

Birmingham

1930

1500

Wolverhampton

 

 

Shrewsbury, Talbot Hotel

 

 

Bangor

 

 

Holyhead

Meets coaches at Shrewsbury for Hereford,

Aberystwyth, Welshpool, Newtown and North Wales

 

Union

Bridgnorth – Birmingham  A454

(1818 – Mon, Wed, Fri, 39 miles)

 

 

Bridgnorth, Bear Inn

 

0900

Birmingham

 

Union

Ludlow – Bristol  A49

(1815 - Tue, Thu, Sun, 90 miles)

1200

1200

Ludlow, Angel inn

 

 

Hereford

 

 

Bristol

Return journey from Shrewsbury on Mon, Wed, Fri

 

Union Light

London – Holyhead  A41  A5

(1818 – daily, 273 miles)

 

 

London

 

 

Oxford

0900

1230

Birmingham

 

 

Shrewsbury, Lion Hotel

 

 

Holyhead

 

Wonder

Shrewsbury – London  A5  A464  A41

(1846 - daily except Sun - 155 miles)

 

1900

Shrewsbury, Talbot Hotel

 

 

Hay Gate, Falcon Inn

 

 

Shifnal, Unicorn Inn

1315

1745

Wolverhampton

 

 

Birmingham

 

 

London