Much Wenlock Town Museum
Well 430 million years ago we were undersea and part of a coral reef!
In the town museum you can learn where to find fossils and the social history of the town from the arrival of the Romans in the 1st century through to the Victorians. And of course how the town inspired the birth of the modern Olympic Games.
430 million years ago
Wenlock was under sea. Wenlock Edge was a coral reef and today’s fossils were being formed.
Evidence has been found of Roman occupation
Monastery built on the site of Wenlock Priory for monks and nuns. Milburga, daughter of Merwalh, and founder, was an abbess on the site and because of her miracles was made a saint after her death.
Holy Trinity became a parish church, having sustained many renovations before and after.
Wenlock gained the right to hold a weekly market
Wenlock became a town.
Stone jail built, now the far end of the Guildhall
Borough charter granted by Edward IV which included 17 parishes. However the Priory retained power over the town until its dissolution.
Dissolution of the Monasteries by Henry VIII, including Wenlock Priory.
The Courthouse was built at the Guildhall
Council Chambers erected as part of the Guildhall. Erected over 2 days 23-24 September. This was an early version of prefab construction!
Windmill built early this century.
Charles I stayed at Ashfield Hall (now a privately owned property on the High Street).
Spire added to Holy Trinity Church.
Bull baiting stopped at The Bull Ring.
13 August birth of Dr. William Penny Brookes, founding father of the modern Olympic movement.
Wenlock got its first mayor.
National School created to provide affordable education for the locals. Interior of Guildhall “improved” with Tudor panelling of magnificent workmanship.
First Wenlock Olympian Games held. Construction started on Wenlock’s railway.
Construction of Corn Exchange started.
Last offender sentenced in Wenlock courts – Thomas Lloyd. Stocks last used at Guildhall for punishment, now on display for unruly children!
Agricultural reading library opened at Corn Exchange.
Wenlock “witch” Nanny Morgan stabbed to death.
First Shropshire Olympian Games.
Wenlock to Buildwas railway line officially opened.
Dr. William Penny Brookes founded the National Olympian Society.
Market hall built, now town museum.
Town brook culverted, for more sanitary conditions!
Baron de Coubertin acknowledged Dr.William Penny Brooke’s role in modern Olympic games.
Guildhall extension added making archway to Church Walk and joining shops to building.
Death of Dr. William Penny Brookes.
Memorials to Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee placed around town.
Market hall made into The Memorial Hall after the First World War.
Holy Trinity Church spire removed.
Author Mary Webb’s book GONE TO EARTH filmed in Wenlock and Shropshire.
The National School closed in the Bull Ring.
21 July, last locomotive left Wenlock railway station.
Wenlock lost its Borough status.
Courtroom at Guildhall ceased to function as a court.
Town Square conceived and built for the enjoyment of locals and visitors.
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip visited Much Wenlock to see the town’s Olympic connections.
London 2012 Olympic Games names their mascot “Wenlock” and the Olympic Torch was paraded through town.
TO THIS DAY
Wenlock still uses Holy Trinity as the parish church.
The Guildhall functions for town council meetings and mayoral events, as well as being a visitor attraction and venue for school visits.
The Memorial Hall is now the Visitor Information Centre and home of the town museum.
The Corn Exchange is still partially tied to William Penny Brookes by housing the archives and town clerk’s office and functioning as a public library.
Markets are still held in the Corn Exchange and under the Guildhall.