- For other places named Donnington, see: Donnington
Donnington is located in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England. Aside from the rest of urban Telford, which is to the south west, Donnington is surrounded by fields and countryside.
The original Donnington village was to the north east of the current centre of Donnington and was under the Duke of Sutherland's estate. It was a minor industrial centre where "Walker's works" (C&W Walker Ltd) iron works produced components of gasometers and ship's engines. The Clock Tower restaurant commemorates the landmark Walker's Clock which now sits on a road island near where "Walker's works" once was and just a hundred metres north from the centre of the original village of Donnington. Only 600 yards further north, at The Humbers, iron-making is thought to have taken place since the late 16th Century, with the name 'Humbers' deriving from a set of water-driven ‘hammers’ which in 1580 were owned by the Duke of Sutherland (whose Lilleshall Ironworks was one of the first blast furnaces in the West Midlands). The Hammers were located on or near the site of a mill on Lubstree Pool, which before the dissolution of the monasteries had belonged to the Canons of the nearby Lilleshall Abbey.
More recently Old Donnington was the location of a coal wharf linked by rail to the Granville Colliery, Shropshire's last deep coal mine. This mine tapped into the Donnington Wood coalfield (where most of the local coal and ironstone reserves are located and which once came to the surface where it was mined in the 18th Century at Donnington Wood). In 1818 the Lilleshall Company began sinking a number of deep mines around Donnington Wood, extracting over 400,000 tons of coal a year from the area by 1871. This industrial heritage links the original Donnington village to the Industrial Revolution that Telford proudly asserts began with the first large scale smelting of iron using coke in the Coalbrookdale area of Telford.
The current centre of Donnington is actually the centre of New Donnington, a house development that began in the late 1930s to provide housing for the workers who would work at the then new Donnington British Army Ordnance Depot. The farm land for the New Donnington housing estate was purchased by the War Office, later part of the Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) (MoD).
MoD Donnington is a military logistics base located immediately to the north of Donnington. The site was chosen in 1936 as a replacement for London’s Woolwich Arsenal and designed to provide employment in what was then a depressed area, following the closure of the Lilleshall Company’s New Yard engineering works in St Georges several years earlier. During and after the Second World War it was one of the largest military stores in Europe but since the end of the Cold War it has declined in both importance and size. There is reason for local optimism that MoD Donnington will once more be radically expanded adding another 500 to 700 jobs to the 1000+ jobs MoD Donnington's current activity maintains. The expansion plans were approved during early March 2014.
Recently Donnington has added an Asda superstore and an Aldi supermarket to the Coop supermarket that already existed and a Morrisons supermarket has replaced the Netto supermarket in the centre of Donnington on the site of the old pub "The Champion Jockey". With additional other Asda and Morrisons stores plus Sainsburys, Tesco and Waitrose nearby and also several nearby towns, Donnington is one of the best food retail-served suburbs in the country.
The Telford International Railfreight Park has been recently developed on a 48 acres (0.19 km2) site formerly part of the MOD depot, given rail access by rebuilding 2.5 miles (4.0 km) of the former Shropshire Union Railway west towards Wellington. It is expected this development will attract more light industry to the industrial estates near Donnington.
Donnington is home to a small amateur dramatics company "The Little Theatre" and each year Donnington football playing fields play host to a popular free Guy Fawkes fair and bonfire night.
- "Watermill On Humber Brook At Lubstree, Later Lubstree Forge". Shropshire History. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- "MoD Donnington base expansion plans unveiled". BBC. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- "MoD Donnington base expansion plans approved". BBC. Retrieved 8 March 2014.