Whitchurch, Shropshire Family History Guide

The Old Grammar School. circa 1843 now in use as apartments. Attribution: Andy and Hilary / The Old Grammar School / CC BY-SA 2.0

The Old Grammar School. circa 1843 now in use as apartments. Attribution: Andy and Hilary / The Old Grammar School / CC BY-SA 2.0

Whitchurch is an Ancient Parish mostly in Shropshire and partly in Cheshire.

Other places in the parish include: Ash Magna and Ash Parva, Alkington, Black Park, Broughall, Bubney, Budney, New Woodhouse, Edgeley, Grindley Brook, Grindleybrook, Hinton, Hollyhurst, and Chinnell.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin: 1627

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Presbyterian, Primitive Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Whitchurch

  • Tilstock
  • Wrenbury
  • Dodington
  • Audlem
  • Marbury
  • Ash
  • Whitchurch
  • Malpas St Chad
  • Bronington
  • Malpas

Historical Descriptions


The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1851

St Alkmund's Church, Whitchurch

St Alkmund's Church, Whitchurch.

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Whitchurch, or Blancminster, a market-town and parish partly in the Whitchurch division of the hund. of Bradford, county of Salop, and partly in the hund. of Nantwich, co.-palatine of Chester; 20 miles north by east of Shrewsbury, and communicating with the Ellesmere canal by a branch. That part of the parish which is in Chester contains only part of the small township of Wirswall; the other portion includes the townships of Alkington, Great Ash, Little Ash, Black Park, Broughall, Doddington, Edgeby, Hinton, and Hollyhurst with Chimnal, the chapelry of Tilstock, the town of Whitchurch, and part of Wirswall. Acres 15,380. Houses 1,148. A.P. £30,062. Pop., in 1801, 4,618; in 1831, 5,902. Living, a rectory with that of Marbury, formerly in the archd. of Salop and dio. of Lichfield and Coventry, now in the dio. of Lichfield; rated at £44 11s.8d.; gross income £2,004. Patrons, in 1841, the trustees of the late earl of Bridgewater. Tithes of of Doddington commuted in 1839; aggregate amount £30 2s. 8d. By the munificence of Lady Shrewsbury, a new church, in the Grecian style, with accommodation for 700 persons, was erected here in 1838. St. Catherine’s is a curacy, and Tilstork a perpetual curacy, also within the parish. One of the chapels was built in 1835. From the ancient name of this place, which was Album Monasterium, or Blancminster, it is supposed that a monastery formerly existed here. Of this no account has been handed down, and no traces of the building have ever been discovered; but there was an hospital, of which the following account is given by Bishop Tanner in his Not. Mon. : — “Here was an hospital of several poor brethren, to which John le Strange, in the reign of Henry III., gave the town of Winelecote, which, together with the hospital, were afterwards annexed to the abbey of Haghmen.” Here are a Presbyterian church, formed in 1706; an Independent, formed in 1813; a Baptist; a Wesleyan Methodist, formed in 1810; and a Unitarian chapel. In 1833, there were 17 daily, 2 day and boarding, and 3 day and Sunday, schools in the parish. One of the daily is a free grammar-school, the original founder of which was the Rev. John Talbot, sometime rector of this parish. The earl of Shrewsbury is hereditary visiter, and the government of it is in the hands of certain trustees: income in 1830, £454 per annum. Another of the daily schools is conducted on the National system, and was attended, in 1833, by 150 boys: it is supported chiefly by subscription. There are also 2 daily schools, supported by voluntary donations. One of the day and Sunday is supported by endowment: salary, £40 per annum. There is a lending library open to the town at large. Another is partly supported by subscription, and the third is a Lancasterian school, supported by the Independents, and attended by 100 children of both sexes. There is a lending library also attached to this school. The charities of Samuel and Jane Higginson for education and alms, yielded, in 1830, an income of £242, of which £12 were applied to education at the National school, and £63 to the inhabitants of 6 alms houses belonging to the charity: the remainder is divided between Hanmer, in Flint, Ludlow, and Ellesmere. Other charities, about £200 per annum, besides Austin’s legacy of £2,000, not paid at period of inquiry. There is here an excellent house of industry. Poor rates, in 1838, £1,665 12s.

The town is well-built, and stands on a gentle eminence with many fine points of view in the vicinity. The petty-sessions for Whitchurch division are held here. The trade of the town is principally in grain and malt. In 1838. a cotton-mill here employed 39 hands. Friday is market-day; and fairs for horses, horned cattle, sheep, swine, and flaxen, hempen, and some woollen cloth, are held on the second Friday in April, Whit-Monday, nnd October 28th. Races are held in the vicinity of the town. The Northern and Central, and the Commercial banks of England, have branches here.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851.

Other places included in Whitchurch Parish

Ash Magna and Ash Parva
Black Park
Hollyhurst with Chimnell


Ash Magna and Ash Parva Cassey Shropshire Directory 1875
Ash Magna and Ash Parva - Cassey Directory of Shropshire 1871
Alkington Kellys Shropshire Directory 1863


  • County: Shropshire
  • Civil Registration District: Wem
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Lichfield (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Lichfield
  • Rural Deanery: Market Drayton
  • Poor Law Union: Whitchurch Incorp
  • Hundred: North Bradford
  • Province: Canterbury