Ditton Priors

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Ditton Priors
Ditton Priors Church.jpg
St. John the Baptist Church
Ditton Priors is located in Shropshire
Ditton Priors
Ditton Priors
Ditton Priors shown within Shropshire
Population821 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSO607892
Civil parish
  • Ditton Priors
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtWV16
Dialling code01746
PoliceWest Mercia
AmbulanceWest Midlands
EU ParliamentWest Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
52°29′56″N 2°34′41″W / 52.499°N 2.578°W / 52.499; -2.578Coordinates: 52°29′56″N 2°34′41″W / 52.499°N 2.578°W / 52.499; -2.578

Ditton Priors is a village and civil parish in south Shropshire, England.

The nearest town is Bridgnorth. The village is situated near to Shropshire's highest hill, Brown Clee Hill.

Historically, it was also known as Priors Ditton.

The Church of St. John the Baptist[edit]

St. John the Baptist is the church located in Ditton Priors and was dedicated to Saint Mary The Virgin in the 15th century.[2] Parts of the church are thought to date back to the 12th century.[3] The church is located in the centre of the village, on higher ground than its surroundings. The majority of the church is built from Dhustone, from the nearby Clee Hill. The interior of the church houses stained glass and an open timber roof. The churchyard contains a war grave of a King's Shropshire Light Infantry soldier of World War I[4] and the clock on the south wall of the tower was given as a memorial to parish men who died in the same war.[5]

The Howard Arms[edit]

The Howard Arms, Ditton Priors' village pub.

The building that is now The Howard Arms dates back to the 18th century, where it was used as a vicarage and a public house. It is one of the larger 18th century establishments in the village.[6] It now serves as a local pub, hotel and restaurant.

Cleobury Mortimer and Ditton Priors Light Railway[edit]

The Cleobury Mortimer and Ditton Priors Light Railway once ran to the village and during (and for a period after) the Second World War there was a major military armaments depot near the village because of the village's remote, rural location and the railway link.

The light railway was built 1907–1908, with its purpose being to carry stone from Abdon Burf quarry. It was under operation of the Great Western Railway, and ran from Ditton Priors to Cleobury Mortimer. From there, it joined the line from Bewdley to Tenbury Wells. A passenger service operated for thirty years between 1908 and 1938. The line served the Royal Naval Armaments Depot, which was located near the village and was in operation between 1939 and 1965.[7]

Archaeological finds[edit]

There have been archaeological finds in close proximity to Ditton Priors. A basalt axe hammer and flints have been located at Lightwood and Oakwood. Abdon Burf hill fort lies within the parish. It was one of the most impressive Iron Age forts in Shropshire until it was largely destroyed by mining and quarrying.[8]

Census data[edit]

The Census is a country wid e data retrial device that allows the government to see and control where funding is needed most. The data is available for public use and distribution and is carried out every 10 years.[9]

In 1831, the structure of social class was very different. A high percentage of the population were labourers/servants, and middling sorts, while a very low percentage of the population were employers or professionals.[10]

By looking at historical occupation data, males dominate the majority of the occupation types in comparison to females, which is not uncommon for the period of time that the census data was taken. A large percentage of females, however, worked in domestic offices and services, but a very small proportion worked in agriculture or as a professional.

1881 Historical Occupation Graph


Historical population
1801 620—    
1811 649+4.7%
1821 685+5.5%
1831 584−14.7%
1841 660+13.0%
1851 583−11.7%
1861 598+2.6%
1871 581−2.8%
1881 501−13.8%
1891 619+23.6%
1901 650+5.0%
1911 613−5.7%
1921 701+14.4%
1931 617−12.0%

Neighbourhood statistics[edit]

When looking at neighbourhood statistics, the settlement of Ditton Priors falls into the neighbourhood of Bridgnorth (007A). When looking at a summary of deprivation in the area, Ditton Priors and its surrounding area suffers from an above average level of deprivation.[12] The neighbourhood contains approximately 1588 residents with 687 dwellings. Because Ditton Priors is a rural settlement, it faces an element of socio-economic deprivation because of its location and proximity to services, such as health care and educational establishments.


The population of the village has access to a range of amenities.

The Brown Clee Medical Practice serves Ditton Priors and Stottesdon, with the Ditton Priors and Stottesdon surgeries treating patients covering a rural area of approximately 250 miles (is this correct?), dominated by the Brown and Titterstone Clee Hills.[13]

The Citizens Advice Bureau assemble at the Brown Clee Medical Practice every Monday between 11:00 and 13:00, where residents may make an appointment to speak to an advisor about a range of issues, free of charge.[14]

The local Post Office opens daily (excluding Sundays), providing a service to the village and surrounding areas. The opening times are: Mon, Tue, Thurs, Fri – 9 am – 1 pm and 2 pm – 4 pm Wed – 9 am – 1 pm Sat – 9 am – 12:30 pm.[15]

Educational Establishments[edit]

Brown Clee CE Primary School[edit]

Set in the countryside of Shropshire, the primary school in Ditton Priors serves the village itself, along with the surrounding settlements. The school was built in 1994[16] and provides students with a "good" standard of teaching, as surveyed by Ofsted in 2014.[17]

Secondary Schools[edit]

There are no secondary schools in Ditton Priors. The nearest secondary schools are located in Bridgnorth.[18]

Further Education[edit]

The nearest college for students aged 16 or higher is in Ludlow.[19]

Village Hall & Community Centre[edit]

The original village hall was located in Chapel Lane, which is now the site of a bungalow. It was a well used hall and the venue to activities such as "The Harvest Supper", Miss British Legion Dance, Young Farmers Club meetings and variety shows including "Twenty Questions" and many amateur plays.[20] A large amount of money was needed to renovate the building and modernise it, adding toilets, heating and a car park, which unfortunately, was never raised. The village hall moved into the Old Royal Naval Armaments Depot canteen, which had closed down after several years of use. The villagers bought the building and converted it into a village hall during the 1970s. It housed the village hall activities until the early 1990s, when a new village hall was proposed. The new building was completed in 1998 and contains a bar and lounge, with a committee meeting and a kitchen, which is fully equipped.

Ditton Priors Village Hall

Country show[edit]

Ditton Priors holds an annual Country Show and Fayre at Oak Farm. Visitors can take part and view an array of activities including a fun dog show, country sports and line dancing, with plenty of refreshments, children's entertainment and exhibits such as the Ditton Art Group and Vintage and Military Vehicles exhibitions. The show is usually held during the first weekend in July.[21]


The village lies approximately 147 miles from London.

The nearest rail station is approximately 9.9 miles away.

The nearest airport is Birmingham Airport, which is approximately 35.8 miles away.[22]


Ditton Priors, located within the region of The Midlands, is at the geographical heart of England, giving it a mixture of climatical characteristics. It acts as a transitional area between the northern and southern parts of England when regarding temperature, and between Wales and the East of England when regarding rainfall.[23]

As with much of the United Kingdom, the coldest month is January, while the warmest month is July. Altitude affects average temperature results, with the Severn Valley to the south and the Peak District to the north of The Midlands contributing to the average climate figures for the region.

Climate data for The Midlands
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 6.3
Average low °C (°F) 0.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 76.0
Source: Met Office[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Civil Parish population 2011". Retrieved 25 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-01.
  3. ^ http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22878#s9
  4. ^ [1] CWGC Casualty Record.
  5. ^ Francis, Peter (2013). Shropshire War Memorials, Sites of Remembrance. YouCaxton Publications. p. 110. ISBN 978-1-909644-11-3.
  6. ^ http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22878#s9
  7. ^ http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22878
  8. ^ http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=22878
  9. ^ http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/census/2011/index.html
  10. ^ http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/data_cube_page.jsp?data_theme=T_SOC&data_cube=N_SOC1831&u_id=10352484&c_id=10001043&add=Y
  11. ^ http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/data_cube_page.jsp?data_theme=T_IND&data_cube=N_OCC_ORDER1881&u_id=10352484&c_id=10001043&add=Y
  12. ^ http://www.neighbourhood.statistics.gov.uk/dissemination/NeighbourhoodSummary.do?width=1280&a=7&r=1&i=1001&m=0&s=1334851556471&enc=1&profileSearchText=WV16+6SS&searchProfiles=
  13. ^ http://www.dittonpriors.com/amenities/brown-clee-medical-practice/
  14. ^ http://www.dittonpriors.com/amenities/citizens-advice-bureau/
  15. ^ http://www.dittonpriors.com/amenities/ditton-priors-post-office/
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 September 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  17. ^ http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspection-reports/find-inspection-report/provider/ELS/123532
  18. ^ http://www.schools-search.co.uk/school-search.php?Soutcode=WV16+6SS&type=Secondary&radius=15&btnSubmit=Submit
  19. ^ http://www.schools-search.co.uk/school-search.php?Soutcode=WV16+6SS&type=16+Plus&radius=15&btnSubmit=Submit
  20. ^ http://www.dittonpriors.com/amenities/village-hall-community-centre/
  21. ^ http://www.dittonpriors.com/ditton-priors-country-show-and-fayre/
  22. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. Retrieved 19 April 2012.
  24. ^ http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climate/uk/averages/19712000/areal/midlands.html

External links[edit]