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South Shropshire Villages

Wistanstow Village

Is beautifully hidden away from the modern main road, the A49; you wouldn't know it was there if it weren't for the signs. It has probably the best village hall in the world! Mrs. Harriett Greene completed the black and white mock medieval hall in 1926 from the Grove estate as a memorial to her husband who died 11 years previously. It was built by estate workers using local timber, stones and bricks. Not a nail was used, only wooden pegs. When first built it included a projection room for silent films, slipper baths costing 1d a go, library and billiards room. The bungalows in the corners were for the caretaker and the district nurse.

Starting from the Plough Inn car park, wander up the main street and your feet will be echoing those of the Roman soldiers who first marched along it nearly two thousand years ago. The pub itself has a fascinating variety of brick and stonework and there is excellent stonework all along the road.

There's the imposing gothic style Manor Farm just across the road and then moving on towards the Church there is the former bakery and shop on the left and opposite is Rose Cottage which long ago ceased to be the White Horse pub with its wonderful mix of building materials.

Opposite the church is the delightful Church Farm built in the Swiss chalet style that was so in vogue in the late nineteenth century. Pass the beautifully detailed early Victorian school of 1859 and immediately beyond are the newly restored gates to the churchyard extension. Right next to them is the renovated little smithy with its two hearths and two chimneys, now the village community shop opened spring 2000.

From here can be seen one of the many former rectories with its thatched roof, unusual for Wistanstow, it's an old building that has not been refronted in stone. Shortly you will come to the sign for the Village Hall to complete the stroll through the village.

WHITTINGSLOW & CWN HEAD

Cwm Head is an odd name for this neck of the woods but nearby there's also Brokenstones and Pillocksgreen. The little church at Cwm Head was built in 1845 to provide seats for those excluded from Wistanstow church by the appropriation of the pews - a bit of a long way to walk, but it was only the working class!

MARSHBROOK

Way up to the north is partly in and partly out of the parish, one of the most important bits is just over the border - The Station Inn! No passports are necessary to cross the road and have an excellent meal.

LEAMORE COMMON

Is where the modern road oddly leaves the Roman road but never by much. And there's yet another former pub, The Bell. All along this road there are lovely views of the Stretton Hills and Wenlock Edge.

WETTLES

Is just around the corner and seems to have acquired its name only recently from the adjacent fields, all called 'Wheathills' or similar 150 years ago

BUSHMOOR

Was called 'Mora' in Saxon times and had become 'Bissemor' by the 13th century. The Roman road is abandoned completely here.

FELHAMPTION

Refugees from the Battle of Bosworth settled here c. 1485; the present imposing house was built C. 1750.

AFFCOT

Has echoes of grandeur in its hall, Tudor manor and mill. There's also the Travellers Rest pub and the White House restaurant opposite it on the other side of the main A49 - so Affcot is more than useful for a break and some good food and drink.

WOOLSTON

Gets its name from WuIfhere's Estate; the priest lived here in 1086. Possibly yet another pub here once.

CHENEY LONGVILLE

Was just plain Langfeld in 1087 when it was owned by Shrewsbury Abbey until they swapped it for a manor nearer to them. Roger de Cheney gave his name to the village around 1395 when he was given a licence to embattle his house possibly on account of the unrest in the area at that time. The castle was attacked and captured in the Civil War. Castle Farm used to be a fortified manor house. The manor was bought in 1682 for £1,375 by John Talbot who in turn sold it in 1745 to William Beddoes, whose descendants still own it.

3 LOST VILLAGES

Are known of in the parish - Clev, Cuartune and Wilfrescota were all active 1000 years ago, but have since disappeared.

Most of the parish's villages and hamlets are much smaller now than they were a hundred years ago.

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