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Judith Everard et. al
1 November 2019

Wem lies on the North Shropshire Plain, about nine miles north of Shrewsbury. The centre of a much larger medieval manor and parish, the township consists of the small medieval market town and its immediate rural hinterland. Anglo-Saxon in origin, the town developed after the Norman Conquest, with a castle, parish church, market and water mill. The urban area of the township, ‘within the bars’, was distinguished from the rural, ‘without the bars’. Burgages were laid out, with a customary borough-hold tenure, but the borough never attained corporate status. Isolated from the main regional transport routes, Wem developed as a centre of local government and trade in agricultural produce, especially cheese. It was thrust onto the national...

John Hare
22 December 2017

Basingstoke is frequently seen as a very modern town, the product of the last decades of the 20th century. In reality it has a long, rich and prosperous history. From its beginnings c.1000 it became a significant market centre for the area around, and a place on the route to London from the west. By 1500 it was among the top 60 towns in England by wealth and taxpayers, and the centre of a major industrial area, whose manufactured cloths formed part of international patterns of trade. Moreover, it is well documented particularly for the 15th and 16th century, when it was at its peak, and should provide a useful addition to the limited number of studies of small medieval towns.

Much of the old town has been...

Pamela J. Fisher and J.M. Lee
9 December 2016
The parish of Castle Donington  in north-west Leicestershire lies on the south bank of the river Trent, 20 miles north-west of Leicester and 8 miles south-east of Derby. A nucleated village developed on the present site more than 1,000 years ago. A castle was built in the 1150s, and several features of a town soon developed, including a market, fair and hospital. Secondary settlements grew up alongside the Trent, by the King’s Mills and at Cavendish Bridge, the site of an important medieval ferry. Donington Park, which originated in the early 13th century as a hunting park, became a separate estate of the earls of Huntingdon in the late 16th century.

Later history has been shaped by strong religious...

Institutes