It lies in North Shropshire, north of Shrewsbury. Population: 1,595 (2011 census). The village has strong links to Shrewsbury to the south-east, Oswestry to the north-west, and Wem to the north-east. Baschurch is twinned with the town of Giat in the French département of Puy-de-Dôme, in the Auvergne région. There is a large village not far west of Baschurch called Ruyton-XI-Towns.
Earliest references to Baschurch are under the Welsh name Eglwyssau Bassa (Churches of Bassa) where the king or prince Cynddylan of the region or town of Pengwern is said to have been buried in the early 7th century. This comes from a poem entitled Canu Heledd possibly written between the 10th and 12th centuries. It is believed that Baschurch may have been the capital of this Kingdom. The poem also refers to a battle occurring between the Welsh and the invading Saxons at the ancient fort, The Berth, just outside the village.
Local tradition holds that the Berth Pool and its ancient earthworks outside the village are the resting place of the legendary King Arthur.
The world's first Orthopaedic Hospital was established at Florence House in Baschurch by Sir Robert Jones and Dame Agnes Hunt in 1900 as a convalescent home for crippled children and later to treat wounded from the First World War. The hospital moved to Oswestry in the 1921. In 2000 a large stone made of local sandstone was erected in the modern centre of the village to commemorate the Millennium. Similar smaller stones were erected in neighbouring communities.
A major feature of the village is All Saints' Church (Church of England) which is one of the oldest standing structures in the village (perhaps the oldest). A timber church which burnt down is believed to have stood on the same site previously. Leading industrialist and builder Thomas Telford made numerous major alterations to the modern sandstone church.
The village has two schools including Baschurch Church of England Primary School, and the Corbet School formerly known as Baschurch Secondary Modern School. Just outside the village is Walford College, an agricultural and sports college which in 2002 merged with Oswestry-based North Shropshire College to form Walford and North Shropshire College.
Amenities and services
Baschurch has a number of amenities in the village, including Moor Farm Shop, Persona Stores & Baschurch Post Office, The Hair & Beauty Station, Lloyd's Fish & Chip Shop, Patel's Convenience Store, as well as a newly built Spar Shop. A retained fire station of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service is located here.
Baschurch is also home to two Public Houses. The first being the Admiral Duncan, located on Shrewsbury Road. It is a Punch Taverns Pub and offers free wi-fi and Sky Sports.
The New Inn Bar & Restaurant is situated opposite Baschurch Church, Church Road. It offers quality local produce, fine wines and real ales.
The Shrewsbury to Chester Line passes through the village, though the Victorian Railway Station was closed in 1960. There have been repeated efforts to bring the station back into use, most recently in Autumn 2008, with the support of Baschurch Parish Council and the Shrewsbury-Chester Rail Users' Association. In September 2009, a public meeting organised by the Baschurch Station Group, was attended by 250 local people and received extensive media coverage.
On 13 February 1961 a passenger train travelling from Shrewsbury to Chester collided with a freight train which was partially shunted into a siding in Baschurch. Three people died in the accident. Television footage of the wreckage is available from the BBC.
Baschurch was one of just six places in the United Kingdom to succeed in a competition held by BT to get super-fast broadband. The winners of the "Race to Infinity" competition were announced on 6 January 2011 and Baschurch came sixth. BT originally promised that only the top 5 places would go through with the upgrade (involving optic fibre-based infrastructure), but were impressed enough by the response in Baschurch.
- Williams, Ifor, Canu Llywarch Hen University of Wales Press 1978.
- Rees, Una, editor, The Cartulary of Haughmond Abbey Shropshire Archaeological Society & University of Wales Press 1985.
- Writtle, Joanne (2009). "Villagers' plea to reopen station". BBC Midlands Today.
- Garvin, Jo (2009). "New life for railway station?". BBC News, Shropshire.
- BBC News BT broadband race winners announced
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