The main recreational park in Shrewsbury is called The Quarry. Created in 1719 and encompassing 29 acres it’s in a location within easy walking distance of Shrewsbury town centre, Shrewsbury Sixth Form College and Shrewsbury School, it is the most heavily used public park within the county. Who knew that measuring park usage is a thing?? Is someone in every park in Shropshire sitting counting how many people are there all day, every day? Well anyway, the centrepiece of the Quarry is called The Dingle, a former stone quarry, but now a landscaped sunken garden.
I think only my British readers will recognise the name of Percy Thrower (MBE) who was a gardener, horticulturalist and broadcaster He became nationally known through presenting gardening programmes, starting in 1956 with the BBC’s Gardening Club, then the BBC’s Gardeners’ World from 1969 until 1976. His final career move was to Shrewsbury in 1946, as the Parks Superintendent, becoming the youngest parks superintendent. He had a staff of about 35. He had reached the top of his profession at just 32 years of age and it was his sole ambition in life. He expected to stay only four or five years, but in fact remained in post until 1974.
The Shoemakers’ Arbour associated with the pre-Victorian town festival, and originally sited in Kingsland, was moved to the Dingle in 1879. It dates from 1679 and includes statues of Crispin and Crispinian, the patron saints of shoemakers.
A statue of the goddess Sabrina was presented by the Earl of Bradford in 1879. The inscription on the statue is based on a poem by John Milton (1608–1674). In myth, Sabrina was a nymph who drowned in the Severn.
Shrewsbury’s main civic war memorial, the focus for Remembrance Sunday, is situated within the Quarry. near St Chad’s Terrace. It consists of a bronze winged and armoured statue of St. Michael under a canopy designed like a classical Greek temple in the form of six Ionic columns supporting a circular dome. It is inscribed: ‘Remember the gallant men and women of Shropshire who gave their lives for God, King and country 1914-18 and 1939–45.
St Chad’s Church was built in 1792, and with its distinctive round shape and high tower, it is a well-known landmark in the town. It faces The Quarry area of parkland, which slopes down to the River Severn. The church is a Grade I listed building.
The River Severn (Welsh: Afon Hafren, Latin: Sabrina) is the longest river in Great Britain at a length of 220 miles (354 km), and the second longest in the British Isles after the River Shannon in Ireland.
Stay tooned, see you next week!