Wellington, Shropshire

Wellington, Shropshire

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 52.7001
longitude= -2.5157
official_name= Wellington
population = 20,430
unitary_england= Telford and Wrekin
lieutenancy_england= Shropshire
region= West Midlands
constituency_westminster= The Wrekin
post_town= TELFORD
postcode_district = TF1
postcode_area= TF
dial_code= 01952
os_grid_reference= SJ651115

static_image_caption=Wellington viewed from the railway station.

Wellington is a town in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England and now forms part of the new town of Telford. The population of the parish of Wellington was recorded as 20,430 in the 2001 census, making it the third largest town in Shropshire if counted independently from Telford.


Its name was originally "Weoleahington", meaning 'The settlement by the temple', or 'by the sacred grove'. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/content/articles/2007/02/13/the_wrekin_feature.shtml BBC - Shropshire - Community ] ] An alternative suggestion that the name derives from 'Watling Town', because it lies on Watling Street, a Roman road that linked London with the town of Viroconium Cornoviorum (now Wroxeter), seems to be unlikely, due to several factors, including the earliest written names of the town. Evidence suggests that the site of the sacred Druid grove and temple was on the site of All Saints Parish Church on a raised area in the centre of the town. A church has been on that site for almost 1000 years and the priest was mentioned in the Domesday Book. The original churchyard still remains. A new church, designed by George Steuart, was built in 1789. [ [http://www.allsaints-wellington.org All Saints Church, Wellington] ]

Wellington's first market charter is dated 1244 and the market still exists today. The market had an open-sided market hall by 1680, but this was dimantled in about 1800. This was replaced in the 19th century by a town hall (with the butter market held under it) built in 1848 by a company (formed in 1841) which purchased the market rights from Lord Forester in 1856. ['Wellington: Economic history', "A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11: Telford" (1985), pp. 222-232. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18142&strquery=Wellington, Shropshire market] . Date accessed: 20 May 2008.] In 1642 King Charles I was staying in Wellington (in a building that stood in what is now Crown Street, next to the former Crown Inn, which is now the premises of Wellington News), shortly before the first pitched battle of the English Civil War, when he said in his Wellington Declaration that he would uphold the Protestant Religion, the Laws of England, and the Liberty of Parliament.

The town is twinned with Chatenay-Malabry in France despite vocal protestations from the residents of the French town who had expressed a twinning preference for Telford as a whole.

Merger with Telford

Some of the townspeople do not think that the formation of Telford New Town has been a positive change for Wellington. [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18062 British History Online] ] Its economy has been damaged by Telford Town Centre formed in 1963, its football team's name was changed from Wellington Town to Telford United in 1969, and its large Edwardian library is increasingly ignored as Telford Library has become the headquarters for the Telford and Wrekin library service.

The creation of the new town did, however, bring a wealth of employment to the area. Although ignored by most of the larger high street stores, many independent businesses have remained in Wellington and it is often viewed nowadays as complementing the larger Telford town centre. [ [http://www.thewellingtonnews.co.uk The Wellington News] ]

Amenities and attractions

Local magazine the "Wellington News" is published monthly. Artistic events in Wellington include Sounds in the Square, a season of open air music in the Market Square during the Summer, and the well-attended annual Wellington Literary Festival, a celebrated month of workshops, competitions and even audiences with famous poets and authors. The annual Midsummer Fayre is also a popular event.

Wellington Market continues to be a popular attraction of the town, and is open four days a week. There is also a monthly farmers' market held in the Square. The town centre is the largest shopping centre in Telford outside the new, central Telford Shopping Centre.

The New Buck's Head football stadium, home to AFC Telford United, is located in Wellington. Other sporting clubs include the Wellington Cricket Club, currently in the Birmingham League Premier Division. The Wrekin Hill, on the border of Wellington, has a height of 1335 feet and is popular with walkers and families. It plays host to the annual Great Wrekin Barrell Race.


Wrekin College, New College Telford and Telford College of Arts and Technology (TCAT) are located in the town, along with primary and secondary schools.


The town has a Victorian railway station which was built in 1849 and has two platforms, offering trains towards Shrewsbury and Wales, as well as to the West Midlands. Also in 2008 the town has a through train service to London Marylebone, the first for some years.

Wellington is located at the western terminus of the M54 motorway and has good bus services making it one of the most accessible towns in Shropshire.

Famous and former residents

The town's literary claims to fame include it being the birthplace of 19th century writer Hesba Stretton (1832-1911), and the first job of the poet Philip Larkin was as the librarian of Wellington Library. The Brontë family lived in the town for a short time before moving to Yorkshire. The abolitionist Dr William Withering was born in the town in 1741; he also investigated digitalis, used in the treatment of heart disease. S. Parkes Cadman, who became a prominent clergyman in the United States, was born there in 1864. Several members of the pop group T'Pau (including vocalist Carol Decker) were from Wellington.Other notable residents include:
Richard Baxter (1615-1691) - English Puritan church leader and scholar, Sir George Downing (1684-1749) - founder of Downing College, Cambridge,
Andrew Plimer (c. 1763-1837) - Miniature painter,
Henry Gauntlett (1805-1876) - Composer, organist and organ designer,
Thomas Campbell Eyton (1809-1911) - Naturalist, and Cecil George Lawson (1851-1882) - Landscape painter


External links

* [http://wellingtonunderthewrekin.webeden.co.uk Wellington Under the Wrekin] – local history, events, attractions and art photography of the surrounding area
* [http://www.wellington-shropshire.gov.uk Wellington Town Council]
* [http://www.wellington-chamber.org Wellington Chamber of Commerce]
* [http://www.telfordutd.co.uk AFC Telford United]
* [http://www.wellingtoncc.co.uk Wellington Cricket Club]

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