A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.
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Lawley township, south-south-east of Wellington town, was reckoned to be 708 a. (287 ha.) in 1841. (fn. 1) It was roughly lozenge-shaped, longer from north to south. Its boundaries, though fairly regular, did not for the most part follow roads or watercourses. On the north-west, however, Ketley brook was the boundary, and on the north-east a tributary of it; their confluence was the township's northern point. The southernmost parts of the south-west and south-east boundaries also followed valleys that converged at the township's extremity. (fn. 2) In 1894 Lawley was included in Wellington Rural civil parish. (fn. 3)
Lawley village stands on sand and gravel but most of the township consists of boulder clay beneath which were workable coals of the Middle and Lower Coal Measures. (fn. 4) The township's highest points (c. 200 metres above O.D.) were in the south, on Horsehay common, and south-east, at Lawley Bank; thence the township sloped down to c. 110 metres at its northern tip and to c. 175 metres at its southern. Northward drainage was into Ketley brook, southward was towards the Severn. (fn. 5)
The Wellington-Worcester road, turnpiked in 1764, (fn. 6) ran south-eastwards through the township to Dawley Bank (fn. 7) but by 1808 had been diverted (fn. 8) southwards across Lawley common by Ball's Hill to Dawley. (fn. 9) The Wellington-Coalbrookdale turnpike road, of which the part north of Horsehay was built c. 1817, also crossed the township. A new turnpike road linking the other two was built across the common c. 1827. (fn. 10) The earliest length of the Wellington & Severn Junction Railway, opened 1857, (fn. 11) passed through the township, with a station at Lawley Bank that closed to passengers and goods in 1962. (fn. 12)
Lawley village, which was centred by the 17th century on three farmsteads, (fn. 16) changed little (fn. 17) until 16 council houses were added 1930-2. (fn. 18) Another 58 were added 1947-61 (fn. 19) and 33 in the later 1960s. (fn. 20) In 1983 Telford development corporation intended that housing should eventually cover the rest of the township. (fn. 21)
Lawley Bank, a mining settlement, was inha bited by 1704. (fn. 22) By the end of the century it extended into Ketley township. (fn. 23) and was continuous with Dawley Bank. (fn. 24) During the 19th century it contracted slightly (fn. 25) but 22 council houses were built in 1939 (fn. 26) and Telford development corporation added 55 dwellings in 1975. (fn. 27)
There were many miners' cottages by 1840 on the margins of Lawley common, the southern part of which was called Horsehay common. (fn. 28) The largest groups were near Lawley Bank and at Spring Village. (fn. 29) The cottages did not increase in number thereafter (fn. 30) but most were later rebuilt or modernized.
Newdale, in the north, was a mining settlement founded c. 1759 by the Coalbrookdale Co. (fn. 31) By 1794 (fn. 32) there were 18 back-to-back houses (fn. 33) called the Long Row (fn. 34) and there were c. 12 other houses in 1840. (fn. 35) The population in 1841 was 196. (fn. 36) Newdale did not change significantly in extent until the later 20th century, (fn. 37) when many of the inhabitants moved to council houses in Lawley village. (fn. 38) The Long Row was demolished c. 1960 (fn. 39) and only three houses were occupied by 1981. (fn. 40)
There were few alesellers in the early 17th century (fn. 41) but by 1753 there were five in Lawley or Lawley Bank. (fn. 42) In 1842 there were four at Lawley Bank and none elsewhere. (fn. 43) By 1901 only the Bull's Head and the Wrekin View remained, (fn. 44) as in 1983.
Lawley Bank Female Society was registered in 1806, and in 1835 the Malinslee Friendly Society met at the King's Head, Lawley Bank. (fn. 45) A church institute was built next to St. John's church in 1920 (fn. 46) and replaced by a new church hall in 1962. (fn. 47) Wellington rural district council provided a playing field in Lawley village c. 1963 (fn. 48) and there was a Lawley Athletic football club by 1964. (fn. 49)