Shrewsbury Castle and Shrewsbury Abbey are our two oldest landmarks. They were both built by the same man: Roger de Montgomery, William the Conqueror's right hand man. But the Castle you see today was rebuilt by Edward I, two hundred years later. And most of Roger's original Abbey was destroyed by Henry VIII - though the four massive columns inside are original, and the west tower dates back to the 14th century.
Shrewsbury's steepled crest
Four churches give Shrewsbury it's famous skyline, or 'steepled crest' in the words of the poet A.E. Housman: St. Mary's, St. Alkmund's, St. Chad's and Shrewsbury Cathedral.
St. Mary's has one of the tallest spires in the country. St. Chad's has the largest circular nave in the country. And St. Mary's 14th century 'Jesse Window', St. Alkmund's east window (by Francis Eginton) and the Cathedral's Arts and Crafts windows (by Margaret Rope) are some the finest works of stained glass in the country.
You can still see traces of medieval Shrewsbury in the maze of narrow streets with funny names in the centre of town. Milk Street, Fish Street, Butcher Row, Grope Lane. (The names reveal exactly what used to go on there.)
Most of the half-timbered mansions you see today were built by The Drapers, Shrewsbury's all-powerful medieval wool merchants - including Rowley's House (now Shrewsbury Museum) and the Old Market Hall in The Square.
Tudor craftsmen would often carve subversive characters into the walls of their buildings, giving you a glimpse into their day to day lives. And we've kept up that tradition today.
If you look closely at some of the restored buildings on the High Street, you might spot Margaret Thatcher, Michael Heseltine or Mick Jagger staring back at you.
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