Historical Shrewsbury, 1500-1800

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As part of the historic dissolution of the monasteries, Henry VIII closed Shrewsbury Abbey in 1540.

Nevertheless the town of Shrewsbury thrived in the late 16th century and the 17th century. It was famous for its wool industry. Drapers Hall was built in 1658. By that time Shrewsbury was an important town with a population of around 6,000. Meanwhile Shrewsbury School was founded by Edward VI in 1552.

Several famous buildings were erected in Shrewsbury in the 16th century. Ireland’s Mansion was built around 1575. The Old Market Hall was built at the end of the century, probably around 1596. Owen’s Mansion was built around 1592. Rowley’s House was built in 1618.

By the 18th century Shrewsbury was a large and important market town. It was also an important coaching town. Stagecoaches travelling from London to Holyhead (for ships to Ireland) stopped at Shrewsbury.  In the 18th century the 2 bridges in Shrewsbury were rebuilt. English Bridge was built in 1770s. Welsh Bridge followed in 1795. 

Meanwhile an infirmary was built in Shrewsbury in 1743. Furthermore St Chad’s Church collapsed in 1788 but it was rebuilt in 1792. Robert Clive, also known as Clive of India was MP for Shrewsbury from 1762 until his death in 1774. He was also once mayor of Shrewsbury, in 1762