Saturday 08 August 2020

Places and People of Interest

This page contains links to interesting and often forgotten places or things in Pulverbatch and to people associated with the village.


Details on some of the local artists.

1811 Cloudburst.

On May 27th 1811 there was a huge cloudburst over the Stiperstones creating massive flash flooding and causing a number of deaths as well as great destruction. An extract from the Shropshire Word Book describes some of the local devastation.


Discover the archaeology of the area.

Betty Chidley the WItch.

A family of the name of Ambler occupied a farm at Wilderley, near Pulverbatch, and in a little cottage in a neighbouring dale lived an old woman, commonly called " Betty Chidley from the bottom of Betchcot," who was much in the habit of begging at the farmhouse, and generally got what she asked for.


There are the remains of two motte and bailey castles in Pulverbatch, both classified as scheduled ancient monuments by English Heritage.

Christ's Oak Ley Line.

The only Ley Line in Shropshire passes through Pulverbatch with the church as a 'marker'. The radio broadcaster John Timpson renames it 'The Christ's Oak Line' after the old oak where the original church in Cressage was sited.

Churton Wine.

Sam Weaver, a Shropshire Lad from Pulverbatch, determined to produce his own wine and was lured to New Zealand in 1989. By 1997 he was able to fulfil his ambition and produced his first vintage of Sauvignon Blanc. His Churton Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wine is a delicious grassy, nettly, gooseberry-flavoured Sauvignon full of ripe passionfruit and an almost mineral edge. Extremely well-balanced with fine mouthwatering acidity, according to Tanners Wine Merchants who import it and its companion Marlborough Pinot Noir red wine into the UK.

Coal Mines.

The Shrewsbury coal measures gave rise to several small coal mines in the village.

Cobblers Cottage.

Opposite the school in Churton, there used to be an old thatched cottage occupied by a shoemaker.

Cothercott Mine.

The Cothercott barytes mine operated between 1910 and 1928 producing a total output over this period of 23,000 tons of high purity barytes from beneath Cothercott Hill.


It was the practice of early insurance companies to mark the properties 'in their care' with a distinctive emblem, or Fire Mark - these were usually plaques nailed high up on the front of the property.


Discover the geology of the area.

Henry Kingsley.

Henry Kingsley (1830-1876) wrote Stretton, an absorbing Victorian novel, in 1869 after he moved to Edinburgh to take over editorship of the Daily Review, a voice of the Free Church party.

Huglith Mine.

Malehurst Barytes Co Ltd, expanded Huglith Mine to become the largest barytes mine in the county of Shropshire. In 1936, it was producing over 20,000 tons per year and the total recorded production was 295,108 tons.

Leslie Marr.

An article, apparently no longer available from the Shropshire Star (but retrieved using the Wayback Machine at, about Artist Leslie Marr who recalls the happy months he spent in Pulverbatch which persuaded him to give up a promising career as a documentary film-maker and return to his first love, painting.


This activity apparently took place at the Gate House around 1800. An extract from the Shropshire Word Book describes the usage.

Marl Pits.

There are the remains of some marl pits in the woodland between Newhouse Lane and the Shrewsbury Road. Marl was used as a type of fertiliser prior to the 19th century when its use died out.

Mary Ward.

Mrs Mary Ward was the last person to keep up the old custom of giving Soul Cakes in Pulverbatch, on All Souls' Day. She died in 1853 at the age of 101. Here is her recipe for Yeast Soul Cakes:

3 pounds of flour
¼ pound of butter (or ½ pound if the cakes are to be extra rich)
½ pound of sugar
4 tspns of yeast
2 eggs
Allspice to taste
Sufficient new milk to make it into a light paste

Put the mixture (without the sugar or spice) to rise before the fire for half an hour, then add the sugar, and allspice enough to flavour it well; make into rather flat buns, and bake.

Mary Webb.

Mary Webb (1881-1927) is now considered to be the Shropshire novelist. She loved and knew the county intimately. In her novels and poems, she created a timeless landscape peopled with vivid characters whose wisdom illustrates many well observed truths. Her name is synonymous with the landscapes of south-west Shropshire, and in particular the hill country surrounding the Long Mynd and the Stiperstones, of which Pulverbatch is a part.

Onny Valley Turnpike.

Pulverbatch is one of the settlements on the former Onny Valley Turnpike road between Shrewsbury and Bishop's Castle.

Pulverbatch Home Guard, 1940-1944.

In this very rural area many men, particularly farmers, were classed as being in reserved occupations, i.e. they would not be called up. Pulverbatch, therefore, was able to produce quite an active Home Guard platoon.

Rector's Path.

A special path was constructed to make the rector's journey from home to church more comfortable.

Silver Foxes.

At one time, Churton Farm bred silver foxes for the fur trade. They were beautiful creatures with black and silver fur. The foxes themselves were housed in pens completely made up of chicken wire both round the sides and on the floor, presumably to stop them digging their way out. These pens were located in the field behind Churton Barns.

Spitfire Crash.

On 4th March 1954, forty five children in the west Shropshire hill village of Church Pulverbatch heard the screaming noise of a diving Spitfire as they sat at their lessons yesterday. The plane missed their school by 50 yards, then crashed in a farmyard and burst into flames. (Chronicle, 5th March 1954)

Sukey Harley.

Born Susan Overton at Prolley Moor on the Long Mynd about 1780, buried at Pulverbatch in 1853, Sukey Harley kept the religious pot boiling in the village for 37 years.

The Gorse.

As one of the only surviving remnants of Steplewood, the mediaeval forest south of Shrewsbury, The Gorse is a very special part of our heritage.

Westcott Mine.

Westcott Mine operated from 1859 until 1945 producing copper originally and then being reworked for barytes.

Wilderley Mine.

Wilderley Mine is known to have operated between 1916 and 1918 but it is unclear whether significant quantities of copper ore were ever produced.

Wrentnall Mine.

The Wrentnall barytes mine operated between 1890 and 1925 producing a total output over this period of 29,206 tons of barytes, mostly from beneath Broom Hill.