Ellesmere Shropshire

Ellesmere Shropshire
Beautiful Market Town

Ellesmere History

Ellesmere is a small market town near Oswestry in north Shropshire, England, notable for its proximity to a number of prominent lakes, the Meres.

Ellesmere Castle was probably an 11th century motte-and-bailey castle most likely built by either Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury or his son Roger the Poitevin at Castlefields overlooking the Mere. Only its earthworks now remain, with the top of the motte being used for the bowling green, which still commands a fine view.
In 1114, King Henry I gave Ellesmere to William Peverel as a part of the Maelor, which included Overton & Whittington at that time. His descendants retained Ellesmere until apparently the late 1140s when the lordship was acquired, probably by force, by Madog ap Maredudd of Powys. Madog died in 1160 and Ellesmere came into the hands of King Henry II.
In 1177 King Henry II gave the manors of Ellesmere and Hales in England to Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd (who already had a castle at Rhuddlan and was, by this time, the sole ruler of Gwynedd. Earlier, in the summer of 1174, Dafydd had married Emme of Anjou, half sister of Henry, and sister of Hamelin de Warenne, 5th Earl of Surrey, both illegitimate children of Geoffrey V, Count of Anjou). Dafydd remained Lord of Ellesmere until his death in 1203.
In mid-April 1205, Llywelyn the Great married Joan, Lady of Wales illegitimate daughter of King John and Ellesmere was given to them as a wedding gift. Llywelyn's mother was Marared (Margaret), daughter of Madog ap Maredudd, Prince of Powys. There is evidence that, after her first husband Iorwerth's death, Marared married in the summer of 1197, Gwion, the nephew of Roger Powys of Whittington Castle. She seems to have pre-deceased her husband, after bearing him a son, David ap Gwion, and therefore there can be no truth in the story that she later married into the Corbet family of Caus Castle (near Westbury, Shropshire) and later, Moreton Corbet Castle. Ellesmere was ordered to be attacked by King Henry III in 1231, but Llywelyn retained control of the lordship until his death in 1240. In 1241 King Henry III ordered John Lestrange to repair the wooden castle of Ellesmere.
The lordship appears to have later passed into the hands of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd or his brother Dafydd ap Gruffydd, grandsons of Llywelyn ab Iorwerth and last of the native Princes of Wales. The castle fell to royal troops from Chester during March 1282.
In 1287, Oliver Ingham, who was an English commander and administrator in Aquitaine during the War of Saint-Sardos and early Hundred Years War was born in Ellesmere. His daughter Joan married Robert ("Roger") le Strange, son of Lord Strange of Knockin & Isolda de Walton.
By 1294, the preceptory of Dolgynwal (Yspytty Ifan, Denbighshire) had been united with Halston, which was subsequently the administrative centre for all Knights Hospitaller estates in North Wales. Dolgynwal, which had been founded c. 1190, had acquired Ellesmere Church, its most substantial property, from Llywelyn the Great in 1225
In 1435, Griifin Kynaston, Seneschal of the Lordship of Ellesmere, (born at Stocks of landed gentry - descended from the princes of Powys), gave evidence at Shrewsbury to confirm the age of John Burgh, Lord of Mowthey, sponsored by Lord John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, Lieutenant of Ireland. Griffin's fourth son, Sir Roger Kynaston, was appointed for life as Escheator and Sheriff of Merioneth and became Constable of Harlech Castle and Sheriff of Shropshire. Through his second marriage to Elizabeth Grey, their descendants derived royal descent. Humphrey Kynaston, the son of Roger's first wife Elizabeth Cobham and her first husband Lord Strange was, in 1491, declared an outlaw by King Henry VII and took shelter in a cave in the west point of Nesscliffe Rock, called to this day "Kynaston's Cave". He was pardoned in 1493.
The former Marcher Lordship of Ellesmere was annexed to Shropshire and the Hundred of Pymhill by section 11 of the Laws in Wales Act 1535.
Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere (later Viscount Brackley) was born Lord Francis Leveson-Gower, in Ellesmere in 1800. A patron of the arts, in 1848, he purchased at auction for 355 guineas from the estate of Richard Temple-Grenville, 2nd Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, the only known (or suspected) portrait of William Shakespeare in existence. Ellesmere Island in Canada was named after him.
There was a tannery located on the edge of the Mere in what is now known as Cremorne Gardens. These gardens were given to the people of Ellesmere by Lord Brownlow who was heavily involved in the Edward VIII abdication crisis of 1936.

The town is located by the side of 'The Mere', the largest natural mere in England outside the Lake District and one of nine glacial meres in the area. ('glacial' means that the depression occupied by the mere was the location of a block of ice that persisted at the end of the last Ice Age.)
An artificial island in the Mere was constructed in 1812 from soil dug out during the making of the gardens at Ellesmere House. This was later named Moscow Island, as Napoleon was forced to retreat from Moscow that year. The Mere has a visitors' centre and is popular with birdwatchers, many of whom visit to see Grey Herons nesting. There are eight other meres nearby: Blakemere, Colemere, Crosemere, Kettlemere, Newtonmere, Whitemere, Sweatmere and Hanmer Mere.
The civil parish which constitutes the town is Ellesmere Urban. It lies in North Shropshire district.

Major employers in the area include:
Fullwood - fabrication 

Tudor Griffiths group

Cargotec UK ~ comprising HIAB, Moffett, Multilift. Part of Cargotec Oy, Finland

ETC Sawmills - local sawmill

Lakeside Coaches - transport group operating buses and coaches

ABP Meat Processors - food processing

Tesco - retail

Ellesmere College (Education)


The A495 and A528 roads cross at Ellesmere. The latter runs 15 miles south-southeast from Ellesmere to the county town, Shrewsbury.
The town lies on a spur of the Llangollen Canal, which eventually terminates at Pontcysyllte near Wrexham. It was originally known as the Ellesmere Canal. Thomas Telford was overall director of its construction. Work lasted from 1793 to 1805 with the aim of reaching the coast at Ellesmere Port (named after the town), but it never got that far due to costs and eventually the triumph of the railways. During its construction, Telford lived in a house next to the canal in Ellesmere, which still stands today.
Ellesmere no longer has a railway, but it was once on the main line of the Cambrian Railways. However, the section from Whitchurch to Welshpool (Buttington Junction), via Ellesmere, Whittington, Oswestry and Llanymynech, closed in November 1964 in favour of the more viable alternative route via Shrewsbury. Ellesmere was also the junction for a branch line to Wrexham (Central), via Overton-on-Dee, Bangor-on-Dee and Marchwiel, but this line closed in September 1962. Ellesmere railway station still stands and is now offices.

Ellesmere Old Town Hall - Ellesmere's most notable building, built in 1833.

The Boathouse Restaurant and Visitor Centre - alongside the Mere, recently refurbished with £2.1 million Lottery Grant

Recent controversy

There have been recent protests over the much delayed opening of the Boathouse Visitor Centre and felling of 5 yew trees by the council, allegedly in order to gain access to an adventure playground. In addition a 'family friendly walks' council website has attracted criticism because it uses kangaroos rather than a more appropriate indigenous animal such as a squirrel or fox.
To balance the above comment, the Boathouse Restaurant opened in 2009 and provides much needed catering for the Mereside visitors. It operates alongside the very popular Mere's Visitor Centre, a vital service to residents and visitors alike. The Mereside developments has been a sucessful exercise in regenerating the facilities in this outstanding tourist attraction. The protests attached to the developments were isolated and not respresentative of general opinion.

The town has two schools. Ellesmere Primary School is a primary and nursery school for boys and girls aged 4–11. The Lakelands School provides state-paid education for boys and girls in the 11-16 age range (for whom schooling is compulsory). Several other nearby schools serve the wider community, such as Welshampton Church of England School, which recently scored among the highest in the country in OFSTED reports in all categories.
A short distance outside the town is Ellesmere College, a public (i.e., private) boarding school founded in 1884 by Canon Nathaniel Woodard for sons of the middle classes. It is now a fully co-educational school catering for pupils from 7-18.

Sports clubs in Ellesmere include the cricket club, which after a number of years in the doldrums is on the rise with a successful first XI which was runner up in the Shropshire Cricket League Division 4 in 2006 and were Division 3 champions in 2007 and were promoted to the First Division as second division runners up at the end of the 2008 season.
Notable people

In chronological order by year of birth:-
Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury - castle builder - c. 1030-1094

Mellet de Ellesmere (c1060-70), niece of William Peverel - about whom an epic tale "The Romance of Fouke le Fitz Warine" was told - depicting her marriage to Guarine or Warine de Metz known afterwards as "Guy le Strange"

Dafydd ab Owain Gwynedd was given the manor of Ellesmere and Hales by King Henry II in 1177.

Joan, Princess of Wales, illegitimate daughter of King John, was married to Llywelyn the Great and given Ellesmere as a wedding gift in 1205.

Oliver Ingham born 1287 and his wife Elizabeth Zouche, born 1282 whos daughter Joan married Lord John le Strange. Oliver became Sheriff of Cheshire.

Griffin Kynaston - seneschal of the Lordship of Ellesmere - born Stocks, c. 1400

Sir Francis Kynaston the poet - was born in the town in 1587.

Thomas Telford - lived in Ellesmere during construction of Llangollen Canal

Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere & Duke of Ellesmere - Poet & patron of the arts - born c1800

Eglantyne Jebb - British social reformer and founder of Save the Children - born 1876

Early life

She was born in 1876 in Ellesmere, Shropshire, and grew up on her family's estate. The Jebbs, apart from being a well-off family, also had a strong social conscience and commitment to public service; her mother, Eglantyne Louisa Jebb, had founded the Home Arts and Industries Association, to promote Arts and Crafts among young people in rural areas, her sister Louisa would help found the Women's Land Army in World War I, and another sister Dorothy Frances Jebb, married the Labour Party MP Charles Roden Buxton, campaigned against the demonisation of the German people after the war.
Social activism

Having studied history at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, Eglantyne trained to become a school teacher, but a year's experience as a Primary School teacher, at St. Peter's Junior School in Marlborough, convinced her that this was not her vocation, though it increased her awareness of the difficulties and widespread nature of poverty faced by young children. She had a vision in which she saw the face of Jesus.
She moved to Cambridge to look after her sick mother. There she became involved in the Charity Organisation Society, which aimed to bring a modern scientific approach to charity work. This led her to carry out an extensive research project into conditions in the city, and in 1906 she published a book, Cambridge, a Study in Social Questions based on her research.
Not much came of this work, and for several years she lived quietly, until in 1913 she was asked to undertake a journey to Macedonia on behalf of the Macedonian Relief Fund. She returned shortly before the First World War broke out, and soon was drawn into a project organised by Dorothy, who had begun importing European newspapers – including ones from Germany and Austria-Hungary for which a special licence had to be obtained from the government – and publishing extracts in English in the Cambridge Magazine, which revealed that everyday life in the enemy countries was far worse than government propaganda suggested.
As the war was coming to an end, and the German and Austro-Hungarian economies came near to collapse, it was clear to Dorothy and Eglantyne that the children of these countries were suffering appallingly from the effects of the war and the Allied blockade, which continued even when an armistice was signed. A pressure group, the Fight the Famine Council, was set up in 1919 to persuade the British government to end the blockade.
Save the Children

Soon, however, the focus shifted to organising relief. On 15 April 1919, the Council set up a fund to raise money for the German and Austrian children – the Save the Children Fund. Unexpectedly, this organisation, launched at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 19 May 1919, quickly raised a large sum of money from the British public, and officials were despatched to organise relief work.
The success of the Fund led Eglantyne and Dorothy to attempt to set up an international movement for children. The International Save the Children Union (Union International de Secours a l'Enfant) was founded in Geneva in 1920, with the British Save the Children Fund and the Swedish R├Ądda Barnen as leading members.
In London, it was now Eglantyne who was in charge, and she ensured that the Fund adopted the professional approach she had learnt in the Charity Organisation Society. A manager, Lewis Golden, was recruited to put the organisation on a businesslike foundation. He adopted the innovative – and controversial – approach of taking full-page advertisements in national newspapers; it was highly effective, and raised very substantial amounts of income for the Fund's work.
As the problems in central Europe receded, there was a new focus of the Fund's attention – a refugee crisis in Greece and the surrounding areas, a consequence of the continuing conflict in the area. Then in 1921, just as this situation was coming under control, there was a new and bigger emergency. Partly as a consequence of the devastation of war, revolution and civil war, and partly due to the disastrous economic policies of the Bolshevik government, the people of Soviet Russia faced a famine as crops failed. A new fundraising effort brought a surge of donations, and a Save the Children team was dispatched to the city of Saratov, one of the main famine centres.
Declaration of the Rights of the Child

In all the work the Fund did, a major element in Eglantyne's thinking was the importance of a planned, research-based approach. In 1923, when the Russian relief effort was coming to an end, and the Fund's income was sharply reducing, she turned to another issue – that of children's rights. She headed to Geneva, to a meeting of the International Union, with a plan for a Children's Charter. The result was a short and clear document – drafted by Eglantyne – which asserted the rights of children and the duty of the international community to put children's rights in the forefront of planning. The Declaration of the Rights of the Child, or the Declaration of Geneva as it came to be known, was adopted a year later by the League of Nations.
With peace returning to Europe, and relief efforts in decline, the focus of the Save the Children movement shifted to promoting the Declaration. In 1925, the first International Child Welfare congress was held in Geneva. The Declaration was widely discussed and supported by organisations and governments. An expanded version would be adopted by the United Nations in 1959, and it was one of the main inspirations behind the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Death and legacy

For many years, Eglantyne had been suffering from ill-health and in 1928, following three operations for goitre, she died in a nursing home in Geneva, and is buried there in St George's cemetery. She is remembered today as the inspirational founder of the Save the Children organisation, which for almost 90 years has been innovative not just in marketing methods, but also in its internationalist, non-sectarian and professional approach. 

The family of Charles de Gaulle, born 1890, lived in the nearby village of Dudleston Heath (Criftins) during World War 2.

Lord Brownlow who was heavily involved in the Edward VIII abdication crisis of 1936 and who gave the Boathouse, the Mere and Cremorne Gardens to the people of Ellesmere in 1953.

also dont forget the famous visit of Shaun Teliki of Hungary .