Heritage Open Days 2019

Whitchurch Museum & Archives
has organised 8 events for National Heritage Open Days
Friday 13th and Saturday 14th September

North Shropshire Masonic Rooms, Castle Hill, Whitchurch
– A chance to see the interior of a mid-nineteenth century chapel and explore its current use as a Masonic Hall

St Alkmund’s Church, Church Street, Whitchurch
– An opportunity to visit Whitchurch parish church, inspect its newly restored stained glass windows and examine the parish registers

St Alkmund’s Church, Church Street, Whitchurch
– A chance to climb the stone steps of the church tower and admire the magnificent view from the top N.B. BOOKING NECESSARY

St John’s Church, St John’s Street, Whitchurch
– Full access to an 1879 Victorian Gothic Revival Methodist Church

Sainsbury’s car park , London Road, Whitchurch
– Find out what the Old Rectory’s 18th century ice house looked like

Tithe barn site, Sainsbury’s car park, London Road, Whitchurch
– An exhibition detailing the history and construction of Ice Houses.
– A display by Wrenbury & District Model Railway Club.
– A slide show depicting Whitchurch station in the days of steam

● Whitchurch Museum & Archives, 12 St. Marys Street, Whitchurch
– Special Saturday opening of the museum which is run by volunteers and housed in a Wesleyan Chapel built c. 1810

● Whitchurch Museum & Archives Heritage Centre, 12 St. Mary’s Street, Whitchurch
– 2½ hour guided walk which will
explore the railway history of the town N.B. BOOKING NECESSARY

All events are FREE

Heritage Open Days Website

View/Print Leaflet

More information available from Whitchurch Heritage Centre

Call: 01948664577 or Email: info@whitchurch-heritage.co.uk

Temporary Heritage Centre Closure


Apologies for any inconvenience caused
but due to internal building work
The Heritage Centre will be closed
from 4p.m. on Tuesday 5th January
until 11a.m. on Tuesday 2nd February
Volunteers can still be contacted by phone: 01948 664577
or by email: info@whitchurch-heritage.co.uk

Research work will continue upstairs

Did you know these Whitchurch saving clubs existed in the early 1800’s ?

Research at Lloyds Bank archives in London has revealed a list of Societies operating in Whitchurch between 1818 and 1838.

Organisations banking at the Whitchurch Savings Bank included

The Ladies Lying In Institution
The Tradesmans Society
The Penny Club at Whitchurch National School
The Work Fund,Girls School, Bargates
The Whitchurch Female Friendly Society
The Boys Clothing Club, Whitchurch
The Girls Clothing Club Whitchurch
Bickley School Children’s clothing club
Cholmondeley female clothing club
Whitchurch Friendly Society widows & orphans fund


Some of the clubs were self-help organisations run by the clergy, while others were Friendly Societies which provided insurance, benefits and pensions for its members.




Did you know that a man from Whitchurch may have been responsible for planning & building the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct ?

William Turner was an Whitchurch architect, surveyor, engineer and furniture designer.

As an architect he is thought to have designed Whitchurch Old Rectory and remodelled Combermere Abbey in the early 19th century. Turner also worked with the 4th Earl to design Cholmondeley Castle.

As a surveyor and engineer he was involved with the building of the Ellesmere Canal.

William Turner was a freemason and a member of Lodge no.478 in Whitchurch, for which he designed furniture.

It is known that, with others, he prepared plans and estimates for the Pontcysllte aqueduct. Read what this Wrexham website has to say about his involvement.

Did you know that a Children’s Society waif & stray came to work in Whitchurch ?

When looking through ‘Hidden Lives Revealed’ a website with details of some of the children who were in the care of The Children’s Society in late Victorian and early 20th century Britain I came across an entry for Whitchurch.

When ‘A’ was 13 she lived in Lowestoft, Norfolk with her father, a fish curer, mother and 5 brothers and sisters. Somehow she got involved with a bad man and was described as leading an immoral life. The girl’s parents were no longer able to control her so she was admitted to a refuge in Norwich.  Staff there felt she shouldn’t be mixing with the older women and so successfully applied for a place at St Saviour’s in Shrewsbury.

‘A’ spent just over two years at St Saviour’s before being found a job, She went into service on a month’s trial with Mrs ‘C’ at Ash Grove, Whitchurch in August 1904.

I wonder whether she stayed ?

Did you know that Whitchurch children were apprentices at Quarry Bank Mill ?

A  fact-based drama on 19th century life at Quarry Bank Mill has just started on Channel 4.

Our current “All Our Stories” heritage lottery project has uncovered information at Manchester Archives & Local Studies about three Whitchurch children who were employed as apprentices by the Greg family.

1789         Elizabeth Jones of Whitchurch, Salop – for four years at 9d per week the first year, 1/- the last three years, and food, lodging and clothing

1790         Robt. Venables of Whitchurch, Salop. – for four years at 1d per week and food, lodging and clothing. At the end of the term he is to belong to Whitchurch.

1792         Geo. Venables of Whitchurch, Salop. – for three years at 1/- per week and food and lodging.

I wonder what sort of experience they had ?



Did you know that half-day closing started in Whitchurch in 1892 ?

While cleaning copies of the Whitchurch Herald volunteers Tracy and Sheenagh came across the following notice


In the nineteenth century it was quite common for shops to open from 6 am to 10 pm, Monday to Saturday. Shop assistants and their supporters campaigned for a half-day holiday and it looks like by 1892 they were successful in Whitchurch.