Fifteen facts you didn't know about Shropshire FEATURE
It's one of the most picturesque counties in Britain, yet is one of the least well-known. Visitors are often delighted at the choice of activities available in Shropshire. Steeped in history and culture, tourists come to Shropshire to see the country's incredible past. Here are fifteen interesting bitesize facts that may astound you, even if you've lived all your life in this wonderful county.
It's one of the most picturesque counties in Britain, yet is one of the least well-known. Visitors are often delighted at the choice of activities available in Shropshire. Steeped in history and culture, tourists come to Shropshire to see the country's incredible past, enjoy the range of culture, and enjoy the natural beauty available throughout the county.
Here are fifteen interesting bitesize facts that may astound you, even if you've lived all your life in Shropshire.
Fact 1: OriginsThe origin of the name Shropshire is from the Old English name "Scrobbesbyrigscir", which means Shrewsburyshire.
Fact 2: The sky's the limitShropshire is home to the world's first skyscraper, Ditherington Flax Mill, situated just outside of Shrewsbury. Built in 1797, the building was the first in the world to be built as a multi-story iron-framed building - the way that all skyscrapers are now built.
Fact 3: Order, order...English Parliament first gathered in Acton Burnell, and not London as most people think. Edward I brought his parliament together at a barn in the area, the ruins of which can still be seen today.
Fact 4: Lean, meanThe remains of Bridgnorth Castle lean at a huge 17 degree angle, three times more than the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.
Fact 5: Spend, spend, spendTourism in Shropshire is worth a massive £561 million, contributing nine percent of the total West Midlands tourism spend. Over half of all visitors come for the countryside, rather than the towns.
Fact 6: What a name!The 13th century Clun Castle is owned by the Duke of Norfolk, Miles Francis Stapleton Fitzalan-Howard, who also holds the title of Baron Clun.
Fact 7: Sweet as...The delicious Sweet Pea was first introduced to our plate by Henry Eckford of Wem, who was responsible for creating the first ever sweet peas in 1888.
Fact 8: Have a heartPrince Arthur, elder brother to Henry VIII, has his heart buried at St Lawrence Church in Ludlow. It's contained in a silver casket beneath the chancel. His body was buried at Worcester Cathedral. It is thought that he died from TB in Ludlow en-route to Wales with his wife, Catherine of Aragon.
Fact 9: Shire Hall columnStanding tall outside Shropshire County Council's HQ at Shire Hall in Shrewsbury, Lord Hill's column is the tallest Doric-style column in the world, standing at 133ft tall.
Fact 10: Brrr...The coldest temperature recorded in England was in Shawbury. The town was a freezing -26.1 degrees on the 10th of January 1982.
Fact 11: Beer, beer, we want more beerThe Three Tuns pub in Bishops Castle claims to be the oldest working brewery in Britain, with beer being brewed there since 1642 when their licence was first granted to the public house.
Fact 12: Sheep Grand NationalShropshire is home to sheep steeplechasing. Taking place every day at Hoo Farm just outside Wellington, Telford, visitors can bet on which sheep crosses the line first. Take your camera - watching the woolly jockeys on their backs is hilarious.
Fact 13: Smells like Shropshire... not!Most of the rather smelly (but simply delicious) Shropshire Blue cheese isn't actually made in Shropshire - it's more likely to come from Leicestershire or Nottinghamshire.
Fact 14: The dandy highwaymanA cave in Nesscliffe was home to Humphrey Kynaston, a notorious highwayman, son of the High Sheriff of Shropshire. Convicted for murder in 1491, he lived a lifestyle compared to Robin Hood, by robbing from the rich and giving to the poor.
Fact 15: Rock n roll in ShropshireThere are more rocks of different ages in Shropshire than any area of similar size in the world. Caradoc is home to the world's oldest known complete fossil.