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Bridgnorth Franciscan Friary & The Grey Friars

The Bridgnorth Friary  was located on the outskirts of what would have once been the poorer side of town on a strip of land on the banks of the River Severn. It was a home to a community of Franciscan monks. Franciscans were also known as ‘Grey Friars’ because of the colour of the habits that they wore. Very little is known of the history of Bridgnorth Franciscan Friary. Not even the exact date of its foundation is known. It must have been founded after 1224 when the Franciscans first came to England, but before 1244 when Henry III ordered payment of 40/- to the Friars Minor of Bridgnorth towards the building of their church. There is no reliable record of the name of the founder, and indeed there may not have been a founder in the formal sense, although the friars later claimed it to be Ralph le Strange. […]

Esmeralda Lock (Locke) : The Dancing Gypsy Girl

Born in 1854, Esmeralda Lock was Noah and Delaia’s most vivacious and beautiful daughter. In Shropshire the family regularly pitched their tents on the banks of the Severn at Bridgnorth on property owned by local solicitor Hubert Smith, who was the Town Clerk of Bridgnorth between 1873 and 1887 The Locks were remembered as being good musicians and playing violins whilst dressed in top hats. At 16 years old Esmeralda and her brothers Noah and Zachariah were invited by Smith to spend the summers with him in Norway. Subsequently, he published a book, Tent Life with English Gypsies in Norway, in which dark-eyed Esmeralda danced across the white page. […]

Richard Trevithick & Hazeldine Foundry

Hazeldine & Co., which was set up in Bridgnorth around 1792. The Hazeldine Foundry became famous for the construction of Richard Trevithick’s London rail locomotive Catch-Me-Who-Can, the world’s first fare paying passenger locomotive. Unfortunately, no trace of the foundry remains and the site is now mostly parkland. Hazeldine (or Hazledine) & Co. was set up in Bridgnorth by three brothers of the Hazeldine family — John (1760-1810), Robert (1768-1837) and Thomas (1771-1842). The ironworks was located on a 0.8ha site between the east bank of the River Severn north of the bridge (Bridge Street, now the B4363) and Mill Street. The fourth brother, William Hazeldine (1763-1840), established a flourishing independent ironworks business in Shrewsbury and worked with engineer Thomas Telford (1757-1834), among others. […]

RAF Bridgnorth

RAF Bridgnorth was a Royal Air Force Station, created on 6 November 1939, at Stanmore, to the east of Bridgnorth, Shropshire, England. However, as RAF Stanmore Park already existed in Middlesex, it was named RAF Bridgnorth. Although during its existence various static aeroplanes were displayed as Gate Guardians, RAF Bridgnorth never had a runway. […]

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