2,000 years of Shropshire history
2,000 years of history in one lecture - impossible! That's quite true of course but, with this lecture, I aim to give a general picture of the county's history from the arrival of the Romans, the Saxons and the Normans to the birth of the Industrial Revolution and the introduction of the modern age.
If you are organising a group to visit Shropshire and would like a general talk about the county, perhaps on the first night of your stay, I would be delighted to prepare a talk to suit your individual needs.
An 'oddity' can be anything that strikes you as 'odd' or is in any way unusual. It could be an ancient relic or a folly on a grand estate, an amusing gravestone or a unique survival from the Industrial Revolution. I have been 'collecting' Shropshire oddities for some years now and this is a selection of a few of my favourites.
Charles Darwin - the origin of a naturalist
Darwin was born in Shrewsbury; as a young boy he was the despair of his father and school teachers. In this talk I describe how he grew up to become one of the finest scientists of his age.
Thomas Telford's Shropshire legacy
Telford was one of the finest engineers that this country has ever produced. In Shropshire he built roads and bridges, canals and aqueducts, churches and even Shrewsbury's prison.
A house in Shropshire - the story of Attingham Hall
Home to the Noel-Hill family, Attingham Hall is now looked after by the National Trust. Built in 1785, it is a particularly fine mansion and houses a superb collection of paintings, furniture, china and silver. But the story of a house is also the story of the people who lived there.
Shropshire's country churches
The county has a wealth of wonderful churches, some of which have changed little over the centuries.
The Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403
Perhaps best known through Shakespeare's play, Henry IV Part I, this talk explains why the battle took place and describes the events on that day.
Brother Cadfael - the fact behind the fiction
For many people who have read the novels, Cadfael seems like a real person. But he was fictional, the creation of the local writer, Ellis Peters. But the genuine history is just as fascinating as the fiction...
Don't you know there's a war on? - Shropshire in the Second World War
Although miles from any front line the war came to Shropshire too. I also give a talk on Shropshire in the Great War
The Bloody History of Shrewsbury
I give talks on the general history of Shrewsbury and Ludlow. This talk, however, concentrates on the more bloodthirsty stories of the town.