Explore the industrial heritage of the Shropshire Hills
The Shropshire Hills are littered with reminders of early industrial times, thanks to the area’s mineral riches and powerful waters to power its mills.
Indeed, the Carding Mill Valley was home to a corn mill as early as the 13th century, but it was in the early 19th century that a carding mill was built to process local fleeces. The carded wool was then spun in homes as a cottage industry until a factory, with spinning jennies and hand looms, arrived a few years later, diversifying later that century into the manufacture of fizzy drinks.
Industry survived here only until the early 20th century, when an hotel and café were built. By 1920 the factory had been converted into flats and a chalet pavilion had been imported from Scandinavia to be used as a tea-room for day trippers, a function it still serves today.
Daniels Mill and its impressive waterwheel, near Bridgnorth, have been carefully restored to their former glory and are pretty much unaltered since the 18th Century and being still in the ownership of the same family for more than 250 years. Accommodation at the Pheasant at Neenton community pub.
To get an idea of how times were when the Shropshire Hills were a source of valuable lead, you can visit the preserved mines at Tankerville and Snailbeach, where the Shropshire Mines Trust is responsible for the conservation of the mining heritage. See the website for organised underground tours, reflecting the increased interest in industrial archaeology. While in the area, visit the Bog Centre, a gas-lit Victorian former school, which is one of the few remaining buildings of a lost lead and barytes mining village.
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