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Is situated in the most hilly part of Shropshire, on the turnpike-road leading from Salop to Ludlow, 13 miles South of Salop, 12 miles West of Much-Wenlock, 16 miles North of Ludlow, and 10 miles East of Bishop’s-Castle. It has a very small market. On the hills, which nearly surround the town, an immense number of sheep are fed, which produce large quantities of good wool, which is sold the dealers in Yorkshire, and there manufactured into narrow cloths. The malting business is carried on here very extensively. The poor of the town are employed in making a coarse linen cloth, which is generally sold for the purpose of packing hops and wool.
The air of this place is remarkably healthy; the soil is a fine gravel; and there are several fine rivulets running from the hills which produce many excellent trout. Within two miles of the town is the hill called in history Cair Caradock, or Caractacus’s Mount, on the top of which the old British camp is still visible, with its double entrenchments, &c. The prospect from this hill, on a clear day, is delightful, and so extensive that several counties in England and Wales may be seen.
There is no regular post, though the post-road from London is within eight miles of the town. A news-man from Salop passes through every Friday to Ludlow, and returns to Salop on Saturday night, who generally brings the letters. Moxey’s stage-waggon, from Manchester to Hereford, passes through the town every Wednesday and returns on Saturday. The principal inn is the Talbot, but there are several convenient public-houses for the accommodation of travellers.
The church-living is in the gift of the Marquis of Bath, who is lord of the manor; the present incumbent is the Rev. John Mainwaring, formerly of St. John’s College, Cambridge. Most of the land about this town is copyhold of inheritance.
The following are the principal inhabitants of Church-Stretton:
Beddowes Thomas, Esq. (F.)
Davis William, Gent. (F.)
Gosnel Mr. Richard, (F.)
Lewis Mr. Richard, (F.)
Lewis Mr. John, (F.)
Luther Moses, Esq. (F.)
Minters Mr. Richard, (F.)
Waring William, Gent. (F.)
Mainwaring Rev. John, (F.) Rector
Willding Rev. Richard
Bray Richard, Surgeon
Andrews Francis, Sadler
Broom John, Innkeeper (Crown)
Calley Thomas, Innkeeper (Talbot)
Child Edward, Blacksmith
Corfield George, Mercer and Grocer
Edwards John, Auctioneer
Edwards Joseph, Maltster & Innkeeper
Evasson John, Blacksmith & Innkeeper
Gough Thomas, Mason
Mills Thomas, Innkeeper & Shoemaker
Pinches Richard, Butcher
Phillips John, Parish-clerk
Robinson John, Wheelwright
Robinson Thomas, Mercer & Grocer
Reynolds John, Maltster
Speaks Francis, Maltster
Turner Catherine, Milliner
Usdale William, Cooper
Waring William, (F.) Maltster
Watkis Thomas, Currier
Weeks Thomas, Blacksmith
Williams Edward, Baker
There are several pleasant villages in the neighbourhood, the principal of which are All-Stretton, Cardington, Hopebowdler, Acton Scott, Rushbury, and Wistomstow, Longnor, five miles distant, on the Shrewsbury road, the pleasant seat of Robert Corbet, Esq.
Source: Universal British Directory 1791