27th October 2018 VCH Shropshire Annual Lecture 2018

“Horses in Early Modern Shropshire: for Service, for Pleasure, for Power” by Professor Peter Edwards.  Saturday 27th October 2018, 2.00pm – 5.00pm at the Central Shrewsbury Baptist Church, Claremont Street, Shrewsbury. For more details, please follow this link to the VCH website

The Beautiful Burial Ground

The burial grounds in the midst of our communities tell us about changing fashions and traditions, immigration and of lives both long lived and tragically short.

The Beautiful Burial Ground is a national project funded by the HLF which aims to inspire, engage and support interest groups, communities and individuals to learn about, research and survey the biodiversity and heritage of their local burial grounds. We aim to do this by offering a range of training events.

The Beautiful Burial Ground project is offering a FREE training session at Shropshire Archives, Shrewsbury on Tuesday 6th November 2018 to those interested in the stories told by our burial grounds.

The session will run 10:30am – 12:30pm, and it will cover an introduction to archives as well as how to use archives to investigate the lives and stories in your local burial ground. Booking is essential, to book your free place please get in touch with George at or 01588 673041.

For more information about the project please follow this link: Beautiful Burial Grounds Project

2018 AGM and Annual Lecture: The Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Project

The Society’s Annual General Meeting, was held on Saturday 22nd September 2018 at The Shirehall, Shrewsbury and was well attended.  It was followed by the Annual Lecture which this year was on “The Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings Project” and was given by Nick Hill of Historic England.


Built in 1797, Shrewsbury’s Flax Mill is renowned as the earliest iron-framed building in the world. Abandoned since 1987 when the Maltings closed, and derelict for many years, the site is now undergoing a major transformation. The Main Mill and the Kiln are the focus of a £25m programme of repair and regeneration, one of the largest HLF-funded projects in the country. Nick Hill, Historic England’s project manager, outlined the latest developments on the project, including the intricate repairs to the Main Mill and recent archaeological discoveries.




Prison History

Prison History

You may be interested in a new web resource, Prison History (, a database containing information on nearly 850 penal institutions, including around 420 local prisons and 380 lock ups, which existed in 19th century England.

One of the core aims of Prison History is to emphasise the importance of the local prison (and lock ups) in nineteenth-century society, an institution that has been largely neglected in the major studies of nineteenth-century imprisonment.

For each institution, there is information about its operational dates, jurisdiction, location, population statistics, the primary and secondary sources which mention it, and a list of all the relevant and surviving archival documents which we have been able to find in repositories based in England. On accessing Prison History, users can either search for specific prisons or various types of prisons, or browse the lists of archival materials that the researchers have recovered.

It is hoped that Prison History will be a useful resource for local historians, and that you will want to get involved with this project, to help make the database an even better tool for local history, and, through emphasising the importance of prisons within nineteenth-century communities, to demonstrate the importance of local history research.  Please see the attached leaflet for more details: Prison History

More Castle visit, July 2018

Visit to More Castle on Saturday 14th July 2018

The tree-covered motte at More Castle

More Castle is one of many motte and bailey castles built in this area by the Normans following the Conquest in 1066. The Normans quickly formed a network of timber castles across this landscape, to assert their authority on the locals and to keep a watchful eye for Welsh raids from the west. On our short walk from Lydham to More and back we visited the earthwork remains of the castle.  We looked at St Peter’s Church, with it’s Roman mosaics and More family chapel, and made a quick tour around the village.

Our walk leader, Hugh Hannaford, showing us some LiDAR imagery of the earthworks at More
St Peter’s Church, More

The view from above: recent survey work at Caus Castle and Castle Pulverbatch

Over the past couple of years, a series of non-intrusive surveys have been undertaken at Caus Castle, Westbury, and at Castle Pulverbatch in Shropshire, funded generously by the Castle Studies Trust. The surveys at both sites have employed a nested methodology – large scale topographic survey (using an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle [UAV], or drone), focused conventional analytical earthwork survey and detailed geophysical survey.  The underlying principle has been that, by comparing and contrasting the results of different survey techniques, maximum information can be gained about these sites.

Work at Caus Castle (sited on private land) was largely concentrated on the relationship between the motte and bailey castle and the associated 12th and 13th century borough.  Earthwork evidence of the borough itself was quite slight, although some possible house platforms were seen.  Earthwork survey allowed the analysis of the hitherto under-examined inner bailey of the castle – mapping the inner courtyard in detail, as well as pointing to some possible early 17th century garden earthworks.

UAV image of Castle Pulverbatch, in context of the village which has been suggested as a planned settlement. © Aerial-Cam, 2017.

Castle Pulverbatch is recognised as one of the finest examples of a motte and bailey castle in the county. In 2017 a programme of geophysical survey and UAV survey at Castle Pulverbatch took advantage of recent scrub clearance by the Friends of Castle Pulverbatch. Detailed resistivity and magnetometry survey was undertaken of all available areas in both the inner bailey on the northeast side of the motte, and the large outer bailey that lies to the northwest. Analysis of the results suggest in situ building material, particularly within the inner bailey, coinciding with earthwork features seen on the drone survey.

Giles Carey, Historic Environment Records Officer, Shropshire Council.

For a fuller account of these surveys please follow this link: Recent survey work at Caus Castle and Castle Pulverbatch

To see 3D models of the surveys, please follow these links:

Caus overall model:

Caus, detailed model of W end of outer enclosure:

Castle Pulverbatch (textured):