Gobowen is an old village, with open cast mining recorded as early
as 1160. Known as Gobs, it is possible one of these workings
could have been owned by a man called Owen, hence the name.
When one of the pictures below was taken (The square 1913), the main London
to Holyhead road passed through the village. Behind the signpost
showing 174 miles to London, is the fountain which was opened on 11th
December, 1876 by Col. Lovett of Henlle Hall. In his speech he
related the legend of Owen the Gow (blacksmith) who settled there
after being attracted by the beautiful stream of water, providing yet
another source from where the name could have been derived.
Following are some old pictures from the village which have been
copied from the wonderful collection of historical information that
was originally created by Jack Tamlyn. It is kept in the library
and well worth a look.
Following that are some extracts taken from book about Shropshire
which make reference to Gobowen.
|Gobowen in Pictures - Click
the images for a bigger version|
The Square 1913
Circa 1914, Whittington Road
Circa 1913-1914 Local Lads
View from Level Crossing - 1913
Whittington Road Circa 1930
The Station 1958
The Cross Foxes
|The following are extracts taken from ‘Shropshire
Within Living Memory’ a book compiled by the Shropshire
Federation of Women’s Institutes from notes sent by Institutes
in the County. The
extracts contain specific references to Gobowen.|
SALES AND MARKET DAY
‘In the early years of the century at
Gobowen, the roads would be full of cattle on a Wednesday being
driven along to Oswestry market.
On the first Wednesday in each month, a horse fair took
place in Oswestry. The
horses would go through the village all dressed up in ribbons
etc, beautiful big cart horses.’
THE VILLAGE POLICEMAN
‘I think PC Davies’ biggest job was
going round the farms at Gobowen checking the record books or
checking sheep dipping. There
would be a feed of bread and cheese at the end of it.
All the boys were afraid of the policemen
in those days. He
came to the school one day, he got my brother out of class and
asked if he’d been in an old mill.
A lock had been broken and some other damage had been
done. He frightened
my brother so much he told him we had been in the mill.
He got me out next and I had to say the same as my
brother. We had not
been near the mill!’
A FEW VICARS
‘The Rev G.O. Brown was vicar at Gobowen
during the 1920s and it was his wish to be buried the opposite
way round to everyone else.
It was customary in those days to bury everyone with
their feet to the east, so if he was buried the opposite way
round, on the day of resurrection he would arise to face his
‘If you came out of the Hart and Trumpet
public house at Gobowen and saw some elephants walking past, you
would think it was the result of having too much to drink.
Oh no! Elephants used to walk from place to place as the
Two men were washing the elephants in a
brook by Pentre Wern blacksmith’s.
There were two old elephants and one young one.
I don’t know if one of the older elephants was the
mother of the young one. As the men were encouraging them to
wash themselves by putting their trunks in the water and
squirting water over themselves, the one big elephant stepped
back and put his trunk through the small elephants legs and
pulled him over onto the stile. They started to fight, the
horses ran away and there was quite a commotion.
The noise was frightening and we children ran away for
our lives. By the
way, the stile has never been repaired and that was over 70
CLOUD BURSTS AND WINTER FLOODS
‘In 1902 there was a cloudburst and
Gobowen was flooded in March, and again in May.
The trains had to stop because the water was high enough
to put out the fire in the engines.
The railway porters put chairs on the railway trolleys
and took some of the passengers over to the Hart and Trumpet
Hotel, where they stayed until they were able to complete their
‘One remedy from an old soldier at
Gobowen who had boils after being in the trenches in France, was
to get a small portion of warm cow dung, put it on the boils and
they would be gone in a day or two.
The best I told was to get an egg, boil it hard and eat
the shell and all. That
was an old gipsy remedy, but the end result was they were all
lanced by the doctor.’
THE BOER WAR
‘To celebrate the end of the Boer War
there was a dance in the Malt Kiln at Gobowen, now the
Farmers’ Union. Medals were given to commemorate the Coronation of Edward
CORONATION OF GEORGE V
‘I remember the Coronation of George V
celebration at Gobowen. We
had marched from the council school to the mission room with
flags, or flowers on flag sticks.
We had tea and sports in Pentrewern field, where the
flats and Cornish house are now.
We also had mugs and royal blue edged testaments given by
Mr Bill Bowyer from the Hart and Trumpet.
At night there was a dance in the mission room.’
If you have any historical information or old photos of Gobowen please contact us - firstname.lastname@example.org