Shrewsbury Abbey, which is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, was founded in 1083 as a place of Christian witness and worship. Today, this building is a place of great of historic significance. It has been visited on pilgrimages by Kings, held the first Parliament, and is currently the venue for the High Sheriff of Shropshire’s Legal Service. It has held a monastery, a garrison, a prison, a Saint, and is still in use as a Parish church today. It holds the effigies of nobles dating back from the Conqueror, and includes such notables as Richard Onslow, Speaker of the House of Commons under Elizabeth I. Its windows and walls still bear the marks of musket-shot from Cromwell’s troops, as many statues bear the marks of his Reformation destruction. It is one of the few churches in England to have a surviving Royal Crest from the time of Charles I. It was split in half by Thomas Telford in 1836 to enable Irish M.P.s to travel to London more quickly, and its buildings are still split across that road today. In the 20th century, it became the home of the fictional Brother Cadfael, and now receives thousands of visitors a year who want to connect with the stories they have read of the Benedictines who lived in the Abbey. Its art, architecture and historical records make it a true English treasure, and an amazing resource for students of the past.
For a brief history, and a look at the architecture, click here.
For a more in-depth history, click here.