In 1870-72, John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales described Wenlock like this:
WENLOCK (Much), a town, a parish, and a borough, in Salop The town stands on the Buildwas and Craven-Arms railway, underthe NE end of Wenlock Edge, 11 miles SE of Shrewsbury; dates from the ancient British times; was anciently called Llan-Meilain, signifying "St. Milburg's church;" acquired importance from a monastery, founded in 680, by Milburga, daughter of King Merwald; suffered severely from the inroads of the Danes; became a borough, sending two members to parliament, in the time of Edward IV.; gives the title of Baron to the family of Lawley; is a seat of sessions and a polling place; consists chiefly of two streets, crossing at right angles; and has a post-office‡ under Wellington, Salop, a r. ...
station, a banking office, an ancient guildhall, restored in 1848, a corn exchange of 1852, with agricultural library and reading room, an ancient church, partly Norman and recently enlarged, two dissenting chapels, a public library, an endowed school with £14 a year, alms houses, some other charities, a weekly market on Monday, and five annual fairs. The ancient monastery was destroyed by the Danes; and was refounded, as a Cluniac abbey, in 1080, by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury. The abbey gave rise, in 1164, to Paisley abbey, founded by the first Stuart; went, at the dissolution, to the Berties; passed to the Gages and the Wynnes; was a noble cruciform edifice, measuring 401 feet from E to W, and 166 feet along the transept; included a Lady chapel of the 15th century 48 feet long, and a chapter-house 60 feet by 30; and is now represented by extensive ruins, comprising large parts of the main body of the church, parts of the Lady chapel, the chapter-house, and the cloisters, and the prior's lodge and gate. An ancient hospital of St. John also was here.The parish comprises 8,846 acres, and is a sub-district of Madeley district. Real property, £13,956: of which £441 are in quarries, and £40 in gasworks. Pop. in 1851, 2,398; in 1861, 2,494. Houses, 509. The property is much subdivided. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Hereford. Value, £180. Patron, J. M. Gaskell, Esq.-The borough includes 12 parishes and a part municipally, and 17-and a part parliament arily; is governed by a mayor, 6 aldermen, and 18 councillors; and sends two members to parliament. Corporation revenue, about £560. Electors in 1833, 691; in 1863,1,011. Pop. of the m. borough in 1851, 18,728; in 1861, 19,699. Houses, 4,000. Pop. of the p. borough in 1851, 20,588; in 1861, 21,590. Houses, 4,369.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Wenlock has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Bridgnorth. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Wenlock and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Wenlock, in Bridgnorth and Shropshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 23rd May 2013
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