In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Shropshire like this:
Shropshire (or Salop), co. in west-midlands of England, bounded N. by Cheshire and detached part of Flintshire, E. by Staffordshire, S. by Worcestershire, Herefordshire, and Radnorshire, and W. by Montgomeryshire and Denbighshire; area, 844,565 ac., pop. 248,014. The river Severn, running SE., divides the co. ...
into 2 nearly equal parts. The northern, occupied by the new red sandstone, is generally level; the southern, belonging to the old red sandstone, is of a more elevated and rugged character, reaching in the Clee Hills a height of 1805 ft. The soil is various, but generally fertile and well cultivated; there are, however, considerable tracts of waste land. The principal crops are wheat, barley, oats, pease, beans, vetches, turnips, and potatoes. The co. is famous for its breed of sheep. Cattle-breeding and dairy-farming are carried on in the S. and W. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) The principal mineral products are coal and iron, with limestone, freestone, and lead. The mfrs., besides those connected with iron, include carpets, flannels, gloves, glass, stoneware, paper, and inalt. Shropshire is connected by the river with Gloucester and Bristol, and by canals with Chester and Liverpool, while Shrewsbury is a railway centre. The co. contains 14 hundreds, 252 pars, with parts of 6 others, the parl. and mun. bor. of Shrewsbury (1 member), and the mun. bors. of Bridgnorth, Ludlow, Oswestry, and Wenlock. It is in the dioceses of Hereford, Lichfield, and St Asaph. For parliamentary purposes it is divided into 4 divisions - viz., Western or Oswestry, Northern or Newport, Mid or Wellington, and Southern or Ludlow - 1 member for each division.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Shropshire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 24th March 2017
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