Wrockwardine: Local government and public services

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

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A P Baggs. D C Cox. Jessie McFall. P A Stamper. A J L Winchester, 'Wrockwardine: Local government and public services', in A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford, (London, 1985) pp. 316-317. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/salop/vol11/pp316-317 [accessed 30 May 2024].

A P Baggs. D C Cox. Jessie McFall. P A Stamper. A J L Winchester. "Wrockwardine: Local government and public services", in A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford, (London, 1985) 316-317. British History Online, accessed May 30, 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/salop/vol11/pp316-317.

Baggs, A P. Cox, D C. McFall, Jessie. Stamper, P A. Winchester, A J L. "Wrockwardine: Local government and public services", A History of the County of Shropshire: Volume 11, Telford, (London, 1985). 316-317. British History Online. Web. 30 May 2024, https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/salop/vol11/pp316-317.


In 1255 Hamon le Strange did no suit to shire or hundred court, and c. 1285 John le Strange held a court with pleas of bloodshed, the hue and cry, and a gallows. (fn. 1) Two courts a year were said to be held in 1292. (fn. 2)

Court rolls of Wrockwardine manor, dealing mainly with agricultural regulation, survive for 1397-8, 1411-14, and 1456-7, and there are many later records. (fn. 3) In 1413-14 the townships of Wrockwardine, Admaston, Allscott, Bratton, Burcot, Cluddley, Leaton, Nash, and Quam Pool (in Wrockwardine Wood) presented, although Bratton was a member of Eyton manor and made presentments at courts there in the 16th century and answered with Eyton and Horton at Hinstock court leet from the 14th to the 19th centuries. (fn. 4) In the later 16th and in the 17th and 18th centuries courts for Wrockwardine dealt with the assize of bread and of ale, agricultural matters, and the transfer of copyholds. (fn. 5) By 1797, whence there are continuous records until 1936, the court leet and the court baron were combined. In the later 18th century the court usually met every April and October; later its meetings became increasingly irregular, apparently taking place as business demanded. The last court transactions dealt with the abolition of copyhold, following the Law of Property Act, 1922. (fn. 6)

In 1650 the customary bailiff was a copyholder who served as many years as he had nooks of land; he received a tree from the demesne for each year's service. (fn. 7) T. F. Dukes, the Shropshire antiquary, was manorial steward 1817-39. (fn. 8) The office of crier was abolished in the mid 19th century. (fn. 9) A lock-up or crib, then apparently disused, was mentioned in 1842; (fn. 10) its site is unknown.

In 1305 the court of Orleton manor was said to be worth nothing. (fn. 11) Henry of Walcot, bailiff of Charlton, was mentioned in 1379. (fn. 12) A court may have been held at Charlton until c. 1588 when the manor was bought by Francis Newport. Thereafter Charlton was a member of the manor of Eyton on Severn. (fn. 13)

Three overseers of the poor were appointed in 1669 and disbursed £31 3s. 3d. on pensions, house repairs, paupers' burials, and the like. (fn. 14) Between 1725 and 1834 two overseers were normally appointed annually. In 1725-6 £59 18s. 4d. was disbursed, in 1760-1 £67 12s. 10d., although in 1755-6 expenditure had reached £94 13s. 4d. (fn. 15) In 1760-1 the poor were farmed to Thomas Hazlehurst for £50 a year. (fn. 16) By 1782, when the parish apparently resumed direct responsibility for the poor, a workhouse was rented. Expenditure that year totalled £194 1s. 8d. From 1790 it rose sharply, and in 1795 voluntary subscriptions to provide half-price bread and flour raised £122 13s. 4d. (fn. 17) In 1803 the indoor poor were farmed for £50, to John Hollis. About 1801 a new workhouse had been erected 1 km. west of Wrockwardine on land belonging to the Tiddicross charity, and Hollis was to provide its inmates with bread, cheese, and beer, and beef or mutton at least once a week. In 1803 £544 18s. 6d. was spent on the poor, mostly as out-relief. (fn. 18) In 1814 the workhouse, then under a salaried keeper, comprised a kitchen, paupers' kitchen, 5 bedrooms containing 13 beds, a 'dead room' with 3 spinning wheels and 1 long wheel, pantry, brewhouse, and cellar. (fn. 19)

Expenditure on poor relief was highest in 1816- 17 when c. £1,620 was spent and there were up to thirty in the workhouse. The parish owed £1,980, (fn. 20) and 703 of the population of 1,938 were receiving parish relief, including 200 men completely unemployed. As ever, most of the poor lived in Wrockwardine Wood, the industrial part of the parish, which, however, contributed only a seventh of the parish rate income. (fn. 21) Late in 1816 the unemployed were set to work on the parish roads. (fn. 22) Over the next five years expenditure fell rapidly to £1,052 in 1822-3. By 1827-8 it had risen again to £1,291. (fn. 23) A select vestry was formed, probably in 1819. (fn. 24)

In 1725 the overseers were allowed 5s. for performing their duties, increased to a guinea in 1809. (fn. 25) By 1814, when his salary was increased to £20, a workhouse keeper was employed; (fn. 26) his pay rose to £25 in 1819 (fn. 27) and £30 in 1821. (fn. 28) By 1806 a doctor was retained, apparently for £10. (fn. 29)

Between 1836 and 1930 Wrockwardine was part of Wellington poor-law union, which rented the Wrockwardine parish workhouse in the period of high unemployment between 1838 and 1841. (fn. 30) Wrockwardine became part of Wrekin highway district in 1863, (fn. 31) and was part of Wellington rural district from its formation until 1974 when it became part of the district of the Wrekin. (fn. 32)

A Wrockwardine Association for the Prosecution of Felons was formed between 1814 and 1818. (fn. 33)

Admaston sewage works serving that village was built 1911-12. (fn. 34) About 1933 piped water was brought from Wellington to Admaston, Bratton, and Wrockwardine. (fn. 35) The Rushmoor sewage works serving northern Telford opened in 1975; several smaller works, including Admaston's, were phased out after that. (fn. 36) By 1885 post offices were open in Wrockwardine and Admaston. (fn. 37)


  • 1. Rot. Hund. (Rec. Com.), ii. 56; Collect. Topog. et Geneal. i. 117.
  • 2. T.S.A.S. 4th ser. i. 212.
  • 3. S.P.L., MS. 110, Wrockwardine; S.P.L., Deeds 19394-7; below.
  • 4. S.R.O. 327, boxes 4-5, Hinstock ct. leet verdicts; 513, box 1, Eyton ct. r. 1506-7, 1586-7.
  • 5. S.R.O. 14/3/74-5; 999/Nn, Rr; 1011, box 233, Wrockwardine man. jury presentment of 1650; 3390/6/115; 3651, box 193, ct. bks. and other ct. rec.
  • 6. S.P.L., MS. 110, Wrockwardine ct. r. and copies; S.R.O. 3288/4/2-9; 12 & 13 Geo. V, c. 16.
  • 7. S.R.O. 3651, box 193, customs of Wrockwardine man.; T.S.A.S. 4th ser. i. 228-31.
  • 8. T.S.A.S. 4th ser. v. 282; for his libr. see S.R.O. 665/3/166.
  • 9. S.R.O. 3288/4/6
  • 10. S.R.O. 999/33.4.
  • 11. T.S.A.S. 4th ser. viii. 156.
  • 12. Barnard MSS., Raby Castle, box 1, bdle. 27, no. 46.
  • 13. Ibid. box 12, bdle. 17, leases.
  • 14. S.R.O. 4472/P/1/1.
  • 15. Ibid. /P/1/2.
  • 16. Ibid. at end; cf. above, Wellington, Local Govt.
  • 17. S.R.O. 4472 /P/1/3.
  • 18. Ibid. /P/1/4; /P/2/12-13.
  • 19. Ibid. /P/1/5, at front and end. For spinning and long wheels see Trinder and Cox, Yeomen and Colliers, pp. 62-3.
  • 20. S.R.O. 4472/P/1/5, 1 Apr. 1817.
  • 21. Some Facts, shewing the Vast Burthen of the Poor's Rate, by a member of the Salop. Co. Cttee. for the employment of the poor (Holborn, 1817), 6 (copy in S.P.L.); below, Wrockwardine Wood.
  • 22. S.R.O. 4472/P/1/5, at end, resolutions of 22 Nov., 20 Dec. 1816.
  • 23. Ibid. /P/1/5-6.
  • 24. Ibid. /Ve/2.
  • 25. Ibid. /P/1/2, 5.
  • 26. Ibid. /P/1/5, at front.
  • 27. Ibid. /P/1/6, p. 181.
  • 28. Ibid. /Ve/2, 19 May 1821.
  • 29. Ibid. /P/1/4.
  • 30. V. J. Walsh, 'Admin. of Poor Laws in Salop. 1820-55' (Pennsylvania Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 1970), 150, 207, 211 n. (copy in S.R.O.); for the wkho.'s later hist. see below, Chars.; Kelly's Dir. Salop. (1929), 327.
  • 31. S.R.O., q. sess. order bk. 1861-9, p. 127.
  • 32. V.C.H. Salop. ii. 217; sources cited ibid. iii. 169, n. 29.
  • 33. Shrews. Chron. 27 May 1814, advt.; 23 Jan. 1818 (p. 1).
  • 34. S.R.O., DA 26/100/1, pp. 319, 385.
  • 35. S.R.O. 4472/Par/17 (Jan. 1934); A. H. S. Waters, Rep. on Water Supplies (S.C.C. 1946), 99.
  • 36. Local inf.
  • 37. Kelly's Dir. Salop. (1885), 999.