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There has been a settlement in the area since at least 1086 when the hamlet was called Elwistone, possibly originating from the Welsh names Elwin or Helys. Over the centuries there have been several variations of name e.g. Ailstone and Heliston. The latter being the name of a terrace of houses in the modern day village.
The name Pontrilas originally only belonged to the manor house, once one of the homes of the Baskerville family, which sits beside the bridge over the River Dore, near where it meets the Dulas brook and another smaller stream. From 1750 the hamlet was also marked as Pontrilas on maps.
With the coming of the Great Western Railway branch line in 1854 and later the Golden Valley Railway line in 1881 the hamlet grew in importance. The village had a cattle market and a pub, The Pontrilas Inn built by the Scudamore family, who still own a lot of land in the area. Sadly the pub was burned down in the 1970s. There was also a chemical factory owned by Wrekin Chemical Co beside the main railway line to the north of the village.
Since the closing of the station in 1958 the village has declined in importance, though it does still boast an auction room and a number of businesses including Pontrilas Timber which has been there since 1947, an estate agency and a number of other smaller businesses. The former World War II Elm Bridge munitions depot is now the site of the Qinetiq managed Pontrilas Army Training Area.
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