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Holy Trinity Church, Oakengates (geograph 1929317).jpg
Holy Trinity Church, Oakengates
Oakengates is located in Shropshire
Location within Shropshire
OS grid referenceSJ696109
Civil parish
  • Oakengates
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townTELFORD
Postcode districtTF2
Dialling code01952
PoliceWest Mercia
AmbulanceWest Midlands
UK Parliament
List of places
52°41′42″N 2°27′04″W / 52.695°N 2.451°W / 52.695; -2.451Coordinates: 52°41′42″N 2°27′04″W / 52.695°N 2.451°W / 52.695; -2.451

Oakengates is a constituent town and civil parish in Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire, England. The towns parish population was recorded as 8,517 in the 2001 census.[1]


The name is not derived from "oak" or "gates" but is derived from the Ancient Brythonic name for the valley which was Usc-con, meaning The Lake(Usc(water) and the confluence(Cond) of two streams (see Cartlidge), and from the Old Norse gata, path; see gh- in Indo-European roots. meaning boundary or Road. So Usc-con gait is at the Road at the vale of Usc-con. The Vales and Gates of Usc-Con: A history of Oakengates was written by local historian Reverend J.E.G. Cartlidge whose name is commemorated in the name of the retirement home Cartlidge House.



In the late 18th century the Ketley Canal was constructed to carry coal and ironstone from Oakengates to Ketley works.[2] The canal has long since fallen into disuse and little trace of it can be found today. The first boat lift in Britain was an experimental one built at Oakengates in 1794 by Robert Weldon of Lichfield. A full-scale version was to be built on the Somerset Coal Canal at Rowley Bottom near Combe Hay, but the lift jammed and failed while being demonstrated and the construction was abandoned.

The Shrewsbury to Wolverhampton railway line runs through the town and there is a station and a tunnel (Oakengates Tunnel).

Oakengates was also served by the Coalport Branch Line and had a second station called Oakengates Market Street railway station which closed in 1952. It is now Station Hill with only the goods shed still standing.


Shadrach Fox ran the Wombridge Iron Works in Oakengates and with Abraham Darby was involved in experiments on methods of producing pig iron in a blast furnace fuelled by coke rather than charcoal. In the field of ferrous metallurgy this was a major step forward in the production of iron as a raw material for the Industrial Revolution. In 1701 he placed his brother in charge of the blast furnace, at Wombridge to which Isaac Hawkins supplied a large quantity of coal and ironstone, which suggests that they already smelted iron with coke there - a major technological breakthrough which is now solely commemorated at nearby Coalbrookdale.

The town had a considerable manufacturing sector well into the 20th century and one of the products of this can still be seen at the Museum of Power in Langford, Essex. This has, still in working order, what is believed to be the last steam engine built and installed by the Lilleshall Company Ltd. It was commissioned on 13 January 1931.


The present Church of England parish church of Holy Trinity was built in 1854, when a separate ecclesiastical parish had been created from parts of the older parishes of Wombridge and Shifnal.[3]


Oakengates has Telford's main theatre, which was originally opened in 1968 as Oakengates' Town Hall by champion jockey Sir Gordon Richards, after whose Derby-winning horse is named one of its rooms, the Pinza Suite.[4] Nearby are the town council's headquarters and the United Reformed/Methodist church.

Oakengates' main public open space is Hartshill Park, originally created as the Oakengates Sports and Recreation Ground. by levelling a coal mine spoil heap. Opened in 1927, it remains a valuable facility including bowling green and tennis courts. In 1928 the present park gates were unveiled as a war memorial to local men who died serving in World War I whose names are listed on the gate piers, the World War II casualties being listed on outlying pillars.[5]

Real Ale[edit]

The town has a growing reputation as offering an "all year real ale festival". It has three pubs in the CAMRA guide, more than many towns very much greater in size. These are the Crown Inn, The Old Fighting Cocks and The Station Inn, which are all within a few feet of each other and collectively offer a wide range of real ales, principally from smaller breweries. Over 20 can typically be found at any one time and special beer festivals at the individual pubs can expand this range even further at certain times of year.

Urban District Council[edit]

Before the formation of the District of The Wrekin (Telford) and later the Borough of Telford and The Wrekin, the Urban District of Oakengates comprised Oakengates, Wrockwardine Wood, St. George's, Priorslee, Snedshill, The Nabb, Wombridge and Trench, and always had a Labour council.

Oakengates shown within Telford in Green.


Oakengates Athletic F.C., which in 2018 merged into Wellington Amateurs, played in the Shropshire County Premier Football League.[6]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Oakengates 2001 Census Profile" (PDF). Telford and Wrekin Council. Retrieved 12 April 2008.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Ketley to Oakengates". Oakengates - History. Retrieved 12 April 2008.
  3. ^ Watts, Sylvia (2000). St Andrew's Church Shifnal. R.J. Smith & Associates, Much Wenlock. p. 5. ISBN 1-872665-53-5.History and guide of Shifnal parish church.
  4. ^ "Great Lives: Champ Gordon's iron will for first place brings end to Derby curse". Shropshire Star. 21 February 2022. pp. 20, 29.Article by Toby Neal, part of series on Midlands worthies.
  5. ^ Francis, Peter (2013). Shropshire War Memorials, Sites of Remembrance. YouCaxton Publications. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-909644-11-3.
  6. ^ Wellington Amateurs are aiming high after Athletic merger Shropshire Star, 18 June 2018
  7. ^ [telford.gov.uk/downloads/file/10990/statement_of_persons_nominated_and_notice_of_poll_ "Statement of Persons Nominated - Telford Constituency General Election 2019"]. {{cite web}}: Check |url= value (help)CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  8. ^ "Election 2015, Telford - Meet Your Candidates". Shropshire Star. 30 March 2015. p. 18.General Election 2015 local supplement.