Buildwas (Holy Trinity)

BUILDWAS (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Madeley, Wellington division of the hundred of South Braford, N. division of Salop, 3 miles (W. N. W.) from Iron-Bridge; containing 273 inhabitants. This place is celebrated for the stately and venerable remains of its ancient Cistercian abbey, founded in honour of St. Mary and St. Chad, by Roger, Bishop of Chester, in 1135; the establishment continued to flourish till the Dissolution, when its revenue was returned at £129. 6. 10. The ruins are romantically situated on the south bank of the river Severn, which here flows through a deep and secluded vale, and consist principally of the roofless nave, transept, and lower portions of the central tower of this once beautiful structure. The parish comprises by measurement 2034 acres of rich arable and pasture land; the substratum is chiefly limestone, which is quarried to a great extent, for agricultural and building purposes, and also for the works in the adjoining district of Coalbrook-Dale. The Severn affords every facility of conveyance, and near the abbey is a handsome cast-iron bridge constructed by Telford, in 1796, on the site of a former stone bridge, which had been destroyed by a flood in the preceding year; it consists of one arch, 130 feet in span, and 24 feet above the surface of the river. The road over it leads through a romantic dingle to the town of Much Wenlock; communication is also maintained by the road from the adjoining town of Iron-Bridge to Shrewsbury. The living is a donative, in the gift of Walter Moseley, Esq., proprietor of the parish: the church, rebuilt in 1720, is a neat edifice. On the 27th of May, 1773, a remarkable land-slip occurred here, when more than 18 acres were, by a sudden disruption, carried forward with such impetuous velocity as to stop the current of the Severn, and take possession of its ancient bed.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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