Vets Church Stretton

The people in the Church Stretton community care for both their pets and their livestock with equal emotion and they need to be sure they can trust their local vet to give them good honest advice and to be able to rely on their vet to turn out in all weathers at all times of the day to tend any sick animals on farm land anywhere in South Shropshire.

Bishops Castle Vets is local to Church Stretton and is a well-established, independent rural practice located providing extensive veterinary services for Pets, Livestock and Horses in South Shropshire.

The practice has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere where you can rely on our dedicated experienced team of Vets and Nurses to offer a high level of care for your animals.

We offer a comprehensive and competitive range of services and provide our own emergency service at all times.

We’re nice people to deal with so why not call us for a free quote: 01588 638 356

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A history of Church Stretton

The earliest signs of civilisation around Church Stretton are found in iron age hillforts (e.g. Caradoc and Bodbury), but Church Stretton as a settlement has its roots in the post Roman era. It started as an Anglo-Saxon settlement near Watling Street, a Roman road that ran from Uriconium through the Stretton Gap to Leintwardine and thence to Gloucester. It is from its location beside this road that it derived its name – the ‘tun’ (settlement) beside the ‘street’. It then belonged to the Saxon earls of Mercia and had a church and a priest.


The Church of St Lawrence still stands on its original site, much of the building dating from Norman times. It retains a fine Norman nave, but it is one of only a few churches with a carved fertility symbol (a Sheelagh na Eigh), a remnant of Saxon Stretton.

After the Norman conquest Church Stretton was one of the manors given to Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Shrewsbury, but in 1102 it reverted to the king. In 1336 Edward III gave the manor to Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel, and it stayed with that family until 1579. Another notable family who held the manor for many years, from 1635 until 1802, was the Tynne family of Longleat. 

In 1214 King John, who owned the manor, instructed the Sheriff to announce that a weekly market was to be held on Wednesdays. This was changed to Thursdays by a Charter granted by Edward III in 1337. This weekly market is still held. A fire burnt down much of the town centre in 1593 and many of the present half-timbered buildings in the town centre date from the subsequent rebuilding. A half-timbered market hall was erected in The Square in 1617 by Bonham Norton, a wealthy London stationer (printer and publisher) who over time had purchased much land and property in the town and eventually acquired the market rights from the Lord of the Manor, Sir Thomas Thynne. This was taken down in 1839 and replaced in 1840 by a second building funded by public subscription, itself demolished as unsafe in 1963.

For most of its history Church Stretton has been a small rural market town servicing local agriculture, both arable and livestock. Six fairs used to be held each year at which farm labourers and domestic servants were hired and animals (mainly sheep and ponies) sold. 

Another of the more important events in the history of the town was the coming of the railway in 1852. The original station can still be seen to the north of the bridge on Sandford Avenue. The formation of the Church Stretton Land and Building Companies about 1900 led to the development of a number of areas around the original town for housing of all types. Brought to a halt by the Second World War, housing development began again in the 1960’s and has continued since. Whilst the town is not entirely free from the pressures of modern life, it still retains in its setting – and especially in its community spirit – a quality of life that enriches all those fortunate enough to live here.