Flag of Shropshire.svg
Motto: "Floreat Salopia"
("May Shropshire flourish")
Shropshire within England
Coordinates: 52°37′N 2°43′W / 52°37′N 2°43′W / 52.617; -2.717England
RegionWest Midlands
Ceremonial county
Lord LieutenantAlgernon Eustace Heber-Percy
High SheriffDr Jeremy Dixey of Westbury, Shrewsbury [1] (2019/20)
Area3,487 km2 (1,346 sq mi)
 • Ranked13th of 48
Population (mid-2017 est.)493,200
 • Ranked42nd of 48
Density141/km2 (370/sq mi)
EthnicityFigures for Shropshire UA:[2]
93.8% White, British
1.9% White, other
1.5% S. Asian
0.9% Mixed
0.6% White, Irish
0.6% Black
Unitary authority
CouncilShropshire Council
Admin HQShrewsbury
Area3,197 km2 (1,234 sq mi)
 • Ranked4th of 326
 • Ranked35th of 326
Density99/km2 (260/sq mi)
ISO 3166-2GB-SHR
ONS code00GG
GSS codeE06000051
New Shropshire Ceremonial Numbered.png
Districts of Shropshire
  1. Shropshire
  2. Telford and Wrekin
Members of ParliamentList of MPs
PoliceWest Mercia Police
Time zoneGreenwich Mean Time (UTC)
 • Summer (DST)British Summer Time (UTC+1)

Shropshire (ɪər/; alternatively Salop;[3] abbreviated, in print only, Shrops; demonym Salopian n/ LOH-pee-ən, Welsh: Swydd Amwythig)[4] is a county in the West Midlands of England, bordering Wales to the west, Cheshire to the north, Staffordshire to the east, and Worcestershire and Herefordshire to the south. Shropshire Council was created in 2009, a unitary authority taking over from the previous county council and five district councils. The borough of Telford and Wrekin has been a separate unitary authority since 1998 but continues to be included in the ceremonial county.

The county's population and economy is centred on five towns: the county town of Shrewsbury, which is culturally and historically important and close to the centre of the county;[5] Telford, a new town in the east which was constructed around a number of older towns, most notably Wellington, Dawley and Madeley, which is today the most populous;[6] and Oswestry in the northwest, Bridgnorth just to the south of Telford, and Ludlow in the south. The county has many market towns, including Whitchurch in the north, Newport northeast of Telford and Market Drayton in the northeast of the county.

The Ironbridge Gorge area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, covering Ironbridge, Coalbrookdale and a part of Madeley.[7] There are other historic industrial sites in the county, such as at Shrewsbury, Broseley, Snailbeach and Highley, as well as the Shropshire Union Canal.[8]

The Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty covers about a quarter of the county, mainly in the south.[9] Shropshire is one of England's most rural and sparsely populated counties, with a population density of 136/km2 (350/sq mi). The Wrekin is one of the most famous natural landmarks in the county,[10] though the highest hills are the Clee Hills,[11] Stiperstones[12] and the Long Mynd.[13] Wenlock Edge is another significant geographical and geological landmark.[14] In the low-lying northwest of the county overlapping the border with Wales is the Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve,[15] one of the most important and best preserved bogs in Britain. The River Severn, Great Britain's longest river, runs through the county, exiting into Worcestershire via the Severn Valley. Shropshire is landlocked and with an area of 3,487 square kilometres (1,346 sq mi) is England's largest inland county.[16]

The county flower is the round-leaved sundew.[17]


Section of Offa's Dyke near the Shropshire town of Clun, constructed after the Saxon annexation of the area in the 8th century AD.

The area was once part of the lands of the Cornovii, which consisted of the modern day counties of Cheshire, Shropshire, north Staffordshire, north Herefordshire and eastern parts of Powys. This was a tribal Celtic iron age kingdom. Their capital in pre-Roman times was probably a hill fort on the Wrekin. Ptolemy's 2nd century Geography names one of their towns as being Viroconium Cornoviorum (Wroxeter), which became their capital under Roman rule and one of the largest settlements in Britain. After the Roman occupation of Britain ended in the 5th century, the Shropshire area was in the eastern part of the Welsh Kingdom of Powys; known in Welsh poetry as the Paradise of Powys. It was annexed to the Angle kingdom of Mercia by King Offa in the 8th century, at which time he built two significant dykes there to defend his territory against the Welsh or at least demarcate it. In subsequent centuries, the area suffered repeated Viking incursions, and fortresses were built at Bridgnorth (912) and Chirbury (913).[18]

After the Norman conquest in 1066, major estates in Shropshire were granted to Normans, including Roger de Montgomerie, who ordered significant constructions, particularly in Shrewsbury, the town of which he was Earl.[19] Many defensive castles were built at this time across the county to defend against the Welsh and enable effective control of the region, including Ludlow Castle[20] and Shrewsbury Castle.[21] The western frontier with Wales was not finally determined until the 14th century. Also in this period, a number of religious foundations were formed, the county largely falling at this time under the Diocese of Hereford and that of Coventry and Lichfield. Some parishes in the north-west of the county in later times fell under the Diocese of St. Asaph until the disestablishment of the Church in Wales in 1920, when they were ceded to the Lichfield diocese.[22]

The county was a central part of the Welsh Marches during the medieval period and was often embroiled in the power struggles between powerful Marcher Lords, the Earls of March and successive monarchs.[23]

The county contains a number of historically significant towns, including Shrewsbury, Bridgnorth and Ludlow (which was the seat of the Council of Wales and the Marches). Additionally, the area around Coalbrookdale in the county is seen as highly significant, as it is regarded as one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution. The village of Edgmond, near Newport, is the location of the lowest recorded temperature (in terms of weather) in England and Wales.[24]


Shropshire is first recorded in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle annal for 1006.[25] The origin of the name is the Old English Scrobbesbyrigscīr, which means "Shrewsburyshire". The name may, therefore, be derived indirectly from a personal name such as Scrope (also spelt Scrobbe).

Salop is an old name for Shropshire, historically used as an abbreviated form for post or telegrams, it is thought to derive from the Anglo-French "Salopesberia". It is normally replaced by the more contemporary "Shrops" although Shropshire residents are still referred to as "Salopians".[26] Salop however, is also used as an alternative name for the county town, Shrewsbury,[26] which also shares the motto of Floreat Salopia.

When a county council for the county was first established in 1889, it was called Salop County Council.[27] Following the Local Government Act 1972, Salop became the official name of the county. The name was not well-regarded locally however,[28] and a subsequent campaign led by a local councillor, John Kenyon, succeeded in having both the county and council renamed as Shropshire in 1980.[29] This took effect from 1 April of that year.[30]

County extent

The border with Wales was defined in the 16th century – the hundreds of Oswestry (including Oswestry) and Pimhill (including Wem) and part of Chirbury had prior to the Laws in Wales Act formed various Lordships in the Welsh Marches.

The present day ceremonial county boundary is almost the same as the historic one. Notably there has been the removal of several exclaves and enclaves. The largest of the exclaves was Halesowen, which became part of Worcestershire in 1844 (now part of the West Midlands county), and the largest of the enclaves was Herefordshire's Farlow in South Shropshire, also transferred in 1844, to Shropshire. Alterations have been made on Shropshire's border with all neighbouring English counties over the centuries. Gains have been made to the south of Ludlow (from Herefordshire), to the north of Shifnal (from Staffordshire) and to the north (from Cheshire) and south (from Staffordshire) of Market Drayton. The county has lost land in two places – to Staffordshire and Worcestershire.[31]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Shropshire
العربية: شروبشاير
asturianu: Shropshire
বাংলা: শ্রপশার
Bân-lâm-gú: Shropshire
беларуская: Шропшыр
български: Шропшър
brezhoneg: Shropshire
català: Shropshire
Cebuano: Shropshire
čeština: Shropshire
dansk: Shropshire
Deutsch: Shropshire
eesti: Shropshire
español: Shropshire
Esperanto: Shropshire
euskara: Shropshire
فارسی: شروپ‌شر
français: Shropshire
Frysk: Shropshire
Gaeilge: Shropshire
Gaelg: Shropshire
Gàidhlig: Shropshire
한국어: 슈롭셔주
हिन्दी: श्रॉपशायर
Bahasa Indonesia: Shropshire
interlingua: Shropshire
íslenska: Shropshire
italiano: Shropshire
עברית: שרופשייר
kernowek: Shropshire
latviešu: Šropšīra
Lëtzebuergesch: Shropshire
lietuvių: Šropšyras
magyar: Shropshire
Nederlands: Shropshire
norsk: Shropshire
norsk nynorsk: Shropshire
پنجابی: شروپشائر
polski: Shropshire
português: Shropshire
română: Shropshire
русский: Шропшир
Scots: Shropshire
Simple English: Shropshire
slovenčina: Shropshire
српски / srpski: Шропшир
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Shropshire
suomi: Shropshire
svenska: Shropshire
татарча/tatarça: Шропшир
Türkçe: Shropshire
українська: Шропшир
Tiếng Việt: Shropshire
Volapük: Shropshire
Winaray: Shropshire
ייִדיש: שראפשיר
粵語: 史樂郡
中文: 什罗普郡