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Exhibition tells the stories behind Shropshire’s fascinating place names

A fascinating free exhibition bringing to life the stories behind Shropshire’s varied place names is now on show at Shropshire Archives on Castle Gates in Shrewsbury.

The display charts the origins of Shropshire place names from their ancient roots in pre-history, and explains their unique meanings inspired by the landscape and by the people who lived there. Place names also shed light on the languages spoken in the past.

The project has particularly focused on the Welsh border areas and has revealed the influence of the Welsh language on Shropshire place names. For example, Trefonen, meaning ‘ash tree settlement’, and Bettws- y- crwyn which is believed to mean ‘chapel of the skins’ – perhaps taking its name from a nearby stream where skins were washed.

The exhibition is the result of a partnership between Shropshire Council’s Shropshire Archives and the Universities of Nottingham and Wales and has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The project will also complete the publication of the English Place Names Society reference volumes on Shropshire, resulting in comprehensive coverage of the county’s place names for the first time.

The exhibition can be seen on Wednesdays to Fridays from 10am to 4pm until 7 October. A booklet accompanying the exhibition ‘Shropshire Place Names an Introduction’ is also available for £5.

For further information telephone, 0345 678 9096, email, [email protected], or visit the Shropshire Archives website.

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