Aerial shots show dramatic views of Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth

Bridgnorth | News | Published:

These aerial images provide dramatic views of Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth, showing some of their most famous features.

Shrewsbury town centre

The pictures show both town centres and focus on famous features including the winding River Severn, Shrewsbury's Flax Mill and Bridgnorth Castle.

The Severn Valley Railway, in Bridgnorth, and the vast Shirehall complex, which is the home of Shropshire Council, are also visible.

The division between Bridgnorth's High and Low Town is clearly visible – and the origins of the town's name can also be seen.

Bridgnorth was so-named because of the bridge that spans the River Severn, which can be seen in the aerial photographs. It is also easy to understand the way in which the town evolved, so that it could defend against attacks from Wales.

Bridgnorth Castle is clearly visible and it was founded in 1101 by Robert de Belleme, the son of the French Earl, Roger de Montgomery, who succeeded his father to become the Earl of Shrewsbury.

Its principal feature, a square great tower, was built during the reign of Henry II. Parts of the great tower still remain, but because of the damage caused during the Civil War, it now leans at an angle of 15 degrees, four times more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The castle grounds remain popular in the town and in recent times they were excavated by Time Team, which managed to clarify the layout of the castle and the history of its construction. The distinctive green dome of St Mary Magdalene Church stands proud in the townscape, having been there since the 13th century.

The nave, chancel and western tower were probably built around 1238, and a north aisle was added, presumably after 1294, when a chantry service was founded in St Mary's by Richard Dammas.


The building was originally a collegiate church but by the later 15th century it was being used as a parish church.

Other features of Bridgnorth feature prominently, including The Severn Valley Railway's yards, which form the start of its 16-mile stretch from Bridgnorth to Kidderminster.

The railway is one of the most popular heritage railways in the country as well as being the sixth-longest standard gauge heritage line in the United Kingdom.

The Severn Valley line was built between 1858 and 1862, and linked Hartlebury, near Droitwich Spa, with Shrewsbury, a distance of 40 miles.


Today the Severn Valley Railway operates as a heritage railway and services began in 1970 from Bridgnorth to Hampton Loade, extending to Bewdley in 1974 and Kidderminster in 1984.

Shrewsbury's best-known features stand tall on aerial photographs of Shropshire's county town.

The Column, which is outside the Shirehall, is one of the most notable landmarks.

It is the tallest Doric column in England, standing at 41m, and commemorates Rowland Hill, 1st Viscount Hill, with a 5.2m tall statue of him standing on the top. It was built between 1814 and 1816 but in recent times has been the subject of concerns caused by erosion. Pieces have fallen to the ground and it may require extensive improvement.

The Flax Mill, at Ditherington, is in focus elsewhere. It was the world's first skyscraper and remains the oldest iron framed building in the world.

Its importance was officially recognised in the 1950s, resulting in it becoming a Grade I listed building.

The Flax Mill's architect was Charles Bage, who designed the mill using an iron-framed structure. Bage had been inspired by the work of William Strutt and his mill,built from 1796 to 1797, cost £17,000.

It was built for John Marshall of Leeds, Thomas Benyon, and Benjamin Benyon. The building was later converted to a malting and many of its windows were bricked up.

Shropshire's administrative headquarters, Shirehall, home to Shropshire Council, can be seen in other photographs while the winding River Severn and Shrewsbury School are clearly visible.

Shrewsbury School provides education for pupils aged 13 to 18, founded by Royal Charter in 1552.

The present campus, to which the school moved in 1882 is on the banks of the river and was one of the original Clarendon Schools, as defined by the Public Schools Act 1868.

It originally housed only boys but since 2008 girls have been admitted. The school has an impressive alumni and old boys – or Old Salopians – include naturalist Charles Darwin, poet Sir Philip Sidney, his biographer, Fulke Greville, the Astronomer Royal, Lord Rees, authors Samuel Butler and Nevil Shute, and broadcasters John Peel and Michael Palin, among others.

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