Black Bear Inn,
at the junction of Church Street and High Street
|OS grid reference||SJ541415|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Whitchurch is a market town in the north of Shropshire, England. It lies 2 miles (3 km) east of the Welsh border, 2 miles south of the Cheshire border, 20 miles (30 km) north of the county town of Shrewsbury, 20 miles (30 km) south of Chester, and 15 miles (24 km) east of Wrexham. At the 2021 Census, the population of the town was 10,141.  Whitchurch is the oldest continuously inhabited town in Shropshire.  Notable people who have lived in Whitchurch include the composer Sir Edward German, and illustrator Randolph Caldecott.
There is evidence from various discovered artefacts that people lived in this area about 3,000 BC. Flakes of flint from the Neolithic era were found in nearby Dearnford Farm. 
Originally a settlement founded by the Romans about AD 52–70 called Mediolanum (lit. "Midfield" or "Middle of the Plain"), it stood on a major Roman road between Chester and Wroxeter. It was listed on the Antonine Itinerary but is not the Mediolanum of Ptolemy's Geography , which was in central Wales. Local Roman artefacts can be seen at the Whitchurch Heritage Centre. 
In 2016, archaeologists discovered the remains of a Roman wooden trackway, a number of structural timbers, a large amount of Roman pottery and fifteen leather shoes during work on a culvert in Whitchurch.  In 2018, a collection of 37 small Roman coins was unearthed at Hollyhurst near Whitchurch. The small denomination, brass or copper alloy coins, known as Dupondii and Asses, were from the reign of the Emperor Trajan, AD 98–117. Some dated back to between AD 69–79 from the time of Emperor Vespasian. 
In 1066, Whitchurch was called Westune ('west farmstead'), probably for its location on the western edge of Shropshire, bordering the north Welsh Marches. Before the Norman conquest of England, the area had been held by Harold Godwinson. After the conquest, Whitchurch's location on the marches would require the Lords of Whitchurch to engage in military activity. 
By the time it was recorded in the Domesday Book (1086), Whitchurch was held by William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey,  and Roger de Montgomery.  It was part of the hundred of Hodnet.  There was a castle at Whitchurch, possibly built by the same Earl of Surrey,  which would predate the birth of Ralph. The Domesday Book estimates that the property was worth £10 annually, having been worth £8 in the reign of Edward the Confessor (1042–1066).
The surrounding hamlets became townships and Dodtune ('the settlement of Dodda's people') is now fully integrated into Whitchurch as Dodington. The first church was built on the hill in AD 912. After the Norman Conquest a motte and bailey castle and a new white Grinshill stone church were built. Westune became Album Monasterium ('White Church'). The name Whitchurch is from the Middle English for "White Church", referring to a church constructed of white stone in the Norman period. The area was also known as Album Monasterium and Blancminster,  and the Warennes of Whitchurch were often surnamed de Albo Monasterio in contemporary writings.  It is supposed that the church was built by William de Warenne, 1st Earl of Surrey. 
In 1377 the Whitchurch estates passed to the Talbot family. It was sold by the Talbots to Thomas Egerton, from whom it passed to the earls of Bridgwater and eventually to Earl Brownlow. 
The town was granted market status in the 14th century. The replacement third church collapsed in July 1711 and the present Queen Anne parish church of St Alkmund was immediately constructed to take its place. It was consecrated in 1713.
William fitz Ranulf is the earliest individual of the Warenne family recorded as the Lord of Whitchurch, Shropshire, first appearing in the Shropshire Pipe Roll of 1176.  In 1859, Robert Eyton considered it likely that Ralph, son of William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, was the father of William and that he first held that title.  However, other theories have been put forward. 
During the reign of Henry I in the 12th century, Whitchurch was in the North Division of Bradford Hundred which by the 1820s was referred to as North Bradford Hundred.  In the 18th Century many of the earlier timber-framed buildings were refaced in the more fashionable brick. New elegant Georgian houses were built at the southern end of the High Street and in Dodington.
As dairy farming became more profitable Whitchurch developed as a centre for Cheshire cheese production. Cheese fairs were held on every third Wednesday when farm cheeses were brought into town for sale. Cheese and other goods could be easily transported to wider markets when the Whitchurch Arm of Thomas Telford's Llangollen Canal was opened in 1811. The railway station was opened in 1858 on the first railway line in North Shropshire, running from Crewe to Shrewsbury.
During the Second World War a secret Y station for enemy signals interception operated in Whitchurch at the Old Rectory in Claypit Street, run by the Foreign Office. 
On 23 November 1981, an F1/T2 tornado passed through Whitchurch as part of the record-breaking nationwide tornado outbreak on that day.  The Whitchurch tornado was the longest-lived tornado of the entire outbreak, having first touched down 35 miles away in the south Shropshire village of Norbury. After passing through Whitchurch, the tornado dissipated.
Whitchurch has its own town council which is responsible for street lights, parks and the civic centre which is located in the centre of the town. The council organises various events throughout the year including markets and the Christmas Lights.
The town is part of Shropshire Council which is the local authority for Shropshire (excluding Telford and Wrekin). It is a unitary authority, having the powers of a non-metropolitan county and district council combined. The residents of Whitchurch elect three councillors to this council.
The town is located within the North Shropshire parliamentary constituency. This constituency is largely rural with the main urban centres being Oswestry, Market Drayton and Whitchurch. It has been in existence since 1832 although it was abolished in 1885 but re-established in 1983. The residents of the constituency elect one MP; the seat is currently held by Helen Morgan (Liberal Democrats) who was elected in the 2021 North Shropshire by-election following the resignation of Owen Paterson (Conservative Party).
There are currently over 100 listed buildings in Whitchurch, including the churches detailed in the religion section lower down. 
In the picture to the left is the street named Bargates. At the top on the left is St Alkmund's Church (rebuilt 1712–13). This is followed by the former almhouses founded by Samuel Higginson (1697) and by the former girls' school founded by Jane Higginson (1708) and then the old Whitchurch Grammar School which was founded in 1548. The grammar school building dates from 1708 (Grade II listed) and was latterly used as an infants' school. Further buildings were added in 1848 and 1926. All have now been converted into apartments. 
Two of the oldest buildings in Whitchurch include the Old Eagles pub built in the 16th century and 17, 19 and 21 Watergate Street, otherwise known as Raven Yard Antiques. The properties 17, 19 and 21 Watergate were first built in 1625 and were called the Raven's Inn. Over the last four centuries, the Raven's Inn has seen a great deal of alteration but more recently has seen a significant part of the property restored to its original half timbered facade. 17-19 Watergate exists as a private property and 21 Watergate is now called Raven Yard Antiques, a family owned antiques business with a speciality in Victorian military uniforms. 
The street names in the town centre reflect the changing history of the town.
The areas of Whitchurch have interesting names. These include:
Whitchurch has roads to Wrexham, Nantwich, Chester and Shrewsbury; the A41/A49 bypass opened in 1992. There are bus services from Whitchurch to surrounding settlements including Chester, Nantwich, Wrexham and Shrewsbury. 
Whitchurch railway station is on the former London and North Western (later part of the LMS) line from Crewe down the English side of the Welsh border (the Welsh Marches Line) toward Cardiff. However, Whitchurch was once the junction for the main line of the Cambrian Railways, but the section from Whitchurch to Welshpool (Buttington Junction), via Ellesmere, Whittington, Oswestry and Llanymynech, closed on 18 January 1965 in favour of the more viable alternative route via Shrewsbury. Whitchurch was also the junction for the Whitchurch and Tattenhall Railway or Chester to Whitchurch branch line, another part of the London and North Western, running via Malpas. The line closed to regular services on 16 September 1957, but use by diverted passenger trains continued until 8 December 1963.
Whitchurch has its own short arm of the Llangollen Canal and the town centre can be reached by a walk of approximately 1 mile along the Whitchurch Waterways Country Park, the last stage of the Sandstone Trail. The Whitchurch Arm is managed by a charity group of local volunteers. 
Historically the town has been the centre of cheese-making. Today Belton Cheese continues to be a major employer. It has been in existence since 1922. 
The major employer in the town now is Grocontinental, a logistics provider to the food industry, which employs over 350 people.  This family firm which was established in 1941 was taken over by the Dutch multinational AGRO Merchants in 2017. 
The town also provides a range of services for the surrounding countryside of the North Shropshire Plain. The majority of retail stores in Whitchurch are small to medium-sized businesses concentrated in the High Street, Watergate street and Green End. There is a Tesco supermarket in the town centre (White Lion Meadow), a smaller Lidl store and a larger Sainsbury's supermarket in London Road. An Aldi store opened on the edge of town in 2020. 
There are several speciality food shops including Powell's Pork Pie shop, which has been selling traditional pork pies for four generations and won the Great British Pork Pie Bronze Award.  On the High Street is located Walker's Bakery and Cafe which sells bread and cakes which are baked on the premises. Watergate Street airs a number of businesses including the Pie Hole and Raven Yard Antiques.  
The town was the home of the J. B. Joyce tower clocks company, established in 1690, the earliest tower clock-making company in the world,  which earned Whitchurch a reputation as the home of tower clocks. Joyce's timepieces can be found as far afield as Singapore, Kabul and Cape Town (see right). The firm also helped to build Big Ben in London. However, J. B. Joyce have now left and an auction house has moved into the building.  Whitchurch also has a local chamber of commerce recently retitled as the Whitchurch Business Group, an organisation setup with the aim of improving the town's business environment. 
By rail Whitchurch is within commuting distance of Liverpool and Manchester (both about one hour north) and Shrewsbury (30 minutes south).
There are a wide range of arts and culture activities, festivals and facilities and societies in Whitchurch.
The periodic televised Sir Edward German Music Festival, hosted by St Alkmund's and St John's churches, also uses Sir John Talbot's Technology College as a venue. The first festival was held in 2006 and the second in April 2009. Participants have included local choirs and primary schools, including Prees, Lower Heath and White House, as well as internationally known musicians and orchestras.
On 19 January 1963 The Beatles played in the old Town Hall Ballroom (now the location of the town Civic Centre). That night a recording of the group appeared on the television show Thank Your Lucky Stars, an appearance which changed their fortunes. "Please Please Me" had just been released as a single. 
Whitchurch Rugby Club  currently competes in the Midlands 1 West league, the sixth tier of English rugby. Founded in 1936, the club plays at Edgeley Park and has a full complement of mini rugby and junior teams as well as under-19s (Colts), a ladies team and four senior teams. In 1998–99, it was promoted to National Division Three North, a position it maintained until the 2002–03 season.
The local football club, Whitchurch Alport F.C., was founded in 1946. It is named after Alport Farm in Alport Road, which was the home of local footballer, Coley Maddocks, killed in the Second World War.  They were founder members of the Cheshire Football League and played in that league until 2012, before a spell in the Mercian Regional Football League. Since 2015, Whitchurch Alport has played in the North West Counties Football League premier Division. 
The Chester Road Bowling Club has been in existence since 1888. It was originally a bowling and tennis club. It has over 160 members and fields 23 teams (mostly men and women) in six different leagues.  Another bowling club, the Whitchurch and District, was founded in 1924.
Whitchurch Leisure Centre is located at the Sir John Talbot School on the edge of town. It offers a range of exercise facilities and classes. 
The Whitchurch Walkers is an active group of residents interested in walking and the protection of footpaths. It organises a range of events, including an annual walking festival.  The Sandstone Trail starts/end at the Whitchurch arm of the canal. It forms part of the Shropshire Way. 
On the northern edge of the town is the Macdonald Hill Valley Hotel, which has a fitness centre, a swimming pool and two golf courses. 
Since August 2019, Alderford Lake, just to the south of the town, has hosted a parkrun, which is a free, weekly timed 5 km run/walk, every Saturday morning at 9am.
Whitchurch has a long history of schools. Whitchurch Grammar School was established in 1548 by Rev Sir John Talbot, the Rector of Whitchurch in the 1540s. The school opened in 1550 making it one of the oldest schools in England. It was restricted to boys. Next door to it a school for girls was established. They both closed in 1936 and became part of the new Sir John Talbot’s School [ citation needed ] which is located on the edge of the town. It has about 500 students aged 11–18. This school is now part of the Marches Academy Trust. 
The main primary school in the town is Whitchurch CE Junior School, which has about 300 pupils aged 7–11.  Younger children attend Whitchurch CE Infant and Nursery School. 
There is an active branch of the University of the Third Age with over 350 members. 
The town's most prominent place of worship is St Alkmund's Church of England parish church, built in 1712 of red sandstone on the site of a Norman church. It is a Grade I listed building. St Catherine's in Dodington was built in 1836 as a chapel of ease for St Alkmund's, which at that time was over-crowded. It is Grade II listed,  but ceased to be used for worship in the 1970s. It featured in the 1995 BBC One Foot in the Past programme,  when it was being used as a builder's store. It has now been converted into apartments.
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, preached in Whitchurch on 18 April 1781.  St John's Methodist Church, built in 1879, stands on the corner of St John's Street and Brownlow Street.  It is Grade II listed.  The Wesleyan Chapel in St Mary's Street, which opened in 1810, closed shortly after St John's opened and is now the Whitchurch Heritage Centre. The Primitive Methodist Chapel in Castle Hill opened in 1866 and closed in the 1970s.
The Dodington United Reformed (formerly Congregational) Church (built in 1815 and Grade II listed  ) is now closed, as is the Dodington Presbyterian Chapel (built in 1707). A Baptist chapel was built in Green End in 1820 but closed in 1939; it is now an antique showroom. 
St George's Catholic Church has been located in Claypit Street since 1878. 
Whitchurch Cemetery includes 91 Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) burials: 24 from the First World War, in scattered plots, and 67 from the Second World War, mostly grouped in a CWGC section; 52 of the latter are Polish or Czechoslovak, as No. 4 Polish General Hospital was at Iscoyd Park just over the border in Wales.  The ashes of locally born composer Sir Edward German are also buried at the cemetery. 
Whitchurch is twinned with
Shropshire is a landlocked historic county in the West Midlands region of England. It is bordered by Wales to the west and the English counties of Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, Worcestershire to the southeast, and Herefordshire to the south. A unitary authority of the same name was created in 2009, taking over from the previous county council and five district councils, now governed by Shropshire Council. The borough of Telford and Wrekin has been a separate unitary authority since 1998, but remains part of the ceremonial county.
Church Stretton is a market town and civil parish in Shropshire, England, 13 miles (21 km) south of Shrewsbury and 15 miles (24 km) north of Ludlow. The population in 2011 was 4,671.
Newport is a market town in the borough of Telford and Wrekin in Shropshire, England. It lies 7 miles (11 km) north-east of Telford town centre, 12 miles (19 km) west of Stafford, and is near the Shropshire-Staffordshire border. The 2001 census recorded 10,814 people living in the town's parish, which rose to 11,387 by the 2011 census.
John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, 1st Earl of Waterford, 7th Baron Talbot, KG, known as "Old Talbot", was an English nobleman and a noted military commander during the Hundred Years' War. He was the most renowned in England and most feared in France of the English captains in the last stages of the conflict. Known as a tough, cruel, and quarrelsome man, Talbot distinguished himself militarily in a time of decline for the English. Called the "English Achilles" and the "Terror of the French", he is lavishly praised in the plays of Shakespeare. The manner of his death, leading an ill-advised charge against field artillery, has come to symbolize the passing of the age of chivalry. He also held the subsidiary titles of 10th Baron Strange of Blackmere and 6th Baron Furnivalljure uxoris.
Ellesmere is a town in Shropshire, England, located near the Welsh border and the towns of Oswestry and Whitchurch, and the Welsh city of Wrexham. It is notable for its proximity to a number of prominent Meres.
The A49 is an A road in western England, which traverses the Welsh Marches region. It runs north from Ross-on-Wye in Herefordshire via Hereford, Leominster, Ludlow, Shrewsbury and Whitchurch, then continues through central Cheshire to Warrington and Wigan before terminating at its junction with the A6 road just south of Bamber Bridge, near the junction of the M6, M65 and M61 motorways.
Wem is a market town in Shropshire, England, 9 miles (14 km) north of Shrewsbury and 9 miles (14 km) south of Whitchurch.
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The town of Shrewsbury in Shropshire, England, has a history that extends back at least as far as the year 901, but it could have been first settled earlier. During the early Middle Ages, the town was a centre of the wool trade, and this was a peak in its importance. During the Industrial Revolution, comparatively little development took place in the town, although it did serve as a significant railway town after the development of rail transport in the area. The town today retains much of its historic architecture.
Alkmund of Derby, also spelt Ealhmund, Alhmund, Alcmund, or Alchmund was a son of Alhred of Northumbria, who was caught up in the kingdom's dynastic struggles.
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St Alkmund's Church is an active Anglican parish church in Whitchurch, Shropshire, England. It stands at an elevated position in the centre of the town. The church is recorded in the National Heritage List for England which has designated it a Grade I listed building. It is in the diocese of Lichfield, the archdeaconry of Salop and the deanery of Wem and Whitchurch.
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Edward Haycock Sr. was an English architect working in the West Midlands and in central and southern Wales in the late Georgian and early Victorian periods.
Sir John Talbot's is a mixed secondary school in Whitchurch, Shropshire, England, for pupils aged between 11 and 18. The most recent inspection report was in April 2017 and resulted in a judgement of good in all five aspects of the inspection In September 2014 the school reopened as an academy as part of The Marches Academy Trust with a new head teacher Mr David John O'Toole. Mr Tim Stonall was appointed headteacher in May 2020
Whitchurch Alport Football Club is an English football club based in Whitchurch, Shropshire. The club participates in the Midland League Premier Division.
Christina Helen Johanne Trevanion is a British auctioneer and television presenter.
Whitchurch Urban is a civil parish in Shropshire, England. It contains 110 listed buildings that are recorded in the National Heritage List for England. Of these, one is listed at Grade I, the highest of the three grades, seven are at Grade II*, the middle grade, and the others are at Grade II, the lowest grade. The parish contains the market town of Whitchurch and areas to the north, west and east of the town. Most of the listed buildings are in the town, and a high proportion are houses, shops, and public houses, the earliest of which are timber framed or have a timber framed core. The other listed buildings in the town include churches, items in a churchyard, a country house, almshouses, a bank, offices, schools, hotels, a drinking fountain, and a war memorial. Outside the town are farmhouses, a boundary stone, a milestone, and a road bridge. The Llangollen Canal runs through the western part of the parish, and the listed buildings associated with it are a lock keeper's cottage and a lift bridge.
William de Warren, better known as William fitz Ranulf. His relation to the elder line has never been ascertained or surmised. William, second Earl Warren, who died in 1135, is said to have had three sons: William, Reginald, and Ralph. William is well known as his father's successor and the last of the elder male line. Reginald became notorious as Lord of Wirmgay by marriage with its heiress. Of Ralph little has been recorded except his dates. It is consistent to suppose him to be the father of William fitz Ranulf.