Market Drayton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Market Drayton
Tudor House Hotel, at the corner of Cheshire Street and Shropshire Street.
Market Drayton is located in Shropshire
Market Drayton
Market Drayton
Location within Shropshire
Population11,773 (2011)[1]
OS grid referenceSJ673321
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtTF9
Dialling code01630
PoliceWest Mercia
AmbulanceWest Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
52°54′16″N 2°29′05″W / 52.9044°N 2.4848°W / 52.9044; -2.4848Coordinates: 52°54′16″N 2°29′05″W / 52.9044°N 2.4848°W / 52.9044; -2.4848

Market Drayton is a market town and electoral ward in north Shropshire, England, close to the Cheshire and Staffordshire borders. It is on the River Tern.

Market Drayton is on the Shropshire Union Canal and Regional Cycle Route 75. The A53 road by-passes the town, which is between Shrewsbury and Newcastle-under-Lyme.


Drayton is recorded in the Domesday Book as a manor in the hundred of Hodnet. It was held by William Pantulf, Lord of Wem, from Roger de Montgomery, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury. Drayton is listed as having a population of 5 households in 1086, putting it in the smallest 20% of settlements recorded.[2] Domesday also lists Tyrley,[3] which was the site of a castle later (52°54′00″N 2°28′45″W / 52.90000°N 2.47917°W / 52.90000; -2.47917).

In 1245 King Henry III granted a charter for a weekly Wednesday market, giving the town its current name. The market is still held every Wednesday.

Nearby Blore Heath, in Staffordshire, was the site of a battle in 1459 between the Houses of York and Lancaster during the Wars of the Roses.

The great fire of Drayton destroyed almost 70% of the town in 1651. It was started at a bakery owned by D. MacTavish,[citation needed] and quickly spread through the timber buildings. The buttercross in the centre of the town still has a bell at the top for people to ring if there was ever another fire.

Sites of interest[edit]

Ancient local sites include Audley's Cross, Blore Heath and several Neolithic standing stones. "The Devil's Ring and Finger" is a notable site 3 miles (5 km) from the town at Mucklestone. These are across the county boundary in neighbouring Staffordshire.

St Mary's Hall plaque

The Old Grammar School, in St Mary's Hall, directly to the east of the church, was founded in 1555 by Rowland Hill, the first Protestant Mayor of London. Former pupils include Robert Clive, and a school desk with the initials "RC" may still be seen in the town.

Other notable landmarks in the area include: Pell Wall Hall, Adderley Hall, Buntingsdale Hall, Salisbury Hill, Tyrley Locks on the Shropshire Union Canal and the Thomas Telford designed aqueduct. Fordhall Farm has 140 acres (0.57 km2) of community-owned[clarification needed] organic farmland located off the A53 between the Müller and Tern Hill roundabouts. The farm trail is open to the public during farm shop opening hours, and on the path is the site of Fordhall Castle, an ancient motte and bailey structure which overlooks the River Tern valley.

To the south-east near the A529 an 18th-century farmhouse stands on the site of Tyrley Castle, which was probably built soon after 1066 and later rebuilt in stone in the 13th century.


In 1965, sausage maker Palethorpe's built a new factory employing 400 people in the town. Purchased by Northern Foods in 1990, the company was merged with Bowyers of Trowbridge, Wiltshire and Pork Farms of Nottingham to form Pork Farms Bowyers. The sausage brand was sold in 2001 to Kerry Group, but the factory remains open to this day as the town's largest employer. It produces various meat based and chilled food products, under both the Pork Farms brand and for third parties, including Asda.

Müller Dairy have a factory making yogurts. The town is also the home of Tern Press, a collectible small press publisher of poetry.[citation needed]

New canalside development

Recent[when?] developments in the local service industry include the retailers Argos, Wilko and B & M which have all brought new employment to the area. The town is widely considered[by whom?] to be the "Home of Gingerbread".

Supplied by a water source running under the town, two breweries operated in the town during the early 20th century. In 2000, Steve Nuttall started a microbrewery, Joule's Brewery Ltd, a revival of a previous Joule's Brewery at Stone, Staffordshire which had been discontinued in 1974. The new company bought the 16th century Red Lion, a pub that formerly belonged to the earlier company, where the brewery was built, completed in 2010. It produces three core ales on the site as well as a number of seasonal beers.[4]


Market Drayton has four schools:

Grove School is a large secondary school of about 1,100 pupils, all of whom live within 12 miles (19 km) of the town.

Arts and culture[edit]

The town has an active arts and culture scene organised through Drayton Festival Centre.[5] This centre was established in 1984 and is run by volunteers. Over 30 years it has expanded considerably and now includes a cinema and theatre, an art gallery and a range of meeting rooms.

The Drayton Arts Festival is held every year in October and looking forward to its 10th Anniversary in 2023.[6]


Market Drayton Town F.C. play on Greenfields Sports Ground in Market Drayton, which has capacity for 1,000 spectators.

Market Drayton Rugby club play at Greenfields Sports ground, on Greenfields Lane, and are in the Midlands Division- Midlands 4 West (North).

Market Drayton Tennis Club is also based at Greenfields and has three all weather floodlit courts; the club plays in a number of Shropshire leagues.


Arriva Midlands operates a local bus service to Shrewsbury, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Hanley (the whole route now service no. 64 ). Beginning on 7 September 2012 Bennett's Travel Cranberry Ltd run an evening service 164 to Hanley on Fridays and Saturdays with a day service to Newcastle-under-Lyme on Sunday. Arriva used to provide services 341/342 to Wellington from Monday to Saturday, but this was stopped in August 2016, due to the council withdrawing funds.[7]

Shropshire Council ran a number of bus services under the 'ShropshireLink' brand in addition to the 301 and 302 Market Drayton Town Services but these were withdrawn due to council cutbacks. Services 301 and 302 are now operated by Bennett's Travel.

Market Drayton had a railway station which opened in 1863 and closed during the Beeching cuts in 1963. The railway station was located on the Wellington and Drayton Railway and Nantwich and Market Drayton Railway of the Great Western Railway network and was also the terminus of the Newcastle-under-Lyme line of the Stoke to Market Drayton Line of the North Staffordshire Railway network.


Market Drayton was struck by an F1/T3 tornado on 23 November 1981, as part of the record-breaking nationwide tornado outbreak on that day.[8]


The town currently has five churches. The largest is the Church of England parish church which is St Mary's Church; it dates from 1150, although it was largely rebuilt in 1881–1889.[9][10]

There is also the Roman Catholic Church of St Thomas Aquinas & St Stephen Harding, which dates from 1886.[11] There is also a Methodist Church[12] and an Orthodox church.[13]

There is also Christ Church, an Anglican parish church, in Little Drayton, to the west of the town.[14]

Notable residents[edit]

Povey family[edit]

Thomas Povey, the colonial civil servant and friend of Samuel Pepys, was a Londoner, but a branch of his family lived at Woodseaves, near Market Drayton; the most prominent member of this branch of the family was Sir John Povey (1621–1679), Lord Chief Justice of Ireland 1673–79.

Robert Clive[edit]

Nearby at Styche Hall[15] is the birthplace of Robert Clive, first Lord Clive, "Clive of India", (1725–1774), part of whose schooling was in the Grammar School then in Market Drayton. The Georgian house, designed by Sir William Chambers, the architect of Somerset House, replaced the half-timbered house where Clive was born. It was built for his father and paid for by Clive from the income from his Indian career.


Other notable residents[edit]

  • Elizabeth Wriothesley, Countess of Southampton (1572 – 1655), daughter of Vernon family of Hodnet, was one of the chief ladies-in-waiting to Elizabeth I of England in the later years of her reign
  • William Felton (1715–1769), English composer[18]
  • Mary Cholmondeley (born in Hodnet 1859 – 1925) was an English novelist. Her best-selling novel, (published in 1899) Red Pottage, satirised religious hypocrisy and the narrowness of country life. It was adapted into a silent film in 1918.
  • Stephen Morrey (1880 – 1921) was an English-born merchant, farmer and political figure in Saskatchewan, Canada. Morrey owned a hardware business in Market Drayton.
  • Sir Alexander Stanier DSO & Bar, MC (1899 at Peplow Hall – 1995) a British Army officer and later local politician

Twin towns[edit]

Market Drayton is twinned with:[19]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Town population 2011". Archived from the original on 8 December 2015. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  2. ^ Powell-Smith, Anna. "Drayton - Domesday Book".
  3. ^ Powell-Smith, Anna. "Tyrley - Domesday Book".
  4. ^ "Cheers as brewery marks its success, Business with roots in medieval past now one of county's biggest". Shropshire Star. 29 July 2016. p. 16.Report by James Pugh.
  5. ^ "Drayton Festival Centre". Archived from the original on 5 July 2017. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  6. ^ "DraytonArtsFest". Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Petition calls for return of bus service between Telford and Market Drayton". Archived from the original on 1 August 2017.
  8. ^ "European Severe Weather Database".
  9. ^ "St Marys Church Market Drayton".
  10. ^ "Church of Saint Mary". Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  11. ^ "Saint Thomas and Saint Stephen". Archived from the original on 27 October 2017. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  12. ^ "Homepage MDMC". Market Drayton Methodist Church.
  13. ^ "Shrewsbury Orthodox Church - 1 Spring Hill, Kiln Bank Road, Market Drayton, Market Drayton - Establishment, church and place of worship".
  14. ^ "Christ Church, Little Drayton". Christ Church, Little Drayton. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  15. ^ Website of Historic England Archived 2 February 2017 at the Wayback Machine retrieved Jan 2017
  16. ^ SoccerBase Database Archived 25 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine retrieved December 2017
  17. ^ SoccerBase Database Archived 25 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine retrieved December 2017
  18. ^ Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 18, Felton, William (1713-1769) Archived 25 December 2017 at the Wayback Machine retrieved December 2017
  19. ^ "Arlon Twinning on Council site". Archived from the original on 3 October 2011.

External links[edit]