This article is a short one, as the 1700s were mostly a period of relative quietness and tranquillity, unlike the 1800s which followed.

During the Eighteenth Century, the Burgesses continued with their day-to-day lives of trading and it was only towards the end of the Century that the foundation stones of modern day infrastructure began to form with the improvement of the roads system throughout the country.

Our tale begins with 1776, when the Black Gate was removed from the southernmost border of the town, on grounds that it was a danger to public safety and a hindrance to trade. 1776 was also the year that the Grammar School relocated from the schoolhouse next to St. Oswald’s Church to a purpose-built site on the Trefonen Road.

The Beatrice, New and Willow Gates were removed in 1782, for the exact same reasons as the Black Gate was removed. As the Town’s prison was located at the New Gate, a new one was constructed on the Bailey Head, along with municipal buildings on what is now the site of the Guildhall.

In 1789, Oswestry received a visit from John Wesley during his circuit tours of Great Britain. Wesley a Christian preacher who helped found the denomination of Methodism. It was thanks to tours from Wesley and his fellow preachers that the faith became widespread throughout England and Wales, and even today, Methodism still has quite a strong following from the Burgesses. The primary Methodist Church is located in Castle Street, but many other churches and chapels not linked to the Connexion also exist, and have existed, throughout the Town.

Other significant events from this Century include the building of the canals in the 1790s and the construction of the House of Industry at Morda in 1791, which would later be referred to as ‘Morda Workhouse’.


‘Oswestry through the ages’ [Pages 14 & 15], by John Pryce-Jones (1991)