In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Shifnal like this:
SHIFFNAL, a town, a parish, a sub-district, a district, and a division, in Salop. The town stands on the Shrewsbury and Birmingham railway, at the junction of a branch-line to Madeley, 17 miles E by S of Shrewsbury: was anciently called Idesall or Idsal; belonged to Morcar the Saxon; passed to successively the Dunstanvilles, the Badlesmeres, the Bohuns, the Mortimers, and the Talbots; stood originally to the W of its church, but suffered entire destruction by fire toward the end of the 15th century; was afterwards rebuilt on its present site; consists chiefly of a single street; is a seat of petty sessions and a polling place; and has a head post-office,‡ a r. ...
station with telegraph, a banking office, a hotel, public baths, an ancient cruciform church with central tower, three dissenting chapels, a mechanics' institute, two endowed schools with £19 and £10 a year, a workhouse, and charities £50. A weekly market is held on Tuesday; fairs are held on the first Monday of April, 5 Aug., and 23 Nov.; and industry is carried on in foundries, rolling and slitting mills, blast furnaces, paper mills, and coal and iron mines. The physician Beddoes, who died in 1808, was a native. Pop. of the town in 1861, 2,046. Houses, 423.
The parish includes Priors-Lee chapelry and two townships, and comprises 11,441 acres. Real property, £48,706; of which £25,972 are in ironworks, and £73 in gasworks. Pop. in 1851 ,5,617; in 1861, 5,923. Houses, 1,150. The manor belongs to Lord Stafford. Haughton Hall, Aston Hall, Hatton Grange, and Deeker Hill are chief residences. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Lichfield. Value, £450.* Patron, the Rev. J. Brooke. The vicarage of Priors-Lee is a separate benefice.The sub-district contains four parishes and a part. Acres, 23,542. Pop., 7,849. Houses, 1,556.The district includes also Albrighton sub-district, and comprises 46,053 acres. Poor rates in 1863, £4,873. Pop. in 1851, 11,483; in 1861, 11,994. Houses, 2,376. Marriages in 1863, 101; births, 441,-of which 34 were illegitimate; deaths, 271,-of which 91were at ages under 5 years, and 8 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,083; births, 3,329; deaths, 2,149. The places of worship, in 1851, were 15 of the Church of England, with 4,700 sittings; 1 of Independents, with 400 s.; 2 of Baptists, with 314 s.; 3 of Wesleyans, with 648 s.; 1 of New Connexion Methodists, with 150 s.; and 1 of Primitive Methodists, with 30 s. The schools were 15 public day schools, with 790 scholars; 17 private day schools, with 369 s.; and 15 Sunday schools, with 1,193 s.-The division is mainly identical with the district, and forms part of Brimstree hundred. Acres, 33,489. Pop. in 1851, 9,657. Houses, 1,854.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Shifnal, in Bridgnorth and Shropshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 28th April 2017
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