Dawley is a small town located within the Telford and Wrekin part of shropshire. Indeed the town now known as Telford was originally going to be named 'Dawley New Town' before the name Telford was settled upon in 1968.
Dawley is mentioned in the Domesday book and is divided into Dawley Magna ('Great Dawley') and Little Dawley, which is known as Dawley Parva on some older maps. For over three centuries Dawley was a coal and ironstone mining town. Clay was extracted from the ground to manufacture pipes and clay was used in the local brickyards and pottery industries. This has had a major influence on the landscape.
A castle was built in Dawley but sadly no longer survives having been demolished in 1648. The exact location is unknown, although the castle Pools (located on the old quarry site) and the Castle Ironworks (built under the Darby family, one of whom commissioned the Iron Bridge) may indicate the general area where it may have stood. Prior to the landscaping undertaken when building Telford, extensive ruins were found next to the Castle Pools and are shown on old maps as being the location of the castle.
When in Dawley, you may see pictures of the 'Pig on the Wall'. It is said that when Captain Webb returned to Dawley after his successful swim of the English Channel, a pig placed its front trotters on top the wall of its sty and sat to watch the brass band as it passed by.
Adjacent to Dawley lies the village of Horsehay which was the site of a bridge and crane fabrication factory that exported around the world. The bridge over Victoria Falls is said to have been built there. The Telford Steam railway is located across the road from the former factory site.
Dawley has a street market every Friday. The main town centre consists of a single pedestrianised street which was originally the main route from bridgnorth in the south to Wellington in the north. The area around Dawley is rural and provides good walking country. The Ironbridge gorge and the Wrekin are both situated within a pleasant walking distance of Dawley.
The village of Malinslee is located on the northern edge of Dawley where St. Leonard's church stands. The design of St. Leonard's is said to have been influenced by Thomas Telford and is laid out in an elongated octagonal style. Other churches the were influenced by Thomas Telford are in the nearby towns of Madeley and Bridgnorth.