Shropshire Star

Blue plaque honours historical figure as Regency villa restored in Much Wenlock

After decades of neglect, an elegant Regency villa in Much Wenlock has been restored, with a blue plaque honouring its most famous former resident.

Unveiling the blue plaque. Photo: Bob May.

The property has now been turned into two modern dwellings in a prime location at the entrance to the town.

On Thursday, November 24, the High Sheriff, the Hon Mrs Selina Graham, unveiled a plaque to the most renowned former resident of the house; church archaeologist and writer, D.H.S Cranage.

Cranage lived from 1866 until 1957 and eventually became the Dean of Norwich. He started out as a young curate at Holy Trinity, the town’s parish church, where he excavated the ruins of the ancient priory.

Here, he uncovered remains of the Anglo-Saxon church established by the Anglo-Saxon abbess, princess and later saint, Milburga.

Cranage’s work has never been superseded and he went on to create what is still the most comprehensive architectural account of all Shropshire’s churches.

After the plaque was unveiled, in the presence of the mayor and vicar of Much Wenlock, those present, including the owners of the two new dwellings and members of the restoration team, enjoyed coffee and biscuits in the Gaskell Arms.

The Rev William Price, Shropshire’s authority on Cranage, spoke briefly about him, followed by Tony Mathers OBE, of Pinefield Wenlock Limited, the company responsible for the restoration of the house.

Mr Mathers gave thanks to everyone at Pinefield Wenlock Limited for the "magnificent" restoration work they had done.

The civic society said it was delighted to provide the plaque and to host the event to celebrate the building and its most distinguished occupant.

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