Shrewsbury boasts a long and eventful history and has more than its fair share of secrets locked away among its medieval streets and distinctive narrow passages, known locally as `shuts'. The town grew prosperous from the wool trade thanks to its position on the River Severn, which allowed it access to markets in the rest of England via the extensive canal network. Its relative isolation from other large manufacturing towns and ports meant that it avoided the rapid industrialisation of the nineteenth century and also escaped bomb damage during the Second World War. The result is that Shrewsbury remains relatively unspoiled and has retained its medieval street pattern, as well as many original fifteenth- and sixteenth-century timberframed buildings. Shropshire's county town has many secrets just waiting to be discovered and in Secret Shrewsbury, local author John Shipley pulls back the curtains of history to reveal the forgotten, the strange and the unlikely.
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