Whitchurch, a market-town, the head of a poor-law union and county court district, in Salop, and a parish partly also in Cheshire. The town stands at the terminus of a short braneh of the Ellesmere Canal, and at the junction of the Shrewsbury, Crewe, and Chester section of the L. & N.W.R. with the Cambrian railway, 12 miles NW of Market Dray ton, 16 SW of Crewe, 18½ N of Shrewsbury, 20 SSE of Chester, and 161½ by road and 171 by railway from London. Whitchurch was anciently called Blancminster. It had an hospital before the time of Henry II., and an ancient castle, of which no remains exist. The town occupies a gentle eminence amid pleasant environs, and is a busy thriving place, having considerable trade with the surrounding agricultural districts. Brewing, mailing, and cheese-making are carried on. Markets for corn, butter, cheese, &c., are held on Fridays, a cattle market on alternate Mondays, and a home and cheese fair monthly. The town-hall and market-house, in the High Street, were erected in 1872, and include an assembly-room and corn exchange. The working-men's hall, on Castle Hill, comprises reading-room and library, concert room, &c. The Whitehurch Institute, with reading and recreation rooms, occupies the upper part of the old town-hall. The Church of St Alkmond was rebuilt in the Grecian style in 1713, and has a lofty pinnacled tower. It contains the tomb of, and a monument to, the famous warrior John Talbot, first Earl of Shrewsbury, who was first buried in France and reinterred in the old church; the urn containing his embalmed heart is placed in the porch. It also contains a monument to Sir John Talbot, rector of the parish and founder of the grammar school, who died in 1550. There are Roman Catholic, Baptist, Primitive Methodist, Unitarian, and Wesleyan chapels. The town has a head post office, a railway station, three banks, public baths, a cottage hospital and dispensary, a workhouse, almshouses, and a police station. A field of about 11 acres was purchased for the town by public subscription as a public park in 1884. The town is a seat of petty sessions and county courts. A weekly newspaper is published. The grammar school, founded about 1550, was rebuilt in 1849, and was reconstituted in 1882. The town is governed by a district council consisting of nine members. The parish includes the townships of Alkington, Ash Magna, Ash Parva, Dodington, Chinnel and Hollyhurst, Edgeley, Hinton, Broughall, Tilstock, and Old and New Woodhouses in Salop, and Wirsall in Cheshire, and comprises 14,761 acres of land and 109 of water; population of the civil parish, 6647; of the ecclesiastical, 5599. Terrick Hall, Hinton, Edgeley House, and Moss Fields are the chief residences. The manor belongs to Earl Brownlow. The living is a rectory in the diocese of Lichfield; net value, £700 with residence. Patron, Earl Brownlow. A chapel of ease is at Dodington, and a Congregational chapel at Broughall. The vicarages of Ash and Tilstock are separate benefices.
The following is a list of the administrative units in which this place was either wholly or partly included.
|Ecclesiastical parish||Whitchurch St. Alkmund|
|Registration district||Whitchurch||1853 - 1894|
Any dates in this table should be used as a guide only.
Directories & Gazetteers
We have transcribed the entry for Whitchurch from the following:
- Samuel Lewis' A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, seventh edition, published 1858. (Whitchurch (St. Alkmund))
Land and Property
The Return of Owners of Land in 1873 for Shropshire (Salop) is available to browse.
Online maps of Whitchurch are available from a number of sites:
- Bing (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- Google Streetview.
- National Library of Scotland. (Old maps)
- old-maps.co.uk (Old Ordnance Survey maps to buy).
- Streetmap.co.uk (Current Ordnance Survey maps).
- A Vision of Britain through Time. (Old maps)
Newspapers and Periodicals
The British Newspaper Archive have fully searchable digitised copies of the following Shropshire newspapers online:
- Shrewsbury Chronicle
- Wellington Journal
- Eddowes's Journal, and General Advertiser for Shropshire, and the Principality of Wales
- Ludlow Advertiser
- Salopian Journal
The Visitation of Shropshire, 1623 is available on the Heraldry page.