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.
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.
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.
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.
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.