Shropshire History




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Gazetteer of Sites


Bridgnorth - Aircraft Factory (SO721925)

Ministry of Aircraft Production factory involved with Radio Gramophone Development during the Second World War.


Bridgnorth - Southwell Carpet Factory (SO719935)


Built around 1824 by Thomas Southwell on the site of the old Franciscan Friary. By 1860 the factory employed 600 people. In 1897 it presented a carpet to Queen Victoria to commemorate her golden jubilee and at the end of the First World War they also presented a victory carpet to the palace. During the Second World War, the factory was taken over by the Rootes Group to make camouflage and build parts for aeroplane engines. In 1943 it was bought by the Carpet Manufacturing Company (CMC Ltd). In 1969 CMC Ltd became Carpets International Ltd and they thrived at first until cheaper tufted carpets and foreign imports lowered their profit margins. The 110ft high chimney known as “The Shed” was demolished in 1978. The factory itself was demolished in 1989 and replaced by new houses.


Broseley - Glassworks (SJ674019)

There was a glasshouse at Broseley in 1732 where they made both flint and bottle glass. This was owned by Benjamin Batchelor and Company from Stourbridge.


Buildwas - Factory (SJ654045)

Second World War factory. There was a light anti aircraft gun emplacement on the factory roof.


Buildwas - Ironbridge Power Station (SJ65640384)


Ironbridge A was 500MW coal-fired power station constructed in 1930-32 by the Central Electricity Generating Board. The site included a pump house on the bank of the river, an office block facing the main road and river, behind which rose the turbine hall and boiler house with three tall chimneys, masking the view of the coal plant behind, which was set close to the railway. The buildings were designed in a simplified classical style, constructed from brick and artificial stone cladding on steel frames. By the early 1960s, demand for electricity had increased dramatically and so Ironbridge B, a 1000MW coal-fired power station, was constructed in 1963-69 by the Central Electricity Generating Board. The buildings all have steel or concrete frames and a variety of metal and concrete cladding and finishes, with glass cladding to the turbine hall. The cooling towers are constructed from concrete. The generating buildings are set centrally within the site, with the coal plant to the west and the cooling towers and water treatment plant to the east; the administration block faces the road and railway to the north. In 2001 it was acquired by E-ON and it ceased generating in November 2015 as part of the government plans to move to cleaner electricity generation. Decommissioning will take until 2017 and there have been suggestions that one of the cooling towers that form such a landmark could be retained.


Cleehill - Gorstley Limeworks (SO59167467)

Opened in 1913 to serve Gorstley Rough limestone mine at SO593747, to which it was linked by a tramway. There are four limekilns set into a south facing bank. The stokeholes and feedholes, of stone and brick construction, are exposed at the two easternmost kilns. At the next one, only the feedhole is visible. At the westernmost one, some collapsed stone facing and a 6m x 1m deep crater is all that remains of the collapsed feedhole. In front of the kilns is an earth and limestone working platform, from which a track, on the course of a tramway, runs eastward for 250m towards the Tenbury Road. Above the course of the tramway are several small steep-sided pits with gently sloping ways into them. Any one of them could be the entrance to the limestone mine, of which no traces could be found.


Hanwood - Bleach & Barytes Works (SJ44090942)


Originally a paper mill but became a bleach works (with adjacent gasometer) in 1811 for Ditherington Mill in Shrewsbury until that closed in the 1880s. The main building was an iron framed, four-storey structure, in which power was provided by a waterwheel and a compound horizontal steam engine. By 1851, 64 men and boys were employed. Apart from 6 young men accommodated within the bleach works complex, the employees were accommodated in the 23 dwellings in Factory Row. The mill was subsequently converted to grind barytes and has now been demolished.


Hoptonbank - Glassworks (SO626773)

Site of glasshouse shown on 1722 map. No evidence of glass working found on the site. A glass-house was in existence at Hopton Bank by the late 17th Century or early 18th Century. Coloured glass is said to have been produced there. The furnace has not been found but the residues from the site belong to the transition period to the production of lead glass, around 1700, and are likely to be significant.


Knowle - Heath Limeworks (SO59347430)

Built into a north-west and west-facing bank, are three limekilns. The stokeholes and retaining walls of stone of two kilns remain in fair condition. Above these in the turf are the 1.7m diameter feed holes but the kilns are choked with debris. All that is left of the northern most kiln is a crater, 5m x 0.4m deep , over the site of the feedhole. To the east is a limestone pit at SO59407425, which is 220m x 120m and is overgrown. The entrance was from the north, to the east of which are spoilheaps.


Knowle - Novers Limeworks (SO59607378)

Lime works with evidence of quarrying ranging in date from the 17th Century until 1912. Surviving features include a series of surface quarries and underground workings with dumps, associated roadways and tramways, part of an inclined plane and two draw kilns. Shallow surface quarrying and burnt lime scatters, indicating sites of small kilns, date from the 17th and 18th Centuries and are present across most of the hillside. Shallow quarrying was replaced by large scale quarrying in the form of two large quarries with shelved sides and culminated in the excavation of adits beneath the quarry floors which may have either extended to drift mines or provided access to lower levels of the larger quarries. There is evidence of a collapsed adit below the floor of the southern quarry. The adit cuts into the base of the quarry and connects with the inclined plane. The adit mouth is constructed of coursed rubble, has straight sides, a round-arched head and is 1.8 metres wide. Another adit, lined with coursed rubble leads into the hillside at SO59667354. This was probably excavated to provide access to the deeper limestone, spoil generated from its construction forms a large dump at SO59607345. A series of tramways cross the site from the northwest to southeast, and from north to south. The inclined plane provided a link to the draw kilns which are built into the hillside. The kilns are up to 10m high, have a rubble lining and a 2m diameter circular opening at the top. The base is funnel-shaped and has two draw holes which are approached by a pair of vaulted tunnels. Most of the western kiln has been filled except the tunnels and draw hole. The east kiln has been partially excavated.


Ludlow - Wood Chemical Works (SO508756)

Built to produce acetate of lime, for explosives, chemical munitions and aircraft dope in the Great War, but the works was not completed by the armistice in November 1918.


Market Drayton - Silhouette Corset Factory (SJ67443453)

A pioneering example of lanimated timber engineering. It was constructed in 1959-60 to designs by Robert Townsend and the structural engineer Hugh Tottenham, assisted by Ove Arup & Partners. It was commissioned by George Lobbenberg, a corset manufacturer, who had been impressed by Townsend and Tottenham's earlier factory in Wilton. The structure comprised four hyperbolic paraboloid laminated timber shell roofs supported on a single central column, with external reinforced concrete buttresses, each taking stresses from two shells, and concrete slab. There was brick cladding with curtain glass walling at the upper levels, and rooflights at the junction of the shells. Internally the building comprised 120ft by 240ft of clear space with only one central support. This allowed, with the use of flexible partitions, all the cutting, manufacturing, packing and despatching of the garments to take place in a single space. After the original users moved out, the building became a supermarket for a shortwhile before they also moved out and left the building at the mercy of vandals. It was purchased by the Lidl supermarket chain who applied for, and were granted in March 2002, listed building consent to demolish it with a new single storey supermarket put up in its place. Depite a plea by English Heritage to consider a scheme to repair it, councillors unanimously backed the demolition.


Oswestry - Glassworks (SJ291296)

There was a glassworks producing green glass some time before 1751. It was bought by one of the Stourbridge glassmakers with the express purpose of closing it.


Peaton - Factory (SO532850)

Factory which produced aircraft fuel tanks during the Second World War. It was also used as a Naval store.


Prees - Factory (SJ552333)

Factory which produced aircraft parts during the Second World War. Now the Prees industrial Estate.


Shrewsbury - Factory (SJ499138)

Factory which produced Spitfire wings and other aircraft parts during the Second World War. There are two air raid shelters.


Shrewsbury - Factory (SJ50681195)

Factory on London Road that produced Spitfire aircraft wings and fuselages during the Second World War. After the war, the company Rentokill found hundreds of aircraft rvets in the drains It is now Mullins Garage.


Shrewsbury - Factory (SJ50841535)

Site of a Second World War factory which produced engines for Centurion tanks from 1945.


Shrewsbury - Sentinel Factory (SJ504148)


Factory built in 1914 to produce steam-driven lorries and later diesel engines. During the Second World War it made shell casings, machine tools and parts for the Bren machine gun. A full history is here.


Shrewsbury - Wales & Edwards Factory (SJ496124)

This factory produced aircraft parts during the Second World War


Whitchurch - J B Joyce & Co Factory (SJ54724146)


William Joyce founded a clockmaking firm in 1690 in the village of Cockshutt in North Shropshire and, following their subsequent success, the company moved to premises in Whitchurch in 1790. During this period the firm occupied a property at 40-42 High Street. The company was passed down through generations of the Joyce family and in 1834 Thomas Joyce diversified into the manufacture of large clocks for public buildings. The name of the firm is thought to originate from John Barnett Joyce who is listed as a clockmaker in the 1871 census in St John's Street, Whitchurch. The factory was built in 1904 and fronted by a small garden and low red brick wall. The building is of two-storeys and nine bays and is aligned at right angles to the road. The principal façade is topped by a swan-necked pediment to display a large clock and the ground floor contains three timber sash windows with a stone lintel and sill. The factory is accessed via the east elevation with a doorway in the first bay to the south which leads into the offices and an alternative entrance to the workshop within the third bay. A brick and timber external staircase is also attached to the east elevation and leads into the workshop at first floor level. The west elevation contains a double-height vehicle entrance with a hoist above. A fire in 1964 damaged the roof and the bell turret, and the company was bought out by Smith of Derby Group in 1965. During its long history the company produced clocks for many prominent buildings throughout the world. Among these are the Tredegar Town Clock (1858), Chester Cathedral (1873), Sydney General Post Office (1891) and the Customs House in Shanghai (1927).