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.

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.
£16.50 incl. delivery
until 31 Dec. 2019
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
     £16.50 incl. delivery, until 31 Dec. 2019

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.
to:
VCH Shropshire
16 Berrisford Road
Market Drayton
Shropshire
TF9 1JH

You can also find the book in various local retail outlets, including Pengwern Books, Fish St, Shrewsbury, SY1 1UR for £14.00.

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The Committee and Web Manager

Please don’t stop reading! We are a busy working committee always interested in co-opting onto our membership individuals committed to our aims and interested in the history of the county. We can offer lots of opportunities. Since Nigel Semmens moved from Shropshire late last year, we have lacked someone with the time and energy to handle our publicity, and our long-suffering web manager would like to step down. If you have skills in either of these fields and would like to join a go-ahead and enthusiastic committee, we would love to hear from you at r.w.hoyle@reading.ac.uk. Further details of the Web Manager’s duties.