BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Shropshire

Black Country
Hereford & Worcester

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Ten things banner
Flax Mill
Ditherington flax mill - the world's first skyscraper.

Shropshire is famous as the birthplace of industry, but it's given the world much more than this. Sweet peas to skyscrapers, here's our list of ten facts about the county.

Tallest column

Lord Hill's column, outside Shropshire County Council's headquarters at Shire Hall, Shrewsbury, is the tallest of its kind in the world. It stands at 133ft 6ins tall and is in the Doric style, as used by the ancient Greeks.

Geologists' paradise

Shropshire, particularly the south of the county, is something of a magnet for geologists. There are more rocks of different ages here than any area of similar size in the world(dating from 700 to 200 million years ago), and places like Ludlow and Wenlock Edge have even given their names to geological periods. The world's oldest known complete fossil was also discovered in Shropshire at Caradoc.

Home to the Brown Bomber

Boxer Joe Louis, the Brown Bomber, was stationed in north Shropshire while serving as a US Army PT instructor during World War Two. Apparently people in the local pubs used to pay money to punch him in the stomach, but he was such a hardnut that the punches had no effect. He wasn't the only famous face to visit, either. General de Gaulle and his family stayed at Gadlas Hall, a few miles away from Ellesmere, in 1940-41 and the were plans to evacuate the Royal Family to Pitchford Hall, near Shrewsbury.

Kindness to hedgehogs

If you're fond of small spiky mammals, then Shropshire is the place for you. It's the home of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, which was started in 1982 by Major Adrian Coles, now chairman of Shropshire County Council. The society is responsible for humane innovations such as hedgehog ramps in cattle grids, which stop the poor animals from getting trapped, and improving general awareness of the welfare of wildlife.

First skyscraper

Shropshire is also home to the world's first skyscraper. While it may not look much, Ditherington flax mill, on the outskirts of Shrewsbury, was the first multi-storey iron-framed building in the world - and therefore the forerunner of every skyscraper and tower block in the world. Built in 1797, it's currently awaiting redevelopment and is one of 660 listed buildings in the town.

Next five facts

Top | Features Index | Home
Morris Telford - The Blog
Read the epic tale of Morris's travels across the world.
Red bullet point The latest instalment
Red bullet point Send Morris a message
Red bullet point Archived story pages
Shropshire Ecards
Red bullet point Send a friend an eCard today
Stay up-to-date with the latest traffic news
Red bullet point Latest upates around the clock with information on delays on roads in and around Shropshire.
Shrewsbury's Old Market Hall
  See this year's Calendar... And find out where to go...
Red bullet point Music
Red bullet point Film
Red bullet point Theatre & Arts

Explore Shropshire's history
Explore Shropshire's past in our history section.
Red bullet point Shropshire's mining heritage
Red bullet point Mystery of the Ironbridge
Red bullet point Hill forts from the air

Games, games and more games
Red bullet point Have you got what it takes to master our new games, puzzles and quizzes?
Contact us
Red bullet point BBC Shropshire
2-4 Boscobel Drive
Shropshire SY1 3TT
(+44) 01743 248484

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy