Wellington: Roman Catholicism

A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1985.

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'Wellington: Roman Catholicism', in A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford, (London, 1985) pp. 242. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/salop/vol11/p242 [accessed 12 April 2024]


In 1592 Francis, son of Edward Forester of Watling Street, was admitted to the English College in Rome, but only four papists were recorded in 1676 (fn. 1) and none c. 1693 (fn. 2) or in 1772. (fn. 3) At the French Revolution George Forester accommodated French priests at Dothill (fn. 4) and in 1806 a Roman Catholic chapel at Dothill Lodge was registered by its priest Stephen LeMaître. (fn. 5) In 1834 there was a temporary chapel behind the Duke's Head in New Street, and soon afterwards it moved to a nearby shop. (fn. 6) A new church opened in 1838 on the east side of Mill Bank. In 1851 average attendance was put at 300, (fn. 7) a numerical strength attributable to an influx of Irish workers since the late 18th century. The church, dedicated to St. Patrick, was replaced in 1906 by a new one in King Street built of stone and brick in the Gothic style. The old church served many uses before its demolition c. 1971, including those of a Catholic parish hall, a roller-skating rink, a cinema, a training centre for the unemployed, and a Catholic schoolroom. A convent of Sisters of St. Louis moved from Much Wenlock to Haygate Road in 1978 and undertook teaching, social work, and nursing for the Roman Catholic parish. In 1981 the parish served c. 1,800 people, some of whom lived as far north as Prees, and up to 800 attended Sunday mass. (fn. 8)


  • 1. T.S.A.S. 2nd ser. i. 85.
  • 2. W.S.L., H.M. 36.
  • 3. L.J.R.O., B/V/5, visit. return.
  • 4. Baxter, 'Wellington', 80-1.
  • 5. S.R.O., q. sess. files, 7/32.
  • 6. Acct. based on: S.R.O. 4050/1, p. 8; /2, pp. 5-6.
  • 7. P.R.O., HO 129/365, no. 18.
  • 8. Inf. from the Revd. M. Wagstaffe.