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Along the Moors - Granville Nature Reserve

A Trip through the Coalfields

Looking Towards Lilleshall From The Edge Of The Former Coalf
Looking Towards Lilleshall From The Edge Of The Former Coalfield

While the Weald Moors have been synonymous with agriculture for many hundreds of years, such bucolic activities did not hold always hold sway on the southern fringe of the moorlands, where many of the raw materials that fuelled the industrialisation of east Shropshire were extracted during the 18th and 19th Centuries. The area’s mineral wealth principally consisted of plentiful coal and ironstone reserves situated around Donnington Wood, although limestone (an important constituent of the iron-making process) was also quarried near to Lilleshall village. Evidence suggests industrial activity went on in the parish during the middle ages (a smithy was recorded near Waxhillgate in 1277, while a ‘Coalpit Way’ existed in Donnington Wood by 1592) but it paled in insignificance to the scale of operations that were established during the late 18th Century… all of which has left an unlikely legacy on the modern day landscape.