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ShropshireShropshire (Pevsner Buildings of England) Shropshire includes some of the finest towns in England, among them Shrewsbury, Ludlow and Bridgnorth. It also contains buildings of vital importance in the architectural history of the country from the Roman period to the present day. The Roman baths of Wroxeter; the Cistercian priory of Buildwas; the church and castle of Acton Burnell, displaying the latest fashions of the end of the thirteenth century; the magnificent fifteenth-century work in the parish church of Ludlow; the world's first iron bridge at Coalbrookdale; the extraordinary landscape of Hawkstone Park, a textbook example of picturesque planning; John Nash's Italianate villa at Cronkhill, looking like something in a Claude painting; Norman Shaw's monumental church at Batchcott; all are of the first rank.

Shropshire PostcardsShropshire Postcards from the Past Telford and Around Shropshire is a large inland county that has been influenced by countless generations from the Celts, Romans, Saxons and Normans through to the present day. Towards the end of the 19th century and into the 20th century many enterprising national and local photographers travelled around the country taking thousands of photographs of people, places and events that were then turned into postcards. Thankfully many of these cards still survive, tucked away in old albums or stored in attics and at the back of drawers and cupboards. They give us a glimpse of how life was at this time and how things have altered during the last century as progress has accelerated. Telford New Town dates from 1968 when the Government enlarged the area that had been designated Dawley New Town in 1963. It was named after Thomas Telford, a Scotsman, who came to Shropshire in 1786 and became Surveyor of Public Works for the county. Many of the settlements have a long history, some pre-dating the Norman Conquest, and although a great deal of change has taken place over the past 40 years the local population have done their utmost to preserve the identity of their area. It is a region of great contrast, from the rural nature of Wellington in the north to the heavy industrialisation of the Ironbridge Gorge, a World Heritage site and the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. The photographs are taken from Ray Farlow's unique collection of old picture postcards and illustrate the buildings, countryside and the lives of the people who lived in the area long before the new town of Telford was envisaged. The result is a fascinating book that is sure to appeal to anyone with an interest in Shropshire's fascinating local history.

A Shropshire BoyhoodA Shropshire Boyhood (In Old Photographs) The year is 1939, the year of the war. The place is Little Ness, a sandstone village in the shadow of the Shropshire hills. Peter Davies was then a boy of eleven, living with his family on their farm in the heart of the village. "A Shropshire Boyhood" is a wonderfully nostalgic and poetic account of the year when he was transplanted into a small-town grammar school, on the very day war began. Peter is a gifted and original writer, and he beautifully contrasts country life, running wild with gypsies, raiding a kestrel's nest, drinking mare's milk, with sophisticated Shrewsbury. Vitality and humour shine through on every page, as the author paints an evocative picture of a rural community that was barely touched by the war, where life was regulated by the farming seasons and the church calendar, and where children grew up with a love of nature that is all too rare today. Filled with memorable scenes and characters, "A Shropshire Boyhood" recreates a world that is at once dreamlike and vibrant.

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