MD Meander takes you on a stroll around Market Drayton in North East Shropshire. The town is probably 8th Century Saxon in origin and there has been a church on the site of the present St. Mary's Church for over 1000 years. The town became a centre for trade when, in 1245, the Abbot of Combermere was granted a charter by Henry III to hold a market and a fair in the town. There is still an open-air Market in Cheshire Street every Wednesday. It remained as a small Market town well into the 20th century, only experiencing larger growth in housing during recent years.
The Market Drayton Civic Society have placed brown, circular information plaques on many buildings and it is these which are used as the basis for the tour. The co-ordinates for each plaque are given, but it is probably only necessary to go to the general area of several of them, then look around. Find the answers to the following questions and you will be able to work out the co-ordinates for the final cache. If you want to stop for a 'cup of tea and a bun' there are plenty of places available around the town. Not all of the Civic Society plaques are used in this tour. A leaflet which lists all of them is available from the Tourist Information Centre and the Town Museum.
The co-ordinates given above are for the (free) car park near to the Market Drayton Swimming Centre and Picnic Area.
At the car park you get a good view of St. Mary's Church on the hill above. Walk up Phoenix Bank towards the town to the junction with the High Street and Great Hales Street. The large building on your left is the old Grammar School, once attended by Robert Clive (of India).
a). When did Rylands House become a 'Ladies School'?
b). From which century do the dwellings at Clive Steps date?
Now walk on into town. On the way, glance left up the road towards the church and find out -
c). What is the date on the old Fire Engine Station?
When you reach the main town square you are close to a number of interesting buildings.
d). What year did Thomas Telford stay at the Corbet Arms?
e). Shown on the Tudor House, what was the date of the town fire?
While you're here, just have a look up Shropshire Street (West) to find the old Sandbrook Vaults - the oldest Inn in town
f). What year was 'The Shambles' demolished?
g). In which century did the Crown Inn have its own brewery?
h). What is the exact year shown on the Buttercross plaque?
While you're by the Buttercross, also have a look at the 'Cheshire Cheese Inn & Gingerbread Cafe'
Walk northwards along Cheshire Street past the Eagle Iron Foundry on the left and the Bank on the right to find (on the right),
j). How many people could the upper floor of the Court House hold?
Cross the road to the paved area and pass under the covered section between the Information Centre and the Library. Cross the car park to reach the Festival Drayton Centre.
k). What year was the chapel converted into a community building?
Look across the road to learn about the Weathervane.
Walk southwards to find -
l). What was the date of the battle shown on the Red House?
Head westward, away from the town centre to find -
m). What is the date on Poynton House plaque?
Continue past the Town Museum -
n). How many claimants were there in the Cotton House legal dispute?
o). In what year was the bakehouse erected at the Gingerbread Bakery (Shrewsbury Road)
Now turn around and head back towards town. You are now aiming for St. Mary's Church. You can either continue along the main road or, for a quieter route, turn into Kiln Bank Road alongside Claremont House on the right, then turn left, then left again and go past the British Legion Club and Parish Rooms to the Church. St. Mary's Church is open Monday to Saturday 11am to 1 pm (10 am to 2 pm on Wednesday) and for Weekday and Sunday services
At the Church -
p). Enjoy the view and check on your car ........ How old was Tabitha Beeston when she died?
To work out the co-ordinates of the final cache, first add up all the numbers you've found. Now multiply by 10. This gives a 6-figure number
1st figure = A, 2nd = B, 3rd = C, 4th = D, 5th = E, 6th = F.
The co-ordinates of the final cache are - N 52° 54.AD(B-2) W 002° ED.FE(C-2)
Please be careful accessing this cache. It is in a fairly public place so beware of muggles.
Please take one of my cards.
If you wish to pass the front of the Old Grammar School on your way back to the car park, return to the church and find the steps behind the East end. These lead past the Grammar School and down the Clive Steps which are quite steep.
Apart from the Clive Steps, this route shouild be easily managed by an accompanied wheelchair user