Exploring Telford

Site contents © Richard Foxcroft 1996-2002

Buildings of Interest

Hadley Park Hall Once a gentleman's residence, now a hotel.

Hadley Castle and Leegomery Windmill I have misinformed several enquirers about the origin of Hadley Castle. I told them that there was never a castle at Hadley, which is true, but that the name came from the castellated facade of Castle Car Works. That is a mistake. The original Hadley Castle was a windmill, castellated like this one at Leegomery which still stands next to the A442

Update - December 2012 - Caroline (loverofchaos@hotmail.com) tells me I still haven't got it right:

"I was intrigued by the idea of Hadley Castle and did a bit of investigation. Your statement that there never was a Hadley Castle is in fact untrue. The original Hadley Castle is neither related to a car works nor the castellated windmill close to Hadley Park (the hall, now hotel). Hadley Castle was situated immediately to the north of Castle Lane in Hadley. By the early 20th century it was sandwiched between a section of the Shropshire Union Canal (which connected the Shrewsbury-Norbury canal to the River Severn at Ironbridge, and is long-since filled in) to the north and the railway to the south. All traces are now obliterated by the fact that GKN Sankey's works are built directly on top of it."

Which is very interesting, and makes a lot of sense. To be accurate about the canal, though, as far as I know it is not filled in at this point, but runs through the militarily secure area of Sankey's grounds and is therefore inaccessible. Strictly, too, that canal was originally part of the Shrewsbury Canal from the coalfieds at modern Telford to Shrewsbury, the connection from Wappenshall Junction to Norbury Junction - the Shropshire Canal - being later. But neither of those rather pedantic details detracts from Caroline's main point.

Hadley, 44 Castle Road I had an enquiry about this Victorian semi from a previous resident, who wanted to know how the town had evolved since she moved away.

Ironbridge Wharf warehouse Along the Wharfage in Ironbridge stand four former warehouses, distinctive because of the high gable end facing the river with doors for goods on all three floors and the mark of where the beam of the hoist formerly was under the eaves. Two are now pubs (the Swan in the background is currently for sale), this was a plumbers premises but is now vacant, and one is a private house, but presumably at some time earned its name, The Old Bakehouse.

Ironbridge, The White Horse, Lincoln Hill

Larger photo of the White Horse, Ironbridge

Ironbridge, the Old Rodney former public house, pictured here in the snow. It stands at the west end of Ironbridge opposite the museum of the river and is not easily spotted, but its name is engraved into the stone door lintel, and the faded adverts for its beers are still discernible beside the doors. Larger picturesImagelink

Madeley Court and Gatehouse Madeley Court, a fine Tudor mansion, the home of Abraham Darby I from c.1712 to c.1715,and its gatehouse. At some time it was gutted by fire, and when I came to live nearby in 1985 it was derelict; but shortly afterwards it was restored as the Madeley Court Hotel. I applaud the restoration, but regret the extension, which I find unsympathetic, and the later change of name to the Clarion Hotel. Dec 2011 - It has subsequently changed again to [Insert link].

Madeley Court Mill This body of a mill stands next to the Silkin Way footpath, next to where the GWR passes over the Tweedale to Madeley footpath and close to Madeley Court. I actually thought it was a windmill, then Dave Thomas told me that it is a Watermill that was powered by a brook that ran from the direction of what is now Brookside down to Madeley Court. However, Philip Powell agrees with me: The mill on the Silkin Way was definitely a windmill and not a watermill. I can remember the parts of the sails being at the side of the mill when I was young. These were removed by Telford (Development) Corporation in the early 60s: TDC seemed to have nothing else on their minds other than removing things! Perhaps Dave Thomas is thinking of another mill that was in Madeley, the one that that was down Mill Lane, by Sutton Hill. On his flight to Boscobel King Charles says that he went past the windmill in Madeley, and was challenged by the miller. Also, there is no mechanism on the side of the mill for the water wheel.

Madeley, St Michael's Church

Walker Techical College Now an annex to the main site, housed in a concrete mostrosity in Wellington. Outside is is a pre-1960-style crossroads sign.

Priorslee Hall Built in the 18th century, and long the headquarters of the Lilleshall Company, and then of Telford Development Corporation, it is now the centre of the University of Wolverhampton Telford Campus.

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