Wellington in Shropshire
Wellington is an old market town situated along the Roman road of Watling Street, the ancient road that the Romans built to link London with their important city of Viriconium, now known as Wroxeter. Wellington is in the county of Shropshire; twelve miles east of Shrewsbury and eight miles north-west of Ironbridge It lies on the fringe of what was once the Shropshire Coalfield, reborn forty years ago as Telford
Unlike many market towns, Wellington still boasts a thriving market at its heart. Founded by royal charter at least as early as 1244, comprising around 150 stalls, and operating four days a week, this is Shropshire’s largest and most visited market, not to mention one of its oldest.
Despite Wellington's name, it is not connected with the Duke of Wellington in any way. However, its main claim to fame is that it was here, in Wellington that King Charles I was staying in an Inn when he declared war on Parliament.
By electing to walk the lesser trod paths around the base of the Wrekin, you are offered tranquil woodland walks following undulating paths over styles and across disused military shooting ranges. In spring there are carpets of bluebells to admire and a rich variety of wild life to see.
The Wrekin is the subject of a well-known legend in Shropshire folklore. One version of the story runs as follows: A giant called Gwendol Wrekin ap Shenkin ap Mynyddmawr with a grudge against the town of Shrewsbury decided to flood the town and kill all its inhabitants. So he collected a giant-sized spadeful of earth and set off towards the town. When in the vicinity of Wellington he met a cobbler returning from Shrewsbury market with a large sackful of shoes for repair. The giant asked him for directions, adding that he was going to dump his spadeful of earth in the River Severn and flood the town. "It's a very long way to Shrewsbury," replied the quick-thinking shoemaker. "Look at all these shoes I've worn out walking back from there!" The giant immediately decided to abandon his enterprise and dumped the earth on the ground beside him, where it became the Wrekin. The giant also scraped the mud off his boots, which became the smaller hill Ercall Hill nearby. Ironically Shrewsbury is subjected to flooding from the River Severn on frequent occasions naturally.
"All around the Wrekin" is a phrase common in Shropshire, Herefordshire, Wolverhampton, Stafford and around to mean "the long way round", in the same way that "round the houses" is used more widely
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