Whitchurch is a bustling market town which boasts the title the “Home of Tower Clocks”. It is also the only town in Shropshire that has been continuously occupied from Roman times and one of the only places in the county which can claim with certainty to have been built on a Roman site.
Today the historic town is regarded by many as the real home of Cheshire Cheese, which is still produced locally.
|Whitchurch is full of activity throughout the year
The Whitchurch firm of J B Joyce was established in 1690 and is the oldest maker of tower clocks in the world.
The townscape is dominated by St Alkmund’s Parish Church, a predecessor of which gave the town its modern name.
One of the town’s most famous citizens was John Talbot, who was born at Blakemere.
His heart is buried under the church porch.
Fine buildings dating from medieval, Tudor and Georgian times are still evident.
The town, twinned with Neufchatel-en-Bray in France, hit the small screen in January after a visit by the Antiques Roadshow cameras to the leisure centre at Sir John Talbot’s School, when clocks made by Joyces of Whitchurch, a book about Wem’s workhouse and seventeenth-century wooden buckets worth £50,000 were among the items experts looked at.
The £90,000 craft workshops in St Mary’s Street provide an attractive addition to the popular Whitchurch Heritage Centre, and an insight into traditional crafts.
The heritage centre is an ideal stopping-off point to find out about the attractions in the area, and also holds exhibitions for visitors to see.
Nearby is the library and Whitchurch civic centre, where numerous events are put on including the screening of films, concerts and other acts, such as comedian Bernard Manning.
The Jubilee Park has also benefited through a £350,000 revamp with the help of lottery cash to provide a major new entrance, with a direct link between the park and the town centre and a wildlife area.
The town, which has several pubs, restaurants and a nightclub, also has a CCTV system.
Pub Watch and Shop Watch schemes have just been relaunched.
There are plans to turn Whitchurch Hospital’s chapel into a multi-purpose community centre and work is beginning on Whitchurch Waterway Trust’s plans to extend the Llangollen canal towards the centre of the town.
A popular boat rally is usually held along the canal.
The town also has its own popular carnival, organised by current mayor Johnnie Bates, which sees thousands of people flock to watch the procession winding its way through the town.