10 things you didn't know about Shropshire: part 2!

The summer holidays have officially begun in the most part of Shropshire, and what a wonderful place to spend them. We’re beginning the week with 10 more facts about our wonderful county.  


1.        Shropshire's first inhabitant


One of Shropshire's first inhabitants was the Rynchosaur 240 million years ago! It is described as lizard-like, but it’s teeth are very beaver-esque…


2.        Old Tom Parr 


A portrait of Thomas Parr, known as Old Tom Parr, hangs at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, with an inscription that reads “Thomas Parr died at the age of 152 years 9 months”. This makes him Shropshire’s oldest person when he died.


3.        Royal roots


Shropshire has many connections with royalty, as you probably know. To name a few: Henry III, Edward I, Richard III, Prince Arthur Tudor and Princess Mary have all spent some time in Shropshire, a lot of it in the beautiful Ludlow Castle. And did you know Charles I loved the Castle Walk in Bridgnorth so much that he has said to have called it ‘his favourite walk in his entire kingdom’?


4.        Hide and seek


The wall of the Bassa Villa in Bridgnorth, at the bottom of Cartway, houses a plaque which tells the tragic story of a children’s game gone wrong. In the 1600’s during a game of hide and seek, a brother and sister found themselves accidentally locked in the cellar of the house. The river then flooded and burst into the cellar, trapping the children and drowning them. The ghost of the mother is said to wander the house and has been heard crying and grieving for her lost children. Spooky…


5.        Famous friends


There are more than a few Salopian famous faces. Greg Davies grew up in Wem, and regards Shropshire as his home; Jo Brand is a frequent visitor to the county as her mother lives in Ludlow, and Judas Priest star KK Downing lives at Astbury Hall near Bridgnorth!


6.        Popular film set


Shropshire is rich with stunning architecture and landscapes, so it’s no wonder it has been used as a set for countless films and television series. To name just one, Atonement, starring Kiera Knightley, was partly filmed at Stokesay Castle!


7.        Something in the water...


Two Shropshire MP's are said to have drowned in very peculiar ways. Roundhead Edmund Waring, MP for Bishops Castle in 1660, apparently drowned in a pond after drinking and carousing to celebrate the execution of King Charles I. The Conservative MP for Bridgnorth (1771-95), Thomas Whitmore, drowned in a well in his garden! 


8.        Keep 'em lean!


The remains of Bridgnorth Castle lean at a huge 17-degree angle, three times more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy!


9.  The Heart of Ludlow


Prince Arthur, elder brother to Henry VIII, has his heart buried at St Lawrence Church in Ludlow. It is contained in a silver casket beneath the chancel. 


10.  Reaching new heights


Shrewsbury is home to the tallest MP in England! Daniel Kwaczynski is 6ft and 9 inches tall (2.06m).