Fortress Salopia

Exploring Shropshire's Military History from the Prehistoric Period to the Twentieth Century: 2016 Conference Proceedings

The military history of Shropshire from the prehistoric period to the 20th century, with close examination of the historic environment and landscape.
Date Published :
October 2017
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Editor :
Tim Jenkins, Rachael Abbiss
Illustration :
28 photos, 6 maps, 3 line drawings/plans, 1 archaeological survey plan
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Hardback
ISBN : 9781911512691
Pages : 148
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : Available


Fortress Salopia is the culmination of contributions from heritage and historic professionals, practicing archaeologists and academic historians that explores the unique military past of the county of Shropshire from the prehistoric period to the twentieth century. Shropshire is one of the most characteristic counties of the Welsh Marches and occupied a strategic position between England and Wales. Consequently, the county boasts the highest numbers of Iron Age hillforts in England and the greatest density of Motte & Bailey castles. The archaeological remains that adorn the landscape are a prescient reminder that Shropshire was once a frontier battleground, although such reminders are often lost amongst the picturesque rural landscape that prevails today. However, Shropshire’s military significance is not just confined to the prehistoric and medieval periods. Throughout the last 400 years the county has maintained military associations and became a major center of training and supply during both World Wars.

Comprising seven chapters Fortress Salopia explores a range of phenomena throughout the past two thousand years. Andy Wigley contextualizes the origins of hillforts and their social context within the evolution of the wider landscapes around them. Roger White focuses on the inter-relationship between the Roman Army and the native peoples in Shropshire and on the legacy of urbanization and Romanization in Wroxeter. Paul Belford examines the significance of Offa’s Dyke, the western boundary of the Kingdom of Mercia, large parts of which survive in Shropshire. Rachael Abbiss considers the changing military landscape during the Georgian period including preparations for war, socioeconomic developments and the creation of new military structures. Tim Jenkins reflects on the contribution of the county to the training and supply demands imposed during the two world wars and later twentieth century conflict. This includes the development of military installations and their significance as archaeological remains in the twenty-first century. Ruth R. Brown and Kay Smith highlight the significance of the arms and armor collections in Shropshire museums focusing on two rare shields known as Wrexham bucklers. James Pardoe deliberates upon the interpretation of our military heritage through the medium of regimental museums and considers their sustainability in an increasingly changing socioeconomic climate.

In conclusion, Fortress Salopia is a unique miscellany of Shropshire’s military heritage and a fascinating insight into the antiquity of one of England’s most rural shires.

About The Author

Tim Jenkins is a heritage and built environment professional who has specialised in museum development, building conservation and heritage-led regeneration projects. Research areas include military archaeology, historic aircraft conservation and the history of science and technology, in which he has been published. A ‘pracademic’ by nature, Tim gained his PhD from the University of Birmingham and is currently Associate Professor in the Centre for Design, Heritage and the Built Environment at University Centre Shrewsbury and Programme Director for Shropshire Council.

An early modern military historian, Dr Rachael Abbiss has worked as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Chester since 2011 and at University Centre Shrewsbury since 2015. Her PhD focused on the role of the military in imperial security policy between 1685 and 1689. Rachael has curatorial and educational experience in the museum and heritage sector, and has worked for organisations such as the Assault Glider Trust and Buckingham Palace.


“ … An interesting and engaging collection of material…”

- Casemate - Fortress Study Group Magazine

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