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Madeley (Shropshire)

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Title: Madeley (Shropshire)  
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Subject: Thomas Telford, Shropshire, Geology of Shropshire
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Madeley (Shropshire)

Coordinates: 52°38′15″N 2°26′56″W / 52.6374°N 2.4488°W / 52.6374; -2.4488

Population 17,935 
OS grid reference SJ697044
Unitary authority Telford and Wrekin
Ceremonial county Shropshire
Region West Midlands
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town TELFORD
Postcode district TF7
Dialling code 01952
Police West Mercia
Fire Shropshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament The Wrekin
List of places

Madeley is a town and civil parish in Shropshire, England, now part of the new town of Telford. The parish had a population of 17,935 at the 2001 census.[1]

Madeley is recorded in the Domesday Book, having been founded before the 8th century. Historically, Madeley's industrial activity has largely been in mining, and later, manufacturing, which is still a large employer in the town, along with service industries. Parts of the parish fall within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge, the site of The Iron Bridge, and a key area in the development of Industry.


The settlement of Madeley is recorded as far back as the Domesday Book. The town was founded prior to the 8th century, and subsequently became a market town in the 13th century.

Sigward, a local ruler in the time of King Ethelbald of Mercia, is said to have held 3 hides of land at Madeley.[2] Between 727 and 736 he sold his holdings to Mildburh, daughter of Merewalh, sub-king of the Magonsæte. She was the founder and first head of Wenlock Abbey. The monastery was refounded as a Cluniac priory after the Norman conquest but the manor of Madeley belonged to the church of Wenlock, throughout the Middle Ages, until the Dissolution of the monasteries. It passed to the Crown in 1540 and in 1544 was sold to Robert Broke, a prominent lawyer and politician from Claverley.

Mining of coal began before 1322, and the extraction of ironstone had begun by 1540.[3]

The town played a role in the English Civil War, as it was home to a garrison of Royalist soldiers in 1645, although this post was abandoned after the fall of Shrewsbury. Two months later, Paliamentary forces occupied the parish church.[3] Madeley is also home to a barn in which King Charles II hid after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.[4]

In the 17th century, Madeley was a small market town, but local tradesmen began to specialise, working in the river trade and in mining. In the 18th century, The Iron Bridge was built between Madeley Wood and Coalbrookdale and the settlement of Ironbridge grew by it, which took some of the commercial trade away from the old town of Madeley, including its market.

In the 1970s, significant construction of new housing and recreation areas was undertaken by the Dawley Development Corporation, later known as the Telford Development Corporation, as part of the development of Telford New Town.[3]

Several of Madeley's historical sites of interest are waypoints on the South Telford Heritage Trail including: Madeley Court, Madeley High Street, Jubilee House, St. Michaels Church, Madeley Windmill and the Madeley Salop Railway Station.


Madeley is located within the civil parish and ward of the same name. The ward is within the Telford constituency, which is currently represented by Labour MP David Wright. In terms of local government, the town has representation in the local parish council, with five councillors representing the town,[5] and the town is administered on the borough level by Telford and Wrekin unitary authority. The parish of Madeley formerly incorporated Ironbridge, which has since become part of the new parish of The Gorge.


Madeley is situated in the southern part of the new town of Telford, to the north of Ironbridge and the River Severn. Coalport, a part of the parish of Madeley can be found to the west of the town, and the modern Telford Town Centre is north of the settlement. The local area has reserves of coal and ironstone.[6]

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Ironbridge Gorge falls within the Parish of Madeley.[7] The majority of the site is within the parish of The Gorge, named for the Ironbridge Gorge, which is bridged by The Iron Bridge.


At the 2001 census, the population of the parish of Madeley was 17,935. Of this number, 8,190 were economically active, and of them, 7,477 were in employment. The ethnicity of the population was as follows: 96% of the population was found to be White, and 1.9% Asian, or Asian British. 1.3% of the population was mixed race, 0.6% Black or Black British and a further 0.2% Chinese.[8]

In terms of religion: 77% of the population are Christian, and 14.4% are of no religion. 0.7% of the population are Muslim, 0.5% are Sikh, 0.3% are Hindu, and 0.1% are Buddhist.[9]


Historically, Madeley was a mining town serving the now defunct Kemberton Colliery. It was also home to the Madeley Wood Company. As of 2001, manufacturing is still a large employer in the town, with 33.1% of parish residents employed in that area. 20.7% are employed in wholesale, retail and hotels, and 11.8% in finance and business services. 5.3% of residents were found to be unemployed by the 2001 census.[1]


The B4373 runs through the town, and the A4169 runs along its northern edge. The nearest motorway is the M54, which connects Telford to the West Midlands conurbation and the rest of the motorway network. Town bus services are provided by Arriva, and a community bus service is provided.[10]

Near Madeley is Madeley Junction, a railway junction and its accompanying signal box. The line from this junction runs to Lightmoor Junction, and is used to carry coal to Ironbridge Power Station.[11] The nearest National Rail station to the town is Telford Central.


There are a number of nurseries and primary schools in Madeley,[12] and two secondary schools: Abraham Darby Academy, which specialises in the performing arts and business enterprise;[13] and Madeley Academy, a specialist sports college.[14] Haughton School, a special school for students aged five to eleven is located in the town.[15]

Religious sites

There are three churches in the centre of Madeley: St. Michael's, a Church of England church, which was designed in its present form by Thomas Telford;[16] Madeley Baptist Church; and St. Mary's Roman Catholic church, part of the Diocese of Shrewsbury.[17][18] The Fletcher Methodist Centre can be found in the town, and on the Tweedale Industrial Estate near Madeley is the Springfield Christian Fellowship.[18]

Notable people

Residents of the town of Madeley have included Sir Basil Brooke of Madeley Court, who was instrumental in the Industrial Revolution. He was born in the local manor (which he later inherited) in 1576. His grandfather, Robert Brooke, was a former Speaker of the House of Commons.[19] John William Fletcher, an English divine, originally from Switzerland, was the vicar of the parish of Madeley in the 18th century.[20] Major Charles Allix Lavington Yate VC, is another former resident of the town, who earned the Victoria Cross in the First World War.[21] He was kinsman of Colonel Sir Charles Yate, 1st Baronet, (1849–1940) British soldier and administrator in India, who retired to Madeley Hall and is buried in the parish churchyard.

Billy Wright, the former captain of Wolves and the England football team, attended Madeley Senior School (which is now the Abraham Darby Academy).[22] Rob Edwards a current Wolves and Wales full-back, was born in the town, in 1982.


External links

  • Madeley Parish Council has information about local history, events, etc.
  • Telford Culture Zone, Council run service for local arts and events
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