The Tern Valley Trail
By the mid 19th Century, the Anglo-Saxon village of Admaston enjoyed a flourishing reputation as a fashionable centre for ‘genteel society’. In 1851, the arrival of the railway network in east Shropshire led to the opening of a local station, situated on the main line between Shrewsbury and Wellington, enabling even more wealthy patrons to flock to the area. Admaston’s popularity was founded on the presence of what the Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) described as ‘a mineral spa of considerable celebrity, where a commodious hotel has been built for visitors’. As more people began to take to the waters, so the village began to expand and many large houses sprung up to accommodate its new, affluent residents.
Taking the Waters
Admaston Spa (sometimes known as Wellington Spa) included its own bath house and hotel and was rebuilt during the 1840s, although a commercial spa appears to have been in operation by 1750. The therapeutic qualities of the iron-and sulphur-bearing springs were thought helpful in the treatment of rheumatic complaints and it is possible people visited the site since medieval times, when a holy well may have existed here. Despite its appeal to late Victorian ideals on healthy living, the popularity of the spa was short-lived and, by the 1890s, it had closed. Despite re-opening for a short period, in the late 1920s and early 30s, the spa house soon became redundant again and later suffered the indignity of becoming a chicken farm! However, the building was restored to private ownership in the 1970s, after being renovated by Telford Development Corporation.