Pontesbury is a large village and civil parish in Shrewsbury and Atcham district, Shropshire, and is a few miles SW of the county town, Shrewsbury. The village of Minsterley is just over a mile further SW. The A488 runs through the village, on its way from Shrewsbury to Minsterley and further on to Bishop's Castle. The Rea Brook flows close by.

The village is home of the [http://marywebb.net Mary Webb] comprehensive school, named after the local novelist Mary Webb, which serves most of the surrounding villages for pupils age 11-16.

The town has a long mining history, once linked to Snailbeach and Hanwood via rail it supplied local industry with coal, lead, iron and stone. Although the railway tracks are no longer there you can still walk the route it took where some stations and sidings remain.

Pontesbury is one of the largest villages in Shropshire, with local shops selling local produce. In the centre of the village sits St Georges Church. The origins of St George's church can be traced to about 1250, but the church was largely restored in the 19th century. For a village, population c 3,500, it is large, and has a very active and lively congregation. Pontesbury is a rural community and extends a warm welcome to all visitors. St George's is open to all during daylight hours, but is closed at night.

Nearby is Earls Hill, which is the site of an Iron Age hillfort built around 600 B.C. and making it a Scheduled Ancient Monument and also designated an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) for its wildlife value. It was Shropshire Wildlife Trust's first nature reserve in 1964. Earls Hill is PreCambrian in origin, being formed approximately 650 Million years ago as a result of volcanic activity.

Famous Residents

Mary Webb (1881-1927), author of 'Precious Bane', 'The Golden Arrow' and 'Gone to Earth' lived at Pontesbury for a time, along with other villages in Shropshire.

A local legend involves a search for gold, in the form of a golden arrow, which takes place every Palm Sunday, on top of Earls Hill. It inspired Mary Webb's book.

Pontesbury was also visited by D. H. Lawrence and later appeared in his novel St. Mawr.

External links

* [http://www.shrewsbury.gov.uk/public/parish/pontesbury/default.htm Parish information]
* [http://www3.shropshire-cc.gov.uk/webb.htm Mary Webb]
* [http://www.pdddl.rlns.co.uk/ The Pontesbury darts and domino league]
* [http://www.geograph.org.uk/search.php?i=3751383 photos of Pontesbury and surrounding area on geograph]

ee also

* Snailbeach District Railways
* Pontesford

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