Shropshire Star

Shrewsbury in black and white: Archive photos show how town has changed in 100 years

Take a stroll or a roll around Shrewsbury and you can't help but get wrapped up in the history of the place.

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An early picture of Lord Hill's Column in Shrewsbury

It is Shropshire's county town and has served for centuries as a focal point for the whole county, full of characterful, historic buildings and quirks.

Some of those unique buildings feature in our digital archives, which go back decades and give a glimpse into the town's past.

We've collected some of them below, and compared them to the same spots today to see just how much Shrewsbury has changed over the last century.

Butcher Row

Butcher Row today is a small and snug pedestrianised shopping street near the centre of town, probably named for butchers who once sold their wares there.

It has maintained a lot of its old world charm despite modern developments and the changing nature of business, and one of the most distinctive old buildings there is a Tudor style building that is wider on the top storey than it is at ground level - a common technique for Tudor builders that was known as jettying.

It has been remarkably well-maintained and welcomes shoppers to Butcher Row today, just as it would have done in the late Victorian age when we think this photo was taken.

A very early photograph of a distinctive building on the corner of Butcher Row and Fish Street, possibly from the late Victorian era

What does it look like today?

The building on the corner as it appeared in 2020. Photo: Google

Lord Hill's Column

The first stone of Lord Hill's Column, which stands outside modern day Shirehall, was laid more than 200 years ago in 1814.

The column was complete in 1816, and the 17ft-tall statue perched on top has welcomed travellers from the east into Shrewsbury ever since.

The column once stood at the centre of the Column roundabout, but the road junction was moved away from the structure as the town grew.

The huge Doric column, the tallest of its kind in England, is an imposing sight to this day, and even though Lord Hill has been sidelined somewhat by the moving of the crossroads and some large trees growing up around him, he still watches for movement from the centre of Shrewsbury to this day.

An early picture of Lord Hill's Column in Shrewsbury

What does it look like today?

The column today, obscured from this angle by a large tree. Photo: Google

The bottom of Wyle Cop

This incredible photo might date back to 1880, and is brilliantly maintained. It features the bottom of Wyle Cop, one of Shrewsbury's renowned shopping streets.

The streets are lined with cars rather than horses and carts today, and the pub on the left of the photo (it seems to have been called the Hero of Moultan) is long gone - but you can make out the English Bridge in the middle of the scene and the famous old Abbey beyond it.

This picture of the bottom of Shrewsbury's Wyle Cop, showing the English Bridge and the Abbey beyond, is dated to 1880. The Hero of Moultan pub visible on the left of the photo is long gone

What does it look like today?

The bottom of Wyle Cop and the English bridge, with the Abbey in the background. Photo: Google