A few of Shrewsbury's most famous folk...

Charles Darwin

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.

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Ellis Peters

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.

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Admiral John Benbow

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.

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Lord Hill

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.

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Percy Thrower

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.

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Clive of India

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.

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Wilfred Owen

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.

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Mary Webb

Mary Webb, novelist and poet, is Shropshire's most famous daughter. She passionately loved the Shropshire countryside, which she knew intimately, drawing from it her settings, her characters and the rich descriptive detail of her novels and poems. Most of her forty-six years were spent within its boundaries, and like Emily Brontë and Thomas Hardy, she was unhappy when away from the country of her heart. There was little that Mary Webb didn't know about the Shropshire countryside, its lanes, hills, valleys and meres, its wildlife and vegetation, its legends and folklore - and its people.

Her six novels are all set in South Shropshire, but popular success came only after her death, and her novels were best-sellers throughout the 1930s. There have been many dramatisations for stage, screen and radio including a major Hollywood technicolour film of Gone to Earth (1950), now on video and DVD. Filmed on location in the Stiperstones, Long Mynd and Much Wenlock, the star of this film is the Shropshire landscape. Precious Bane has twice been adapted for television.

Famous 'Old Salopians'

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.

England Goalkeeper Joe Hart 

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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