History of Wem Wem in 1870 Wem in the mid 1890s Commercial
Early C20th photos
Pre-WWII Wem's Ancient Markets Aston Street High Street Buildings
through the ages
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The pre-railway High Street

Wem in 1830

Anyone arriving from afar in 1830 would have come by Stagecoach. 'The Hero' called at the Castle and the Union Stagecoach at the White Lion. The High Street east of the junction with New Street was known as 'Maypole End'. This was about half a mile long and went past the cemetery (now the Millennium Green.) It then split, with one branch bending right into Aston Road and the other being Soulton Road. The current bed and breakfast, 'The Aston Lodge' was in Aston Road, not in Soulton Road as it now is. The coming of the railway forced the roads to be split on the south sides of the tracks, in order to create one road crossing.

The graph illustrates the types of trades prevalent in the town at the time. Note the large number of clothing shops, all of which have now disappeared.

The street now known as 'Market Street' was then 'Cripple Street', replacing the area west of the Market Hall, which appears to have become known as Bow Street.The top of the town, round the Hawkstone Arms was known as Ireland. Just as well this is not still so, the Internet searches have enough trouble distinguishing 'Wem' from 'Wembley' or 'Web'!The area between the Market Hall and the entrance to Chapel St seems to have been known as Market Street.Thus in the 1850 edition of Bagshaw's Directory, the 'Black Lion' was listed as being in Market St. and the 'Lord Hill' as 'Maypole End'
The town population in 1830 was listed as just over 1500 people. The range of shops at the time reflected the needs of a rural community, with far more clothiers and food shops.While the categories remain the same, the actual nature of each group of shops differs. "Transport" in the 19th Century included saddlers, 3 blacksmiths and wheelwrights whilst "clothing" included stay makers. Six maltsters were also to be found in the town and many of the pubs brewed their own beer