Croeso - Welcome to Oswestry
Oswestry emerges out of the mists of time into a landscape rich in folklore, legend and history. Buzzards soar and badgers play on rolling green hills where once the Marcher lords built their strongholds.
Wild flowers and grazing sheep now cover the ancient earthworks of the Oswestry Iron Age Hillfort, said to be the birthplace of Queen Guinevere. Just one of innumerable places to enjoy walks, picnics, stunning views and perfect peace.
Oswestry, named after King Oswald of Northumbria, who died in AD641. He was nailed to a tree - hence the name "Oswald's Tree". According to legend a passing eagle took a limb but dropped it and where it landed a spring burst forth - St Oswald's Well. Amazing Stuff!
Here in Oswestry, Shropshire meets Wales and this borderland town is steeped in history, myth and legend. Today the influence of Wales is still felt and you'll hear a blend of languages as you browse around. Rich in history Oswestry may be but its still a vibrant and vital market town, the largest in the Borderlands, with more than its fair share of small speciality shops and a thriving street market. Bargains await.
"Oswestry, a pretie towne full fine... It stands so trim, and is maintained so cleane. And peopled is with folke that well doe meane."
Thomas Churchyard - 17th Century Shropshire poet.
Oswestry has two markets - one in town at the Horse Market & Bailey Head. The other, outside town, is the Oswestry Smithfield livestock autions. If you fancy fresh farm produce and home-made foodstuff, plus the necessary bargain offer, you'll enjoy market day hugely.
Offa's Dyke marks out the old border on one side of the town and Watt's Dyke marks out the other. There are wells and springs named after saints, which are said to have powers to heal the believer or at the very least, inspire the more cynical.
Spectacular limestone cliffs at Llanymynech where lead, copper and zinc have been mined since Roman times is now a haven for wildlife and a unique Hoffman Horizontal Kiln (whatever that is!).
Oswestry is home to poets, musicians, eccentrics, heroes and villains. It was the birthplace of Sir Henry Walford Davies, organist, composer and Master of the king's Music, and Wilfred Owen, the best of the English First World War poets, was born here in 1893. "...my subject is war and the pity of war. The poetry is in the pity."
The Reverend Spooner, of Spoonerism fame, was "Heducated 'ere" at the local Grammar School (founded in 1407). Now a Visitor & Exhibition Centre where you can pick up the town trail and find out lots more. He coined Shropshire Tourism's immortal slogan "Shove from Lopshire" (Love from Shropshire), so you'll never forget.
You may hear tales of local eccentric Mad Jack Mytton, whose exploits included riding a bear across his dining room table. Why did he do it? Because the bear was there, we suppose. No less entertaining for those present was his cure for hiccups - he set fire to his shirt. The jury is still out on how successful this was.
Just over the border lies Pistyll Rhaeadr - one of the seven wonders of Wales and at 240 feet it is taller than Niagra Falls, no wonder! It certainly impressed George Borrow who wrote "An immense skein of silk agitated and disturbed by tempestuous blasts. I never saw water falling so gracefully" - a must see or at least worth a visit anyway!
You'll be amazed by its beauty as the waters crash through the natural rock formations. The breathtaking scenery of the Welsh mountains invading Shropshire invite you to take to the hills.
Ancient signs are all around. The Oswestry Hill Fort - a remarkable series of seven ditches and banks, known as Caer Ogyrfan after King Arthur's father in law, is said to be the birthplace of Queen Guinevere and Merlin, the magician, who lives his life backwards, is soon to arrive. Of all the ancient hillforts in Shropshire, Old Oswestry is the most spectacular.
Oswestry is the best place to start exploring the Welsh Mountains and discover the delights of Lake Vyrnwy and the charm of Chirk and Powis Castles both are just down the road and don't miss Pontcysyllte Aqueduct at 126 feet above the River Dee it is one of Thomas Telford's masterpieces.
During World War II Park Hall, Oswestry gave many thousands of recruits their first taste of military life and after was home to many thousands of National Service conscripts. Time for a reunion, fellas!
Whittington village is reputedly home of Dick Whittington, who went on to find fame and fortune in London. Whittington Castle is a picturesque moated castle and is the site of regular events and fairs. The Castle was once the home of Fulk Fitz Warine who, in the days of bad King John, became Shropshire's own Robin Hood. A similar claim is made of Highwayman Humphrey Kynaston whose hideout was a cave at Nescliffe. Even our outlaws were gentlemen. It is the Shropshire influence.
Oswestry is able its visitors the highest standard of accommodation for visitors. Whether you are looking for a hotel, bed and breakfast, guesthouse, a self catering cottage or a caravan and camping site, this website provides you with an extensive searchable database of the best places to stay in Oswestry and the surrounding countryside.
Oswestry offers a superb range events, festivals and fairs throughout the year. You can visit the Oswestry agricultural show or go on walking or ghost tours of the town centre.
There are always things going on with events celebrating theatre, music, the arts and culture. Whatever time of year you visit you're sure to find something going on.
Oswestry is market town that offers visitors a great experience of retail therapy. Within the town centre there are many independent shops offering shoppers all manor of goods and gifts.
The meeting of cultures here in Oswestry sparks a certain creativity and the local crafts reflect this. Anglo-Welsh designs can be found in the shops and at the craft centres at Llangedwyn Mill an at Melverley.
You will also find a wide selection of restaurants, pubs, cafes and bars which will please anyone seeking good food as well as retail therapy. The variety of places to eat and drink will suit every taste and pocket.
Shropshire is a diverse county of Historic market towns like, Bishops Castle, Bridgnorth, Church Stretton, Cleobury Mortimer, Clun, Craven Arms, Ellesmere, Ironbridge, Ludlow, Market Drayton, Much Wenlock, Shrewsbury, Telford, Wem and Whitchurch.
For more information on the rest of Shropshire, please visit the website below: