Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury in 1809. You can see his statue outside his old school (now Shrewsbury Library) and follow a Darwin Trail around town. The Quantum Leap sculpture to mark Darwin’s 200th birthday sits opposite Theatre Severn in Mardol Quay Gardens.
Without question Shrewsbury's most famous son, official 'Great Briton' and the man credited as solving the mystery of why so many people look like monkeys.
Ellis Peters (real name Edith Pargeter) was born in Shropshire and wrote the Brother Cadfael mysteries, filmed in the 1990’s. The character of Cadfael is a Welsh Benedictine monk living at Shrewsbury Abbey.
John Benbow was an Admiral in the Royal Navy, born in Coton Hill, Shrewsbury. He achieved fame whilst fighting the French during the war of Spanish succession and ensured his place in the list of British naval heroes. In 1965 The Chronicle newspaper offered a prize of 2 guineas to name the clock at the top of Shrewsbury’s market hall. The name ‘Benbow’ was chosen.
Lord Rowland Hill was born near Hawkstone in 1772 and became one of Shrewsbury’s most distinguished soldiers. At the battle of Waterloo he was second in command to the Duke of Wellington. Today his statue sits atop the column on Abbey Foregate.
Blue Peter gardener Percy Thrower became Shrewsbury’s Parks Superintendent in 1946, at the age of just 32. Only intending to be in post for a few years he actually stayed until he retired in 1974. We can see why he loved the place.
Robert Clive was a soldier and statesman famously associated with British power in India. Upon his return to England he became the MP for Shrewsbury and was later elected Mayor in 1762. Today a statue of Robert Clive can be found in the Square.
Widely regarded as the finest war poet of the First World War, Wilfred Owen is one of Shropshire’s most well-known literary figures. Born in Oswestry, he later moved with his family to Monkmoor in Shrewsbury and was educated at Shrewsbury Technical College.
After volunteering for service in 1915 Wilfred served with the Manchester Regiment as a second lieutenant on the front line in northern France. Influenced by poets Keats and Shelley, and his great friend and mentor Siegfried Sassoon, his remarkably vivid poetry recounted the horrors of trench warfare.
Awarded the Military Cross in recognition of his courage and leadership, Wilfred was tragically killed in action at the Sambre-Oise Canal only a week before the end of the war.
Aside from Charles Darwin, several famous and notable figures can call themselves 'Old Salopians' - former pupils of Shrewsbury School. Amongst its alumni are Michael Palin CBE - Monty Python member and travel film maker extraordinaire, Michael Heseltine - former Conservative MP and Cabinet member and Nick Owen - former TV-AM presenter and Midlands Today news anchor.
These days he may live in the glamorous world of Premier League football, but England and Manchester City goalkeeper was born and bred in Shrewsbury, and started his professional football career at the town's football club, Shrewsbury Town.
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