This is our new local information section. Below you will find vital details of important services from around Newport, including Local Authority details, Hospital and local Police force details and a comprehensive guide to Newport itself.
Princess Royal Hospital, Telford | (01952) 641222
Main Switchboard | (08457) 444888 | Website Link
Local Authority Details
Telford & Wrekin Council | (01952) 202100 | Website Link
Newport Town Guide
Newport is one of Shropshire’s most handsome towns, with most of its outstanding features displayed in its wide main street.
Originally a planned Norman town, set up as a centre for fishing in the local meres, it received its borough charter early in the twelfth century.
Its town crest incorporates three fishes, a reminder of its original role, although most of the fisheries have since been drained.
The burgesses had an obligation to supply the royal household with fresh fish whenever it was in the area.
Much of the medieval town was devastated by a great fire in 1665 and comparatively few early buildings have survived.
The High Street now boasts an appealing mix of Georgian and early Victorian architecture, creating one of Shropshire’s most pleasing townscapes.
Newport’s Adams’ Grammar School, which was a gift of William Adams, has remained on the same site since it was built in 1656.
Adams, who was a haberdasher based in Newport, left money and property in Shropshire in trust with the Haberdashers Livery Company in London for the running of a free school.
It is now one of Shropshire’s best schools, its girls and boys regularly achieving fine results, and is based at the Longford Hall and Georgian town houses on the main school site in High Street.
Newport Guildhall is perhaps one of the oldest and best known buildings in the town - one of the few survivors of the great fire.
The black and white timber-framed listed building, which dates back as far as 1387, stands out in the High Street.
Like many old structures, it bears little resemblance to its original state and has been added to and refurbished over the years, swallowing up an alley in the process.
It is not clear what the building was used for, although it may have been a base for a trade guild in the seventeenth century.
In the 1860s, boxed windows and two shop fronts were added.
Later, the Guildhall housed shops including a baker and a barber before falling into a state of disrepair.
However, since its £140,000 refurbishment in the early 1990s it is now home to the town council and is also used for weddings.
The Butter Cross is the local name in Newport for the Puleston Cross, outside St Nicholas’ Church.
It stood for many years beneath the Butter Market, hence its name, although the original building has gone and only the base of the stone cross remains.
The cross was erected in memory of Sir Roger de Puleston, a thirteenth-century local knight who was killed fighting the Welsh in Anglesey.
In 1632 William Barnfield built a house to sell butter and cheese near the Puleston Cross and so Newport people began to call the building the Butter Cross.
The Puleston Cross lost its head during the Civil War, vandalised by the Parliamentarians.
The great fire of 1665 probably burnt down the Butter Cross building, as well as destroying 162 homes, malthouses, barns and stables at a cost of £30,000 to the town.
Newport’s thirteenth-century St Nicholas’ Church, in High Street, was founded in the reign of Henry I.
It serves not only for religious services but also as a venue for concerts and exhibitions.
Thomas Draper bought the church from the Abbot of Shrewsbury in 1442 but it was not until 1700 that it gained its land and the rectory was endowed.
The church has been restored twice, the south side in 1883 and the north side from 1890.
The west porch was built in 1904, a gift from Lady Boughey.
The buttressed tower, dating from 1309, was restored in 1910-11.
In the south side of the exterior, in a niche, is a knighted figure statue, reputed to be Henry I.
Newport’s most famous visitor was nineteenth-century novelist Charles Dickens who stopped over in the town on many occasions as he travelled the country getting inspiration for his books and giving highly popular public readings of his works.
He spent many a night at Newport’s Lion Hotel, now Barclays Bank, and tradition has it that he based the character of Miss Haversham from Great Expectations on a local jilted bride.
Sarah Parker lived at Chetwynd House in Chetwynd End, known locally as Haversham House.
She was jilted on her wedding day and closed the room where her marriage feast was to be held, never entering it again.
Sixty years later, the door of the room was forced open and there was the wedding table, decked out for the feast but covered by cobwebs.