The Old Parsonage or Manse This house, built 1689 for a Shrewsbury Draper's family stands on the site of one clearly shown on the Burleigh map of 1575, which it probably incorporates. When the new King George I gave his protection to the Unitarian Church in the High Street after its destruction in 1715, this house also became the Minister's manse until the 1920s as well as the church's school to provide non-Trinitarian education. Charles Darwin along with his sister were pupils here in 1817 under the Reverend Augustus Chase before he went on to The Schools, Shrewsbury (now the Library). The poet S.T. Coleridge, through staying with Hazlitt in Wem, was associated with the house when a candidate for the ministry here, only to be granted a pension to pursue his radical politics and philosophy by the then patron Josiah Wedgwood, Darwin's grandfather. Religious mobs damaged the house several times during the 1700s. It received the award of the Shrewsbury Civic Society for its restoration in the early 1950s.

Photo of The Old Parsonage or Manse and Charles Darwin brass plaque
Elliott Brown on Flickr
Photo of The Old Parsonage or Manse and Charles Darwin brass plaque
Elliott Brown on Flickr