Welcome to the home page of Victoria County History (VCH), Shropshire. Here you can find out about our work on the history of the county of Shropshire, details of our activities and other news. Here we make available drafts of our publications, including sections of VCH Shropshire VI: Shrewsbury Part ii. We welcome comments on these, including corrections and amendments.

Latest updates (November 2020)

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Buy the new history of Wem

Victoria County History Shropshire is proud to announce the publication of its first parish history – Wem, by Judith Everard, James P. Bowen and Wendy Horton.
£16 plus
£2.50 delivery
Wem is a small town in the north of the county. There have been previous histories of Wem including that by the eighteenth-century Wem clergyman and schoolmaster Samuel Garbet. Garbet’s history is an important witness to the town in his lifetime and to its history before his time. More recently there has been a history by Iris Woodward (1952), reprinted frequently, with additional chapters by John Dromgool.

Our new history of Wem reflects the pre-occupations of local historians in the 21st century.

Wem High Street, early twentieth century

It gives appropriate weight to landscape, buildings, social structure, retailing and the developments of the twentieth century. It explores archives which have previously only been skimmed and draws on the wide range of sources which have been made available by the digital revolution in local history. It tells the story of the town from its Norman Castle and early street layout, through church and its unhappy rebuilding, and repeated attempts to improve the environment of Wem, whether the building of a new suburb, the progressive attempts to improve the High Street, the tangled attempts to provide sewage or supply residents with clean water. It makes room for the town’s lawyers and doctors. It also describes Wem’s industries, many of them lost and forgotten, but each of which has left its mark on the town.

It is an accessible book, of interest to both residents of Wem, for whom it tells the story of their community and to other historians of the county for whom Wem has been a largely unknown place. The book is fully referenced and indexed as well as lavishly illustrated in colour.

Wem is 174 pages, with 35 figures, 5 maps: paperback.

Cover of Wem short
     £16 plus
£2.50 delivery

If you prefer to send a cheque, please send a note of the address you want it delivered to (or print and fill in this form) and a cheque for £16.50, made out to
VCH (Shropshire) Ltd.
VCH Shropshire
16 Berrisford Road
Market Drayton

You can also find the book in various local retail outlets, including The Wem Bookshop, 81 High St, Wem, SY4 5DR; Pengwern Books, Fish St, Shrewsbury, SY1 1UR; and Shropshire Archives (Wednesday–Thursday), Castle Gates, Shrewsbury, SY1 2AQ, for £14.00.

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Opportunities to join the committee

Please don’t stop reading! We remain anxious to reinforce the VCH County Committee, especially as a couple of our founding members wish to stand down. We would be especially interested to hear from anyone interested in becoming our secretary. No great historical expertise is needed – but a commitment to driving forwards the study of Shropshire history is vital. Please contact secretary@vchshropshire.org.