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Pontesbury is a large village and civil parish in Shropshire and is approximately eight miles southwest of the county town of Shrewsbury. The village of Minsterley is just over a mile further southwest. The A488 road runs through the village, on its way from Shrewsbury to Bishop's Castle. The Rea Brook flows close by to the north with the village itself nestling on the northern edge of the Shropshire Hills AONB.
The village is home of a comprehensive school, named after the local novelist Mary Webb, which serves most of the surrounding villages for pupils age 11-16, in addition to a primary school.
The village has a long mining history, once linked to Snailbeach and Hanwood via the Minsterley branch line and the Snailbeach District Railways, it supplied local industry with coal, lead, iron and stone. Although the railway tracks are no longer there you can still walk the route it took where some stations and sidings remain.
Pontesbury is one of the largest villages in Shropshire and so is host to a wide range of local services including independent local shops selling local produce.
In the centre of the village sits St George's parish church, the origins of which can be traced to about 1250 AD but due to the site's circular graveyard shape may indicate a much more ancient site of Anglo Saxon or even Celtic origin. The church itself however was largely restored in the 19th century, following the collapse of the mediaeval tower between 1820 and 1825. For a village, population c 3,500, it is large, and has a very active and lively congregation. St George's is open to all during daylight hours, but is closed at night. There are also active Baptist, Methodist and Congregationalist Churches.
Nearby is Earls Hill, which is the site of an Iron Age hillfort built around 600 B.C. and making it a Scheduled Ancient Monument and also designated an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) for its wildlife value. It was Shropshire Wildlife Trust's first nature reserve in 1964. Earls Hill is PreCambrian in origin, being formed approximately 650 Million years ago as a result of volcanic activity along the Pontesford - Linley fault.
Mary Webb (1881–1927), author of 'Precious Bane', 'The Golden Arrow' and 'Gone to Earth' lived at Pontesbury for a time, along with other villages in Shropshire. She and her husband rented Rose Cottage in Hinton Lane, during which time she wrote 'The Golden Arrow' (published 1916), and later another at The Nills. The latter book was inspired by a local legend involving a search for gold, in the form of a golden arrow, which takes place every Palm Sunday, on top of Earls Hill.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Pontesbury|
- Parish information
- The Official Pontesbury Parish Website
- Mary Webb
- The Pontesbury darts and domino league
- Gallery of Pontesbury pictures
- photos of Pontesbury and surrounding area on geograph
- Whiteside, Robert (2006). The Churches and Chapels of Pontesbury Parish. funded by Local Heritage Initiative. p. 30.
- Dickins, Gordon (1987). An Illustrated Literary Guide to Shropshire. Shropshire Libraries. pp. 76, 107.
- Dickins, Gordon (1987). An Illustrated Literary Guide to Shropshire. Shropshire Libraries. pp. 47–48.