Whitchurch, Shropshire

Whitchurch, Shropshire

infobox UK place
country = England
latitude= 52.9690
longitude= -02.6827
official_name= Whitchurch
population = 8,944
shire_district= North Shropshire
shire_county = Shropshire
region= West Midlands
constituency_westminster= North Shropshire
post_town= WHITCHURCH
postcode_district = SY13
postcode_area= SY
dial_code= 01948
os_grid_reference= SJ541415

static_image_caption="Black Bear Inn" at the junction of Church St. and High St.

Whitchurch is a market town in North Shropshire, England. It is the oldest continuously inhabited town in Shropshire. [cite news | url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/shropshire/content/articles/2005/04/01/whitchurch_town_guide_feature.shtml | title=Whitchurch town guide | publisher=BBC | date=2005-04-14 | accessdate=2006-07-13] According to the 2001 Census, the population of the town is 8,673, and a more 2008 estimate puts the population of the town at 8,934. [Cite web |url=http://www.world-gazetteer.com/wg.php?x=&men=gpro&lng=en&dat=32&geo=514277697&srt=pnan&col=aohdq&geo=-70687 |title=Whitchurch |work=World Gazetteer ] The town is located in the "Whitchurch Urban" civil parish, and is twinned with the French town of Neufchâtel-en-Bray.


Originally a settlement founded by the Romans around AD 52 or 70, it was called Mediolanum, meaning "The place in the middle of the plain". The settlement was located on a major Roman route between Chester and Wroxeter and Roman artifacts can be seen at the Whitchurch Heritage Centre. [cite news
title=Whitchurch Heritage Centre
publisher=Shropshire Tourism

The current name comes from "White church", and refers to a church (from Norman times) made from white stone. As might be expected, there are other towns of the name Whitchurch in England. The current church of St Alkmund, built in 1712 using sandstone, stands on the site of the Norman church.


Whitchurch is a crossroads for roads from Nantwich, Chester and Shrewsbury with the A41/A49 bypass opening in 1992. Whitchurch railway station is on the line from Crewe down the English side of the Welsh border (the Welsh Marches Line) towards Cardiff. Whitchurch has its own short arm of the Llangollen Canal but is not a key stopping place for boaters as the arm stops about a mile short of the town centre.

Notable people

Whitchurch is the home of the JB Joyce tower clocks company, established in 1690, who are the oldest tower clock-making company in the world, [cite news
title=Warriors and Worthies
publisher=North Shropshire Tourism
] and have earned Whitchurch the reputation as the "Home of tower clocks". Joyce's timepieces can be found as far as Singapore and Kabul, while they also helped to build Big Ben in London.

Famous residents of the town include composer Sir Edward German, who was born in the town, [cite web |url=http://www.naxos.com/mainsite/blurbs_reviews.asp?catNum=223419&filetype=About%20this%20Recording&language=English |title=Edward German (1862-1936) |accessdate=2008-04-12 |format=HTML] particularly in what is now a local pub in the centre of town, The Old Town Hall Vaults, and is buried in the local cemetery. In Central Whitchurch there is a small street named after Sir Edward German and a local televised festival called the Sir Edward German festival is hosted by St Alkmund's Church every year. Participants include the local choir and primary schools including Prees, Lower Heath and the White House School. Victorian illustrator Randolph Caldecott lived in the town for several years and many of the town's buildings feature in his work, and bestselling author Kate Long moved to Whitchurch in 1990. [cite news
title=Novelists heading to town
publisher=Shropshire Star

Sir Henry Percy - aka "Sir Harry Hotspur", who was the inspiration in the naming of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club - was killed at the Battle of Shrewsbury and buried in Whitchurch only for his body to be later exhumed and quartered. Also buried in Whitchurch is Sir John Talbot, a military commander who fought Joan of Arc. He is buried under the porch of Saint Alkmund's church. [cite news
title=Town Guides - Whitchurch
publisher=Shropshire Star
] Talbot is a major character in William Shakespeare's "Henry VI, Part I", and the local secondary school " Sir John Talbots" is named after him.


The local football club, Whitchurch Alport, affectionally know as the Allbran Allstars, is one of the founder members of the Mid Cheshire Football League and currently plays in Division Two of that league.


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