BRIDGNORTH, SHROPSHIRE

Grid Ref: SO 716 928 at St. Mary Magdalen
Dates: 22 April 2009

These photographs were taken on a walk from Low Town to the Severn bridge, up to St. Leonard's church then to High Street, East Castle Street. The timber framed house known as Bishop Percy's House was built for Richard Forester, a barge owner, in 1580. It was one of the few houses on this side of he river to escapee the fire of 1646 during the Civil War. It became known as Bishop Percy's House as he was born here in 1729 and became bishop of Dromore in County Down.

The Church of St. Leonard is known to have existed since the 13th century but was extensively rebuilt between 1860 and 1862. It was redundant in 2009 and being used for art exhibitions and musical events. St. Leonard's Close is at the highest part of the town. It has the former Grammar School and its accommodation block, not shown as it was in deep shade when I visited.The close has a descent via St. Leonard's Steps, to Low Town. In March 1646, the Royalist Commander of Bridgnorth, Colonel Billingsley, was killed at the church during a battle to take the town from the Royalists. The Parliamentarians later stored arms in the church and when it was hit by canon fire it caused an explosion. The church was badly damaged and partly rebuilt in 1662.

At the south west corner, High Street runs into Postern Gate. At the junction with Listley Street lies the rather incongruous New Market Building of 1855, built in Italianate style. Street traders refused to use it and it has had various uses including a cinema, and latterly a museum. It is completely our of character with the rest of the town. It is what Prince Charles would call a carbuncle!

East Castle Street has some elegant properties including the Castle Governor's House, built in 1633. The Castle was the headquarters for the Royalists in Shropshire. Parliamentary forces captured the Castle after a three week seige in 1646. Four hundred Royalists surrendered. The Parliamentary forces destroyed the castle it so that it could not be used again.

St. Mary Magdalene was built on the site of the former parish church which itself had been rebuilt in the late 14th century. Thomas Telford, as county surveyor, advised that it was a dangerous condition and so it was completely rebuilt between December 1792 and July 1796, when it was consecrated. The church is notable for its light and spacious nature, with large windows and absence of more traditional "clutter" of screens and chapels.


Bridge Street   Mill Street
Bridge Street   Mill Street at the junction with Bridge Street
Mill Street   Cottages
Mill Street   Cottages in Mill Street
View   View
View from Low Town towards St. Leonard's   View from the bridge to St. Mary Magdale
View across bridge   Severn Arms
View across the bridge   Entrance to railway next to Severn Arms
Gables   Marker
Bishop Percy's House   Mercian way sign
Church   St. Leonard's Close
St. Leonard's   Part of St. Leonard' Close
Church Street   North Gate
Church Street   North Gate at the end of High Street
High Street   High Street
West side of High Street at North Gate   The Swan in High Street
Town Hall   Market Hall
Town Hall of 1652 in the middle of High Street   Market Building of 1885
a   Castle Ruins
East Castle Street   The ruined keep of the castle
Church   East Castle Street
Church of St. Mary Magdalene   East Castle Street ready for St. George's Day

 

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