Much Wenlock

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August, 2023

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Much Wenlock

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For such a small town Much Wenlock in the county of Shropshire has plenty to offer the visitor. This medieval market town was the home of Dr William Penny Brookes, who was the founder of the Olympian Society. In 1850 he was instrumental in the revival of the modern Olympic Games. The story is told in the free museum, which is situated in the Town Square. The 1.3 mile Wenlock Olympian Trail is marked by bronze circles in the pavement. There is also a Blue Plaque on the wall of Brooke’s house on Wilmore Street. Every July the Wenlock Olympian Games takes place in venues across Shropshire. One of the mascots for the Summer Olympics in 2012 was named wenlock. The local secondary school is William Brookes School.

You can also visit the ruins of Wenlock Priory, which was built around 680AD on the site of St Milburga’s Abbey and is cared for by English Heritage. The town was the destination for pilgrims, who visited St Milburga’s Well – said to cure eye diseases. As well as mediaeval architecture there are Georgian and Victorian buildings many of which contain small traditional shops where you can pick up some local crafts. There are plenty of places to eat and drink too – cosy old pubs and attractive tearooms. The ancient 16th century Guildhall, which is open to the public, often plays host to exhibitions and markets. Sited next to the Church Green is Holy Trinity Church dating back to 1150.

Several poems by A. E. Houseman mentioned Wenlock and, each year in the weekend after Easter, a Poetry Festival is held in the town. When you travel around this picturesque area, you can see how it would inspire you to write poetry, whether it is about the wild orchids or the effusion of butterflies, it is a beautiful corner of Britain.


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