Famous Faces

Shrewsbury's famous faces add their own story to the town.

Charles Darwin was born in Shrewsbury in 1809 and is certainly the town's most famous son. He was educated at Shrewsbury School, in the building that now houses Shrewsbury Library, where his statue sits proudly. Darwin's childhood was shaped by explorations about the River Severn and studying creatures in the Quarry Park. The town celebrates Darwin in February with the Darwin Festival, including events held in the gardens of Mount House, his childhood home. Find out more about Darwin's Shrewsbury.

Admiral John Benbow was born in Coton Hill, Shrewsbury, and became famous whilst fighting the French during the war of Spanish succession where he became a British naval hero.

Blue Peter gardener Percy Thrower made his mark on Shrewsbury with the creation of the floral masterpiece, the Dingle, in the town's 29 acre Quarry Park. As Park Superintendent, Thrower was responsible for the Quarry for 28 years.

Award-winning author Mary Webb was born in Leighton, a village south of Shrewsbury in 1881 and later moved to Meole Brace. She grew up exploring the countryside and was inspired by the nature that surrounded her. In 1907, Mary wrote a poem about the Shrewsbury rail accident that resulted in the death of 18 people, which her brother published without her knowledge in the Shrewsbury Chronicle. Mary Webb went on to write a series of novels, most famously Precious Bane in 1924. However, she was not recognised until after her death, when then Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin praised her work as a writer at a literary dinner.

Lord Rowland Hill became one of Shrewsbury's most distinguished soldiers at the battle of Waterloo where he was second in command to the Duke of Wellington. Look out for his statue on top of the column on Abbey Foregate.

The famous First World War poet Wilfred Owen is one of Shropshire's most well-known literary figures. Owen lived in Monkmoor and was educated at Shrewsbury Technical College. He was awarded the Military Cross in recognition of his courage and leadership. Today, you can visit his memorial in the grounds of Shrewsbury Abbey.

Robert Clive, also known as Clive of India, was a British officer who established the military and political supremacy of the East India Company in Bengal. He later became the MP for Shrewsbury and then Mayor in 1762. Today his statue stands tall in the Square.

A more recent famous Salopian is Joe Hart, the goalkeeper for Manchester City and England’s national team, who was born and raised in Shrewsbury. After attending Oxon Primary School and Meole Brace High School (where he was Head Boy), Joe joined Shrewsbury Town Football Club in 2002, before being scouted and signed to Manchester City in 2006. Hart holds the record for the most Premier League Golden Glove awards, which he received for keeping the most clean sheets during the Premier League season, he has played for England more than 50 times and was described as the best goalkeeper in the world by Gianluigi Buffon in 2015.

 

The town celebrates Darwin in February with the Darwin Festival, including events held in the gardens of Mount House, his childhood home.