The Oswestry Timeline

a picture of Oswestry Hill Fort from the aira picture of Llwyd Mansiona picture of the Guildhall

Oswestry Town Museum Timeline stretches from the formation of the rocks that Oswestry sits on right up to the present day. We have to remember that what happens this year is next years history, in particular visitors to the town next year could be interested in what happened the previous year as being part of the history of the town. We plan to update the Timeline to reflect the changes in Oswestry.

All timelines include well known famous people and events and in this instance we will be no different but in an innovative move we plan to include local people who have been involved in an event or done something that was important to Oswestry and in some cases the rest of the world but which did not make them famous!

Explore the Timeline using the following links:

B.C. First 1000 Years 1000s 1100s 1200s 1300s 1400s 1500s 1600s 1700s 1800s 1900s 2000s

Or search for a year, person, building  or event here :

1794Crickheath Tramway. 3 mile horse drawn narrow gauge railway from Porthywaen quarries to wharves on the 1820 by the Earl of Powys. In use still horse drawn until 1913 !
1806Baptist Church established, opens in English Walls
1809Oswestry Street act, for paving and lighting the streets
1812Escape of GeneralPhillipon and Lieutenant Ganier, two French prisoners of war paroled to Oswestry
1813Welsh Calvinistic Methodist Chapel opens in Castle Street, replaced in 1337 by Seion Chapel in Gatacre Place
1815William Price publishes the Rev. Peter Roberts' History of Oswestry
1819New Theatre opens in Willow Street
1820Richard Roberts opens Oswestry's first gas works in Willow Street
1820Launch of Oswestry Herald
1823William Doughty, founder of Primative Methodism in Oswestry commences outdoor preaching on the Bailey Head and is arrested
1826Birth of Askew Roberts, founder of the Advertiser
1831Battle of Chirk Bridge
1832Incident in election relating to white horse
1833The Lord's market tolls were bought out by public subscription
1834Cae Glas mansion demolised
1837Holy trinity Church opens
1840s‘Railway Mania’ Takes Hold. When painted delusions, gaudy shams and grandiloquence carried the day. Where gilded puffs and painted paragraphs enticed and allured potential investors into the new fangled steam railways.
1840Kent Place in Roft Street and Porkington Terrace in Willow Street are built
1840National school built in Welsh Walls
1842Hermon Welsh Congregationalist Chapel opens
1842Cross market opens for business
1848Oswestry’s First Railway Line. Was a branch off the Shrewsbury and Chester line at Gobowen. Originally it had been intended that Oswestry was to be on the S & C line but landowners blocked this option.
1848Shrewsbury Station. The Joint Station Committee chooses a design by Oswestry architect Thomas K. Penson.
1848Last races held at Oswestry Racecourse
1849Launch of Oswestry Advertiser & Railway Guide initially as a monthly newspaper
1849Smithfield and Horsemarkets open for business
1849Improvements to Powis Hall market
1855Publication of William Cathrall's History of Oswestry
1860Second Line for Oswestry. Opened in May 1860 by the Oswestry and Newtown Railway from a separate station near the Shrewsbury & Chester terminus. It ran to Buttington junction joining with the Shrewsbury and Welshpool line operated by the London and North
1862First annual Agricultural Show held on Smithfield in English Walls
1862Opening of Cemetery at foot of Salop Road
1863A Welsh Rural Branch Line. The Oswestry and Newtown railway opens a branch line from Llanymynech to Llanfyllin. Has stations at Llansantffraid and Llanfecchain with halts at Carreghofa and Bryngwyn.
1863Hermon Welsh Congregationalist Chapel rebuilt
1863Public Hall (later the Plaza) opens in Oswald Road
1864The Victoria Rooms opens
1864Third Line to Oswestry. The Oswestry, Ellesmere & Whitchurch Railway despite stiff opposition from landowners brings it’s line into Oswestry from the north east. It’s route also creates a second station for the village of Whittington.
1864Birth of the Cambrian Railway. Created by the amalgamation of the Oswestry & Newtown; the Oswestry, Ellesmere and Whitchurch; the Llanidloes & Newtown and the Newtown & Machynlleth Railways.
1864Roman Catholic Mission Church founded in Castle Fields
1866Oswestry Becomes a Railway Town. The newly formed Cambrian Railways moves it’s headquarters to Oswestry. And at a cost of £28,000 also builds large railway workshops to repair and build steam locomotives.
1866Construction of Penygwely reservoir to provide water supply for Oswestry
1866Far Reaching Connections. The newly formed Cambrian Railways also completes it’s Main Line in this year running from Whitchurch to Aberystwyth. Also there are connections north for Chester and beyond as well as south via Shrewsbury and beyond.
1866A ‘Potty’ Folly? The Potteries, Shrewsbury and North Wales Railway builds a twin track line from a terminus at Abbey Foregate in Shrewsbury that joins the Cambrian line at Llanymynech.
1867Birth of Agnes Hunt co-founder of the Orthopaedic Hospital
1871New Wesleyan Chapel opens on corner of Beatrice Street and King Street
1872Christ Church opens
1873Birth of Oswestry Town footballer Charles Parry
1874St Oswald's reopens after major restorationby the architect G.E.Street
1875Renovation of Llwyd Mansion
1878Horeb Welsh Wesleyan MethodistChapel opens replacing chapel in Penylan Lane
1879Oswestry Prospers. Whilst many small towns have been damaged by the introduction of railways Oswestry has wholly benefited. It’s trade has increased and it’s boundary's expanded. The shops have improved and there is a greater air of business about it’s in
1879Oswestry provides nine of the Welsh football team which plays England at the Kensington Oval
1879Opening of Our Lady & St Oswald Catholic Church
1880A ‘Potty’ Folly Fails. The Potteries, Shrewsbury and North Wales Railway line from Shrewsbury to Llanymynech closes. Most of it’s other stations were miles from the villages they were meant to serve.
1881Work commences on the construction of the Lake Vyrnwy reservoir, the aquaduct taking water to Liverpool passes under Oswestry
1884Oswestry win the Welsh Cup for the first time
1884First use of electric lighting at meeting of Oswestry & Welshpool Naturalists Field Club
1885Death of Colonel Fred Burnaby, old boy of Oswestry School, at battle of Abu Klea
1888Formation of Offa Field Club
1888Laying of foundation stones of new English Calinistic Methodist chapel in Oswald Road
1889Penuel Welsh Baptist Chapel built in Castle Street
1890Castle Bank opened to the public as a recreation area
1891Closure of New Trefonen Colliery, last pit in the Oswestry coalfield
1892New Guildhall opens
1892New English Baptist Chapel opens in Salop Road
1892Electric lighting installed at The Quinta, the first in the area
1893Birth of Wilfred Owen at Plas Wilmot
1893Setting up of the Oswestry Electric Lighting & Power Company
1893Extension of Penygwely reservoir to meet growing needs of the town
1895Building of Town Baths in Victoria Street
1898Slow Line for the Tanat Valley. The Light Railways Act of 1896 allows for cheaper railways by virtue of restricting the line speed to 25mph. The Tanat Valley Railway receives it’s Light Railway Order in this year.
1898Building of Methodist Church at Castle Street crossroads
1898Town acquires new steam fire engine
1899Opening of new Primitive Methodist Chapel on corner of Chapel Street and Castle Street
1900Children’s Convalescent Home opened at Florence House, Baschurch
1902Masonic Hall completed in Roft Street
1904Easier Access to Oswestry. The Tanat Valley Light Railway opens having been constructed by 125 men who shocked the locals by working on Sundays as well! It took some 1,600 tons of flat bottomed rail to complete the line.
1904Unveiling of cross as a memorial to Rev. C.W.N. Ogilvy in St Oswald’s Churchyard
1904Treasure trove of coins found near Brynhafod Lane
1904Buffalo Bill visits Oswestry
1905Birth of Herbert Roberts footballer
1906Memorial Hall opens
1909Roller skating rink built at the foot of Oswald Road, later used as the bus station
1910Opening of Cae Glass park
1911If You Don’t First Succeed...The Light Railways Act also creates the Shropshire and Mongomeryshire Light Railway which hopes to revive the long derelict line from Shrewsbury to Llanymynech with a grand opening in this year.
1912Birth of Mary Hignett - Teacher, naturalist and author
1913c. 1913 Opening of St David’s Church in Welsh Walls
1913Birth of Barabara Pym - Novelist
1913Birth of Ivor Roberts-Jones - Sculptor
1916Brigadier General John Vaughan Campbell of Broom Hall receives the Victoria Cross
1918Sergeant Harold Whitfield of Middleton receives the Victoria Cross
1918Death of Wilfred Owen
1918Park Hall is destroyed by a disastrous fire
1920Issac Watkin’s ‘Oswestry’ is published
1920Shropshire Orthopaedic Hospital founded - Agnes Hunt and Robert Jones move from Baschurch to the former military hospital at Park Hall
1921Formal opening of what became known as the Shropshire Orthopaedic Hospital, using the former military buildings at Park Hall
1921Opening of Woodside Municipal estate, Oswestry’s first council houses
1921Opening of Oswestry Technical Institute in King Street
1923Four Major Railways Born. Of the four the Great Western Railway absorbs the Cambrian Railway network of lines. A consequence of this is that Oswestry now has only one station. With the 1885 GWR terminus now being used for goods traffic.
1926Herbie Roberts transferred from Oswestry to Arsenal
1926Foot and Mouth Outbreak
1930Birth of John Biffen - MP for Oswestry and North Shropshire 1961-1994
1933Opening of the Regal Cinema by Dame Agnes Hunt
1932Oswestry gets its first motor fire engine
1934c. 1934 Street lighting changes from gas to electric
1934Sir Henry Walford Davies appointed Master of the Kings Music, succeeding Sir Edward Elgar
1936Traffic lights installed on Sun corner
1938Woodside school opens, replacing former Holy Trinity school
1939Oswestry Cottage Hospital, later the Oswestry & District Hospital, opens in Upper Brook Street, moving from Welsh Walls
1939Excavation of Old Oswestry by W.J. Varley and B.H. St John O’Neil
1941Coventry climax moves to Oswestry, setting up in the Cross market and in Victoria Road
1944c. 1944 Birth of Julian Freeman-Attwood - Mountaineer and explorer
1945c. 1945 Oswestry Corporation’s post-war house building starts on site adjacent to Liverpool Road West
1947Oswestry Cricket club moves from Victoria Road to Morda Road
1948Death of Dame Agnes Hunt at the age of 80. Her ashes are buried in Baschurch graveyard
1949Demolition of Llanforda Hall
1951Littlewoods opens
1952Tanat Valley Railway closes
1955Birth of Peter Edwards - Portrait artist
1955Lord and Lady Harlech cease to live at Brogyntyn Hall
1956News appears on the front page of the Advertiser for the first time
1956Discussion begins regarding clearing of Oswestry ‘slums’
1957Post Office National Network Management Centre established
1958Formal opening of College of Further Education in College road
1959Bailey Head pump is removed to make more room for market stallholders
1960Finally The End is Nigh. The Shropshire and Mongomeryshire Light Railway closes permanently after use by the War Department. In the 94 year history of the line it had carried passengers for 34 years. While for 33 years had been totally disused.
1960Cross Market demolished
1960Advertizer published bi-weekly
1961Foot and Mouth outbreak
1961Oswestry library moves from Guildhall to former Art school in Arthur Street
1963Produce and Retail market moves from The Cross to new Powis Hall market
1965Llanfyllin railway closes as well as Whitchurch through Oswestry to Welshpool.
1966Last scheduled passenger rail service between Gobowen and Oswestry
1967Disastrous foot and mouth epidemic starts in October
1967Local government reorganisation results in creation of the Rural Borough of Oswestry and reduction in powers of existing Town council
1968Closure of Ifton colliery, the last in North Shropshire
1969Last cattle market in town centre Smithfield and opening of new Smithfield on Shrewsbury Road
1969Opening of Oswestry and Border Citizens Advice Bureau
1970Demolition of Gas works in Victoria Road
1973Demolition of Oak Street Tannery
1974Local government reorganisation results in the Rural Borough Council becoming the Town Council
1975Closure of Park Hall Camp
1975Demolition of Plaza Ballroom in Oswald Road
1976Opening of Leisure centre in College Road by Princess Ann
1976Memorial Hall renovated
1978Honeysuckle Wholefood Co-operative opens
1979Laura Ashley factory opens on Maesbury road Industrial estate
1979Demolition of Lloran House on corner of Upper Brook Street and Welsh Walls
1980c. 1980 Broom Hall is demolished
1980Oswestry twinned with Combs-la-Ville
1981Demolition of towns last air raid shelter, Horse Market
1982Morda House gutted by fire and demolished
1984National Network Management Centre (BT) moves to Whittington House
1985Kingswell Centre opens in Arthur Street
1986The Quinta opens as the The Quinta Christian Centre
1987Opening of  A5/A483 Oswestry Bypass and Mile Tourist Information Centre
1988Stone trains run to Blodwell quarry until this date
1989c. 1989 Bailey Street, New Street and Albion Hill pedestrianised
19891st Public meeting of the Wilfred Owen Association
1991Ian Woosnam wins US Masters
1994Closure of Regal cinema
2000Brogyntyn Hall and estate put on the market by Lord Harlech
2000Demolition of Oswestry & District Hospital building
2003Oswestry Town Football Club merges with Llansanffraid TNS
2005Unveiling of 'Mile Oak' sculpture at Plas Ffynnon Millennium Green
2006Unveiling of restored stone fountain and market cross at the Cross
2007Oswestry Bourough Council buys Shelf bank as open space and wildlife area
2008Colin Francis Powell awarded the MBE for services to the Oswestry Talking Newspaper in Shropshire
2008New Oswestry library opened by Frank Cottrell Boyce
2009First steam train for more than 40 years runs on the Nant Mawr branch railway line
2010Opening of Wilfred Owen Green
2010Tant Valley Light Railway group win Pride of Shropshire Environmental award for their nature trails
2011Opening of Oswald park active lifestyle centre in Shrewsbury Road
2011Death of William Mostyn-Owen
2012Opening of Oswestry Town Museum