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Craven Arms

Coordinates: 52°26′24″N 2°50′06″W / 52.440°N 2.835°W / 52.440; -2.835
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Craven Arms
Corvedale Road
Craven Arms is located in Shropshire
Craven Arms
Craven Arms
Location within Shropshire
OS grid referenceSO432828
Civil parish
  • Craven Arms
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtSY7
Dialling code01588
PoliceWest Mercia
AmbulanceWest Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
52°26′24″N 2°50′06″W / 52.440°N 2.835°W / 52.440; -2.835

Craven Arms is a market town and civil parish in Shropshire, England. It is sited on the A49 road and the Welsh Marches railway line, which link it north and south to the larger towns of Shrewsbury and Ludlow respectively. The town is enclosed to the north by the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and to the south is the fortified manor house of Stokesay Castle.

Craven Arms is a market town for the surrounding rural area, with a number of shops, estate agents, a supermarket, an abattoir and many commercial/light industrial businesses. It is also a visitor destination, being home or nearby to a number of attractions, and is a centre for visitors to the area of outstanding natural beauty. It describes itself as the Gateway to the Marches.


Craven Arms is a relatively new town (for Shropshire), being only a small village called Newton on a map of 1695. The settlement grew when the railway station came during the mid to late 19th century, making it a railway town. Newton or Newtown is still the name for the southeastern part of the present day town, while the northern part is called Newington or New Inn (another small village which existed prior to the town). The town takes its name from the Craven Arms Hotel, which was situated on the junction of the A49 and B4368 roads, which in turn is named after the Lords Craven (who owned nearby Stokesay Castle).

The civil parish of Craven Arms was formed in 1987 by the merging of two older parishes: Stokesay and Halford. These two older entities continued as parish wards; however, a review of the governance of the parish in 2012 concluded that these two wards would be abolished from May 2013.[1] Small parts of the settlement overlap into neighbouring Wistanstow and Sibdon Carwood parishes.


Nearby towns are Bishop's Castle, Clun, Church Stretton and Ludlow, of which the last is the most substantial with 10,000 inhabitants.

The River Onny flows to the town's east and just over the river is the small village of Halford. To the south is the small village of Stokesay, while to the north is the village of Wistanstow.

Wenlock Edge is located to the north-east of the town and runs in a northeasterly direction, towards Much Wenlock.


The welcome sign at Craven Arms station

Craven Arms railway station lies at the junction of the Welsh Marches Line and the Heart of Wales Line, 20 miles (32 km) south of Shrewsbury. All passenger trains calling at the station are operated by Transport for Wales, who also manage it. Most services run along a route between Carmarthen, Cardiff Central, Hereford, Shrewsbury, Crewe and Manchester Piccadilly; there are also irregular trains north to Holyhead and south-west to Llandrindod.[2]

Minsterley Motors operate two bus routes which connect Craven Arms with Ludlow, Church Stretton, Shrewsbury and Pontesbury.[3]


Stokesay Castle
St Thomas' Church, Halford, Craven Arms
The entire town as viewed from the east.

There are three main visitor attractions in the Craven Arms civil parish. In the town there is the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, a centre featuring exhibits about the county's geography;[4] and Stella Mitchell's Land of Lost Content Museum, a collection of 20th-century memorabilia.[5] Stokesay Castle is a fortified manor house located within the parish, just south of the town.

Religious sites[edit]

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses

Craven Arms is home to several churches. The Anglican parish church is the grade II listed church of St Thomas, outside the town in the village of Halford.[6][7] The grade I listed Church of St John the Baptist, Stokesay is south of the town near Stokesay Castle.[8] St Andrews Community Church in the town centre is "non-denominational, evangelical & charismatic",[9] and there is a Methodist church,[10] and a Jehovah's Witnesses Kingdom Hall. A small Islamic centre is in the town on Newton Street.[11] It is the only mosque for the surrounding Shropshire Hills. The other nearest mosques are in Shrewsbury and Telford.[citation needed]

Recent development[edit]

The town has recently[when?] gone through a phase of expansion and this looks set to continue with the (2009 abolished) South Shropshire District Council stating that they wished to see the town become the district's second main market town (after Ludlow) by 2026. Much of the recent housing development is on the west side of the town, whilst commercial development is taking place more on the northern end. Development potential towards the east is restricted by the floodplain of the River Onny, whilst to the south lies the historically important Stokesay Castle.

The town centre itself has seen some notable developments in recent years, with new commercial buildings built on Dale Street by the A49 road. Additionally, to the immediate south of the town centre is the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre which opened in 2001 and some new housing.

Notable people[edit]

Cultural links[edit]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Shropshire Council Archived 19 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine Governance Review - Craven Arms
  2. ^ "Timetables". Transport for Wales. 10 December 2023. Retrieved 19 April 2024.
  3. ^ "Craven Arms Bus Services". Bus Times. 2024. Retrieved 19 April 2024.
  4. ^ "Welcome to the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre". Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre. Grow Cook Learn. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Unusual museums … way out days out". The Guardian. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  6. ^ Historic England. "Church of St Thomas (1269927)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  7. ^ "Craven Arms: Show results". A Church Near You. Retrieved 6 January 2022. Halford: St Thomas ... This is the parish church
  8. ^ Historic England. "Church of St John the Baptist (1269934)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Home page". St Andrews Community Church. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  10. ^ "Craven Arms". Shropshire & Marches Methodist Circuit. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  11. ^ "Our Masjid". Craven Arms Islamic Centre. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Writer's retreat on the black hill". The Daily Telegraph. London. 12 June 2004. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  13. ^ Daily Telegraph (24 August 2007). "Joe Wright: a new movie master". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 14 October 2007. Retrieved 24 August 2007.