Bishops Castle 1791 (Description of)

[Bishops Castle] lies 40 miles from Worcester, 8 from Montgomery, and 153 from London; is a small town on the river Clun, but an old corporation; it has the privilege of choosing members of parliament, to which it made the first return in the 27th of Elizabeth.  The corporation consists of a bailiff, recorder, and 15 aldermen.  Its market on Friday is noted for cattle, and all sorts of commodities, and much frequented by the Welsh, as are its fairs.  Its castle, formerly the residence of its bishops, from whence it was named, is totally destroyed, but the town is a flourishing place, with many good houses, and the streets are kept exceedingly clean.  The town-house is a neat structure.  Not far from Bishop’s Castle, just at the entrance into Montgomeryshire, is a noted place called Bishopsmott, where is an acre of ground, surrounded with an intrenchment.  Fairs are the Friday before 13th February; Friday before Good Friday; the first Friday after May-day; 5th July; 9th September; and 13th November; the days preceding the three last are for sheep and pigs.

Post-office – The London mail through Oxford, Worcester, and Ludlow, comes in about 9 o’clock every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday. Mornings; goes out in the summer season on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, evenings, at 5 o’clock; in the winter one hour sooner.  This mail is carried on horseback from Ludlow.  The mail from Shrewsbury, (on horseback,) through Welch Pool and Montgomery, comes in every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday, morning, about 8 o’clock; returns Monday evening at 4 o’clock; and on Thursday and Saturday at 12 o’clock noon.  By this mail the kingdom in general have a most expeditious communication with all North Wales.

Stage wagons – Taylor’s Ludlow wagon from the George, Smithfield, and Green Man and Still, Oxford-street, every Sunday evening, comes in here every Saturday; returns the same evening; Barn’s Bewdley wagon comes in and returns the same time: both to Robert Davies’s, the Unicorn inn.  Price’s Newtown cart meets the above wagons every Saturday; and returns the same day.

The principal inns are, the Owl, the Castle, and the Three Tuns.  The distance of Bishop’s Castle from Ludlow is 17 miles; Shrewsbury 20; Welch Pool 17; Newtown 16; Knighton 12; Montgomery 8 ½ ; and Church Stretton 12 miles.

The principal seats and villages in the vicinity of Bishop’s Castle are, Walcot, the seat of the right hon. Lord Clive, about 3 miles distant, near to the Ludlow road, and nigh to which on the right, is an old encampment called the Bury Ditches, which commands a most extensive prospect.  Fir Grove, the seat of John Oakeley, Esq. one mile, near to the Shrewsbury road, a situation which commands a most delightful prospect.  Linley, about 2 miles to the left, the seat of Robert More, Esq.  On the road to Montgomery, at 4 miles distance on the left, is Mellington, the seat of Major Browne.  And 1 mile from Montgomery on the right, is Lymore, at 6 miles distance, is Clun, where an ancient castle stood, but now only the remains; also, at this place, is an hospital for 14 poor men and a warden; it was founded by Robert Howard Earl of Northampton; the charity consists at present of 5s per week to each man, besides firing, clothing, and each a decent apartment; also, a handsome salary to the warden.

Source: Universal British Directory

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