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Market Drayton
Tudor House Hotel, at the corner of Cheshire Street and Shropshire Street.
Market Drayton is located in Shropshire
Market Drayton
Market Drayton
Population 11,773 (2011)
OS grid reference SJ673321
Unitary authority
  • Shropshire
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district TF9
Dialling code 01630
Police West Mercia
Fire Shropshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament
  • North Shropshire
List of places
52°54′16″N 2°29′05″W / 52.9044°N 2.4848°W / 52.9044; -2.4848

Market Drayton is a market town and electoral ward in the north of Shropshire, England, close to the Cheshire and Staffordshire borders. It is on the River Tern, and was formerly known as "Drayton in Hales" (c. 1868) and earlier simply as "Drayton" (c. 1695).

Market Drayton is on the Shropshire Union Canal and on Regional Cycle Route 75. The A53 road by-passes the town, which is between Shrewsbury and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

St Mary's Church

StMary's, Market Drayton-geograph-771033-by-Geoff-Pick
St. Mary's Church from the south

The church stands on the top of a prominent outcrop of red sandstone rock above the River Tern. The Domesday Book describes "A Priest in Drayton", and there was likely a wooden Saxon church on the same site prior to the construction of the present Norman stone building, which dates to 1150.

In 1201 Pope Innocent III forbade the weekly market which had traditionally taken place in the churchyard after the Sunday morning service. As a result, the market moved northwards a few hundred yards, to its present site in the town. In the 1320s major building work was undertaken in the church. In the Georgian era galleries and box pews were added, but in the 1880s these were removed.

The church boasts some fine stained glass. The west window, depicting Queen Victoria, is by Shrigley and Hunt. The east window, showing the Resurrection of Jesus, is by Charles Eamer Kempe (1837–1907). Other Kempe windows are in the south west corner of the nave, depicting Jesus healing the blind near Jericho, raising Lazarus from the dead, and healing the paralytic at Bethesda, and at the north east corner: the flight into Egypt and Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

The Corbet family, who were lords of the manor and church patrons, are memorialised in several locations in the church. A brass plaque with the Corbet coat of arms serves as a monument to Rowland Corbet (d.1560). Above this is a monument to Dame Alice Corbet (d.1682), who bore twenty children.

The original organ was installed in 1805, and was replaced after 1866. At one time the current organ blocked the view of the altar, but the pipes have since been moved to behind the reredos and the console to the north side of the chancel.

External features

The exterior of the church, largely rebuilt and restored in the late 19th century, consists of red sandstone ashlar with some grey sandstone in tower. The angle-buttressed tower features battlements that were added in the 16th century and crocketed corner pinnacles from the 19th century. St Mary's has a peal of eight bells, the oldest of which dates to 1700. The tenor bell weighs 1,960 lb (890 kg) and the treble 616 lb (279 kg).

The Norman arch over the main west door is the only remaining part of the original stone church. Early in the 14th century the doorway was incorporated into the superstructure; the large west window above the door features ornate and elaborately patterned stonework typical of the period. Robert Clive, who attended the nearby Old Grammar School in the 1730s, is said to have once climbed out onto one of the tower's carved gargoyles.

Buntingsdale Chapel

The chapel has been long associated with the owners of Buntingsdale Hall - especially the Bulkleys, the Mackworths, the Tayleurs and again the Macworths. The part converted into the choir vestry lies over the old family vaults. The paintings by Parry (late 20th century) depict Man's search for God and (on the reverse) Seasons of Faith.

War memorials

The church contains a "Chapel of the Resurrection", a side chapel dedicated, refurnished and panelled in memory of the parish war dead of both of the 20th century's world wars. It has a huge brass memorial tablet unveiled after the First World War and a set of kneelers bearing service badges of the regiments in which those commemorated served. To the right of the main chancel arch are plaques to Major Charles Egerton Hugh Harding (died 1917) and Second Lieutenant John Aleric Everard Upton (killed in the Battle of the Somme 1916), while on the chancel's south wall is a plaque to Lieutenant Charles Henry Lycett Warren, killed at the Siege of Lucknow 1857.

Sites of interest

Ancient local sites include Audley's Cross, Blore Heath and several Neolithic standing stones. "The Devil's Ring and Finger" is a notable site 3 miles (5 km) from the town at Mucklestone. These are across the county boundary in neighbouring Staffordshire.

Market Drayton St. Mary's Hall plaque
St. Mary's Hall plaque

The Old Grammar School, in St. Mary's Hall, directly to the east of the church, was founded in 1555 by Rowland Hill, the first Protestant Mayor of London. Former pupils include Robert Clive, and a school desk with the initials "RC" may still be seen in the town.

The great fire of Drayton destroyed almost 70% of the town in 1651. It was started at a bakery, and quickly spread through the timber buildings. The buttercross in the centre of the town still has a bell at the top for people to ring if there was ever another fire.

Other notable landmarks in the area include: Pell Wall Hall, Adderley Hall, Buntingsdale Hall, Salisbury Hill, Tyrley Locks on the Shropshire Union Canal and the Thomas Telford designed aqueduct. Fordhall Farm has 140 acres (0.57 km2) of community-owned organic farmland located off the A53 between the Müller and Tern Hill roundabouts. The farm trail is open to the public during farm shop opening hours, and on the path is the site of Fordhall Castle, an ancient motte and bailey structure which overlooks the River Tern valley.

To the south-east near the A529 an 18th-century farmhouse stands on the site of Tyrley Castle, which was probably built soon after 1066 and later rebuilt in stone in the 13th century.


Arriva Midlands operates a local bus service to Shrewsbury, Newcastle-under-Lyme and Hanley (the whole route now service no. 64 ). Beginning on 7 September 2012 Bennett's Travel Cranberry Ltd run an evening service 164 to Hanley on Fridays and Saturdays with a day service to Newcastle-under-Lyme on Sunday. Arriva used to provide services 341/342 to Wellington from Monday to Saturday, but this was stopped in August 2016, due to the council withdrawing funds.

Shropshire Council ran a number of bus services under the 'ShropshireLink' brand in addition to the 301 and 302 Market Drayton Town Services but these were withdrawn due to council cutbacks. Services 301 and 302 are now operated by Bennett's Travel.

Market Drayton had a railway station which opened in 1863 and closed during the Beeching cuts in 1963. The railway station was located on the Wellington and Drayton Railway and Nantwich and Market Drayton Railway of the Great Western Railway network and was also the terminus of the Newcastle-under-Lyme line of the Stoke to Market Drayton Line of the North Staffordshire Railway network.

Twin towns

Market Drayton is twinned with:



Market Drayton Town F.C. play on Greenfields Sports Ground in Market Drayton, which has capacity for 1,000 spectators.

Market Drayton Rugby club play at Greenfields Sports ground, on Greenfields Lane, and are in the Midlands Division- Midlands 4 West (North).

Market Drayton Tennis Club is also based at Greenfields and has three all weather floodlit courts; the club plays in a number of Shropshire leagues.


Market Drayton has four schools:

  • Longlands Primary School
  • Market Drayton Infant School
  • Market Drayton Junior School
  • Grove School and sixth form college

Grove School is a large secondary school of about 1,100 pupils, all of whom live within 12 miles (19 km) of the town.

Notable residents

Povey family

Thomas Povey, the colonial civil servant and friend of Samuel Pepys, was a Londoner, but a branch of his family lived at Woodseaves, near Market Drayton; the most prominent member of this branch of the family was Sir John Povey, (1621–1679) Lord Chief Justice of Ireland 1673–79.

Robert Clive

Nearby at Styche Hall is the birthplace of Robert Clive, first Lord Clive, "Clive of India", (1725–1774), part of whose schooling was in the Grammar School then in Market Drayton. The Georgian house, designed by Sir William Chambers, the architect of Somerset House, replaced the half-timbered house where Clive was born. It was built for his father and paid for by Clive from the income from his Indian career.

Oswald Mosley

The 1930s British fascist leader Sir Oswald Mosley (1896 – 1980) was allegedly born nearby at Betton Hall, the home of his mother's parents, although officially established to have been born in London. When his parents separated, Oswald and his brother went with their mother to live in Smithfield Road.

Mosley was deeply ashamed of the family's reduced circumstances and he did everything to hide the years in Drayton. Their middle class status contrasted with the huge estate of his paternal grandparents at Rolleston Hall, Staffordshire. Years later, following the death of their mother, he obtained her diaries from his brother and burned them.


  • John Lewis (1855–1926), football referee and a founder of Blackburn Rovers F.C., was born at Market Drayton
  • Reginald Heber Macaulay (born in Hodnet 1858 – 1937) was an amateur English footballer who won the FA Cup with Old Etonians in 1882 and made one appearance for England in 1881 playing as a forward.
  • Arthur Morris (born Market Drayton 1882 - 1945), professional footballer, played for Shrewsbury Town and Birmingham City.
  • Harold Emerton Edge (born Market Drayton 1892 – 1944) an English cricketer, a right-handed batsman who bowled medium pace
  • Ken Summers (darts player) (born 1963) now retired, lives in the town
  • David Gilford (born 1965) is an English professional golfer. He lives in the town
  • Andy Cooke (born 1974), former professional footballer played for Burnley, Stoke City and Shrewsbury Town also hails from, and ended his footballing career with, Market Drayton
  • Benjamin Jack Garratt (born 1994 in Market Drayton) English professional footballer, played for Crewe Alexandra F.C. 125 times

Other notable residents

  • Elizabeth Wriothesley, Countess of Southampton (1572 – 1655), daughter of Vernon family of Hodnet, was one of the chief ladies-in-waiting to Elizabeth I of England in the later years of her reign
  • William Felton (1715–1769) an English composer
  • Mary Cholmondeley (born in Hodnet 1859 – 1925) was an English novelist. Her best-selling novel, (published in 1899) Red Pottage, satirised religious hypocrisy and the narrowness of country life. It was adapted into a silent film in 1918.
  • Stephen Morrey (1880 – 1921) was an English-born merchant, farmer and political figure in Saskatchewan, Canada. Morrey owned a hardware business in Market Drayton.

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See also

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