Tuesday, 20 July 2021

Shropshire Places (4) : Bridgnorth

The town of Bridgnorth in the South East of the county and is named after a bridge over the river Severn. Bridgnorth is first mentioned in the early 10th century, possibly originally a camp or settlement formed by the Danes. The town was formed in 1101 with the building of Bridgnorth castle and a church. In the 13th century Bridgnorth gained town walls and gates though only one gate now survives. The church was replaced by the current church dedicated to St Mary Magdelene in the 1790s.

Bridgnorth was a royalist town in the Civil War, Cromwell's forces finally defeated them in a siege though the surrendering royalist forces set fire to the town, nearly destroying it. After the siege Cromwell ordered the castle to be demolished.

Bridgnorth is split into high and low level, the two are connected by a funicular railway (and some steep steps!) Bridgnorth was the original home of the Severn Valley Railway preserved railway and the town's railway station is still the SVR's Northern terminus and centre for steam engine maintenance.