84, Charing Cross Road
84, Charing Cross Road is a 1970 book by Helene Hanff made into a stage play, television play, film, about the twenty-year correspondence between the author and Frank Doel, chief buyer of Marks & Co antiquarian booksellers, located at the eponymous address in London, England. Hanff was in search of obscure classics and British literature titles that she had been unable to find in New York City when she noticed an ad in the Saturday Review of Literature, she first contacted the shop in 1949 and it fell to Doel to fulfil her requests. In time, a long-distance friendship developed between the two and between Hanff and other staff members, as well, with an exchange of Christmas packages, birthday gifts and food parcels to help with the post-World War II food shortages in Britain, their letters included discussions about topics as diverse as the sermons of John Donne, how to make Yorkshire Pudding, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the coronation of Elizabeth II. Hanff postponed visiting her English friends until too late.
Hanff did visit Charing Cross Road and the empty shop in the summer of 1971, a trip recorded in her 1973 book The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. The five-story building where Marks & Co. was located during the events of the book still exists. A circular brass plaque on a pilaster on the street frontage acknowledges the story and marks the site; the premises were occupied by a music and CD shop in the early 1990s, other retail outlets. In 2009 they housed a Med Kitchen restaurant. Partial list of the books that Helene Hanff ordered from Marks & Co. and mentioned in 84 Charing Cross Road: Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice, Francis trans. Memoirs of the Duc de Saint-Simon Belloc, Hillaire. Essays. Catullus – Loeb Classics Chaucer, Geoffrey The Canterbury Tales translated by Hill, published by Longmans 1934) Delafield, E. M. Diary of a Provincial Lady Dobson, Austen ed.. The Sir Roger De Coverley Papers Donne, John Sermons Elizabethan Poetry Grahame, The Wind in the Willows Greek New Testament Grolier Bible Hazlitt, William.
Selected Essays Of William Hazlitt 1778 To 1830, Nonesuch Press edition. Horace – Loeb Classics Hunt, Leigh. Essays. Johnson, Samuel, On Shakespeare, Intro by Walter Raleigh Jonson, Ben. Timber Lamb, Charles. Essays of Elia. Landor, Walter Savage. Vol II of The Works and Life of Walter Savage Landor – Imaginary Conversations Latin Anglican New Testament Latin Vulgate Bible / Latin Vulgate New Testament Latin Vulgate Dictionary Leonard, R. M. ed. The Book-Lover's Anthology. Newman, John Henry. Discourses on the Scope and Nature of University Education. Addressed to the Catholics of Dublin- "'Idea of a University" Pepys, Samuel. Pepys Diary – 4 Volume Braybrook ed. Plato's Four Socratic Dialogues, 1903 Quiller-Couch, The Oxford Book Of English Verse Quiller-Couch, The Pilgrim's Way Quiller-Couch, Oxford Book of English Prose Sappho – Loeb Classics St. John, Christopher Ed. Ellen Terry and Bernard Shaw: A Correspondence / The Shaw – Terry Letters: A Romantic Correspondence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Stevenson, Robert Louis.
Virginibus Puerisque de Tocqueville, Alexis Journey to America Wyatt, Thomas. Poems of Thomas Wyatt Walton, Izaak; the Compleat Angler. J Major's. Walton, Izaak; the Lives of – John Donne – Sir Henry Wotton – Richard Hooker – George Herbert & Robert Sanderson Woolf, The Common Reader, 1932. Hugh Whitemore adapted 84, Charing Cross Road for the BBC's Play for Today, a television anthology series, it was first broadcast on 4 November 1975, starring Anne Jackson. In 1981, James Roose-Evans adapted it for the stage in a two-character version first produced at the Salisbury Playhouse with Rosemary Leach and David Swift, it transferred to the West End. A second production at the Playhouse ran from 5–28 February 2015, with Clive Francis and Janie Dee in the lead roles. After fifteen previews, the Broadway production opened to mixed reviews on 7 December 1982 at the Nederlander Theatre with Ellen Burstyn and Joseph Maher, it ran for 96 performances. Virginia Browns adapted the story for BBC Radio drama, it was broadcast on Radio 3 on 15 January 1976, with Margaret Robertson as Hanff and Lyndon Brook as Doel.
The play was produced by Christopher Venning. James Roose-Evans again adapted the play for a 2007 radio production starring Gillian Anderson and Denis Lawson, broadcast on Christmas Day on BBC Radio 4. Whitemore returned to the project to write the screenplay for the 1987 film adaptation starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins; the dramatis personae were expanded to include Hanff's Manhattan friends, the bookshop staff, Doel's wife Nora, played by Judi Dench. Bancroft won a BAFTA Award as Best Actress; the Chinese-Hong Kong film Book of Love or Finding Mr. Right 2 references, is loosely inspired by, 84, Charing Cross Road. 84 Charing Cross Road – Play for Today, 1975 on IMDb 84 Charing Cross Road – film, 1987 on IMDb Marks & Co
Heartbeat (UK TV series)
Heartbeat is a British police drama series set in 1960s North Riding of Yorkshire based on the "Constable" series of novels written by ex-policeman Peter N Walker, under the pseudonym Nicholas Rhea, broadcast on ITV in 18 series between 1992 and 2010. It was made on location. Heartbeat first aired on Friday 10 April 1992; the 372nd and final episode aired on Sunday 12 September 2010. Heartbeat proved popular from the beginning, when early series drew over 10 million viewers. In 2001, Heartbeat came sixth in the UK TV ratings list with a peak audience of 13.82 million, it was sixth again in 2003, with 12.8 million viewers. In autumn 2008, typical viewing figures were around 6 million per episode. Conceived as a vehicle for Nick Berry, on whom early series centred, the show has seen many characters come and go over the years. Derek Fowlds and William Simons were the only main-cast actors who remained with the show over its entire 18-series run. Heartbeat is set in the 1960s. Although the specific timeframe is vague, various episodes appear to correspond to events between 1964 and 1969.
For the series transmitted between 1992 and 1999, the setting corresponded with the date 30 years before. After 1999 the series was "frozen" in 1969; the series revolves around the work of a group of police officers in the fictional town of Ashfordly and the village of Aidensfield in the North Riding of Yorkshire. The series was based on the'"Constable"' books written by former policeman Peter Walker, under the pen-name Nicholas Rhea; the title Heartbeat was chosen to represent "the bobby's beat and the medical connotations of the word'heart'". The show was a starring vehicle for ex-EastEnders actor Nick Berry, cast as PC Nick Rowan, the Aidensfield policeman newly arrived from London with his wife Kate, a doctor. Berry sings Heartbeat's theme song — the Buddy Holly song of the same name. Berry's recording reached number 2 on the UK singles chart in 1992. In series, the role of the village policeman continued to be central to the storyline but the main cast were listed in alphabetical order in the opening credits, reflecting the show's evolution into an ensemble drama.
In the 2005 series no fewer than twelve regular actors had their names and faces included in the opening credits— at the time a record for any British series. In series 18 this had increased to thirteen; the record has since been broken by Holby City, which during the stages of its 2009–10 series had sixteen regular actors appearing and listed in the opening credits. The show features political storylines, though occasional references to the counterculture movement are made during some episodes. Sixties pop music is prominent; some 1970s records appear anachronistically, such as the Hollies' 1974 song "The Air That I Breathe", Led Zeppelin's "Black Dog" or Pink Floyd's 1971 instrumental "One of These Days." The series 17 finale "You Never Can Tell" is accompanied by the Flying Pickets' 1983 song "Only You", an episode which featured a guest appearance by the band's lead singer Brian Hibbard. Although its storylines involved serious crime and human tragedy series of Heartbeat dealt with these themes in a cosy and comfortable manner compared to more modern TV police dramas, much of the grittiness and social realism of the early series disappeared, though "Another Little Piece Of My Heart" was preceded by a viewer discretion warning for "containing scenes of domestic violence".
The first series dealt with the experiences of a young married couple, PC Nick Rowan and Doctor Kate Rowan, arriving in a small North Riding village after living in London. Both faced initial suspicion from the villagers, but over the course of the series came to be accepted as part of the community; the stories focused entirely on the experiences of the two main characters. The build-up to the wedding of Sandra and Alan, two youngsters from the village, provided a running thread through the first series; however and Alan were never seen, or mentioned, after the first series. Once the characters had settled in, subsequent series focused more on criminal and medical storylines, with a greater role for the other policemen at the Ashfordly station, who had appeared in the first series but only as quite minor supporting characters. Various new characters were introduced along the way, such as Gina Ward, who would become landlady of the Aidensfield Arms village pub, Bernie Scripps and proprietor of the Aidensfield Garage, David Stockwell, hired hand and taxi/lorry driver.
During the filming of series 4 Niamh Cusack, who played Nick's wife, became pregnant with her first and only child. In attempts to keep her to continue with the series the show's producers offered to write a new child character into the Rowan's storyline. Before filming for series 5 began Cusack decided that the prospect of motherhood meant it was time for her to leave the cast of Heartbeat and hence her character was "killed off" in 1995. After Kate's death from leukaemia, Nick Rowan gained teacher Jo Weston; the two married and emigrated to Canada, the central role of local Aidensfield bobby subsequently changed hands several times—as did the role of Aidensfield doctor. These and numerous other change
That'll Be the Day (film)
That'll Be the Day is a 1973 British drama film directed by Claude Whatham, written by Ray Connolly, starring David Essex, Rosemary Leach and Ringo Starr. It is set in the late 1950s/early 1960s and was filmed on the Isle of Wight. Jim MacLaine was abandoned by his father; as a suburban school dropout, Jim leaves home and drifts through a succession of dead-end jobs until he finds an outlet for his frustration in rock'n' roll. Tossing away the chance of a university education much to the consternation of his mother, alienated MacLaine becomes a lowly deckchair attendant before streetwise friend Mike gets him a job firstly as a barman and with the fun fair; the shy MacLaine becomes a heartless fairground Romeo leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake. MacLaine returns home to run the family store and marry his girlfriend, but despite the birth of a son, restless Jim feels the lure of rock ’n’ roll again; the Liverpool days of the Quarrymen/the Beatles and Rory Storm & the Hurricanes were said to be the inspiration for the fictional group called "Stray Cats" in the film.
Many of the characters were played by musicians who had lived through the era portrayed in the film including Ringo Starr of the Hurricanes and the Beatles, Billy Fury, Keith Moon of the Who and John Hawken of the Nashville Teens. The film was produced by David Puttnam and is loosely based on the Harry Nilsson song "1941". David Essex... Jim Maclaine Ringo Starr... Mike Rosemary Leach... Mary Maclaine James Booth... Mr. Maclaine Billy Fury... Stormy Tempest Rosalind Ayres... Jeanette Sutcliffe Keith Moon... J. D. Clover Robert Lindsay... Terry Sutcliffe Deborah Watling... Sandra Brenda Bruce... Doreen Beth Morris... Jean Daphne Oxenford... Mrs. Sutcliffe Kim Braden... Charlotte Johnny Shannon... Jack Karl Howman... Johnny Sue Holderness... Shirley Érin Geraghty... Joan Sacha Puttnam... Young Jim Maclaine Peter Turner... Teddy Boy The film was a hit at the box office, leading to Stardust. Nat Cohen, who invested in the film, said. According to Anne Billson in the Time Out Film Guide, the film was a "hugely overrated dip into the rock'n' roll nostalgia bucket... " commenting "Youth culture my eye: they're all at least a decade too old.
But good tunes, worth catching for Billy Fury's gold lamé act." Buddy Holly and the Crickets – "That'll Be the Day" Billy Fury – "A Thousand Stars" Billy Fury – "Long Live Rock" Billy Fury – "Get Yourself Together" Billy Fury – "That's Alright Mama" Billy Fury – "What Did I Say" Wishful Thinking – "It'll Be Me" Dion and the Belmonts – "Runaround Sue" The Everly Brothers – "Bye Bye Love" The Everly Brothers – "Devoted To You" The Everly Brothers – "Till I Kissed You" The Everly Brothers – "Wake Up Little Suzy" The Platters – "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" Big Bopper – "Chantilly Lace" Jerry Lee Lewis – "Great Balls of Fire" Little Richard – "Tutti Frutti" Danny and the Juniors – "At the Hop" Frankie Lymon – "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" Johnny Tillotson -"Poetry In Motion" Jimmie Rodgers – "Honeycomb" Larry Williams – "Bony Moronie" Del Shannon – "Runaway" Ritchie Valens – "Donna" Eugene Wallace – "Slow Down" Jerry Lee Lewis – "Great Balls of Fire" Brian Hyland – "Sealed With a Kiss" Bobby Vee – "Take Good Care of My Baby" Del Shannon – "Hats Off to Larry" Bobby Darin – "Dream Lover" The Paris Sisters – "I Love How You Love Me" The Poni-Tails – "Born Too Late" Johnny and the Hurricanes – "Red River Rock" The Monotones – "The Book of Love" Bill Justis – "Raunchy" Johnny Preston – "Running Bear" The Diamonds – "Little Darlin' " Ray Sharpe – "Linda Lu" Lloyd Price – " Personality" Buddy Holly and the Crickets – "Well All Right" Dante and the Evergreens – "Alley Oop" Viv Stanshall – "Real Leather Jacket" Stormy Tempest – "What in the World" Wolverine Cubs Jazz Band – "Weary Blues" Buddy Knox - "Party Doll" Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs - "Stay" BAFTA Best Supporting Actress: Rosemary Leach.
BAFTA Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles: David Essex. An independent Radio Drama recording project was completed in 2008 entitled That'll be the Stardust! which continues the story of Jimmy Maclaine jr... That'll Be the Day on IMDb That'll be the Stardust! Radio Drama
S. O. S. Titanic is a British -American 1979 television movie that depicts the doomed 1912 maiden voyage from the perspective of three distinct groups of passengers in First and Third Class; the script was directed by William Hale. It is the first Titanic film released in color. First Class passengers include a May–December couple, multi-millionaire John Jacob Astor IV and his new wife Madeleine Talmage Force. One plot line relates the tentative shipboard romance of two schoolteachers, Titanic survivor Lawrence Beesley and the fictional Leigh Goodwin. Both are saved. In steerage, the plot focuses on the experiences of eight Irish immigrants, who are first depicted approaching the ship from a tender in the harbor of Queenstown, Ireland; these characters, all based on real people, include Katie Gilnagh, Kate Mullens, Mary Agatha Glynn, Bridget Bradley, Daniel Buckley, Jim Farrell, Martin Gallagher, David Chartens. During the voyage, Martin Gallagher falls for an unnamed "Irish beauty." The cast includes Helen Mirren in a small role early in her career.
One of the film's major themes is class distinctions. Second Class passengers Beesley and Goodwin discuss their ambiguous position "in the middle" and debate whether class distinctions are uniquely British. Goodwin encourages Beesley to pursue his apparent attraction to a young Irish beauty in Third Class, but he rejects this advice; the Third Class passengers from poor backgrounds, do not show any resentment at their meager accommodation—Katie Gilnagh comments that sleeping four-to-a-room is far more comfortable than the situation she experienced in her overcrowded childhood home—but on the night of the sinking, they struggle to evade the efforts of ship's personnel to keep them below decks and away from the lifeboats. Led by Jim Farrell, they sneak up to the First Class restaurant, where Farrell persuades the Master-at-Arms to allow the women—but only the women—to pass up to the boat deck. Another major theme is the hectic atmosphere aboard ship. Young Mary Marvin comments that many of the First Class passengers are honeymooners, that she does not want to land, but to go on sailing and dancing forever.
In much simpler surroundings, the Third Class passengers engage in music, dancing and whirlwind romances. Meanwhile and Goodwin toy with the possibility of embarking on an illicit affair in an empty cabin but decide not to. Goodwin comments that shipboard romances, like shipboard friendships, are meant to end with the voyage. A third theme is who accepted, responsibility for the wrecking of the RMS Titanic. Captain Edward Smith, a veteran White Star captain nearing retirement, is depicted as a masterful leader who failed to slow down in spite of being well aware that he was traveling into ice-laden waters. Shipbuilder Thomas Andrews radiates an saintly quality, seeing to the final details of construction and repairs himself, tenderly looking after passengers and crew, conversing with a young stewardess about their common hometown of Belfast, he understands the implications of the collision, his knowledge that he cannot save the ship breaks his heart. Meanwhile, White Star Line director J. Bruce Ismay wavers between a stance of command and an unwillingness to take responsibility for the sinking.
Identifying himself as a passenger, he defiantly boards a lifeboat, only to experience a nervous breakdown aboard the R. M. S. Carpathia rescuing ship. Ismay is the only one of these three men who survives, it is clear that he will never recover from the psychological effects and blow to his reputation from the fabled sinking. David Janssen as John Jacob Astor IV Beverly Ross as Madeleine Astor Cloris Leachman as Margaret "Molly" Brown Susan Saint James as Leigh Goodwin David Warner as Lawrence Beesley Geoffrey Whitehead as Thomas Andrews Ian Holm as J. Bruce Ismay Helen Mirren as Stewardess Mary Sloan Harry Andrews as Captain Edward J. Smith Robert Pugh as James Farrell Jerry Houser as Daniel Marvin Deborah Fallender as Mary Marvin Shevaun Briars as Katie Gilnagh Catherine Byrne as Bridget Bradley Nick Brimble as Olaus Abelseth Norman Rossington as Master-at-arms Thomas King Ed Bishop as Henry B. Harris The film was greenlit by Bernard Delfont of EMI Films, at the same time as Delfont's brother, Sir Lew Grade, was making a film based on Raise the Titanic.
Producer William Filmore called it the "thinking man's disaster film". Several of the scenes on the exterior decks, as well as those in the ship's wheelhouse, were filmed on board the retired British ocean liner from the 1930s, RMS Queen Mary in Long Beach, California; some interior scenes were filmed at the Waldorf and Adelphi historic hotels in London and Liverpool, respectively. The town of Peel on the Isle of Man served as the Queenstown backdrop; some external shots were filmed aboard, of, the TSS Manxman which appears as the R. M. S. Carpathia in some of the opening sequences and as the R. M. S. Titanic in a few shipboard scenes. SOS Titanic was shown on two nights on ABC television beginning on September 23, 1979. Combined, the two parts ran 150 minutes; this version has never been commercially available, although it is shown on TV and boot
The Charmer (TV series)
The Charmer was a 1987 British television serial set in the 1930s, starring Nigel Havers as Ralph Ernest Gorse, a seducing conman, Rosemary Leach as Joan Plumleigh-Bruce, a smitten victim widow and Bernard Hepton as Donald Stimpson, Plumleigh-Bruce's would-be beau, who vengefully pursues Gorse after he has conned her. It was made by London Weekend Television for ITV, loosely based on the 1953 novel Mr. Stimpson and Mr. Gorse by Patrick Hamilton, the second work in the Gorse Trilogy; the series was repeated in February and March 1990. ITV3 repeated the series in full at 01:45 a.m. from 5 September 2009. Narrative repeats were on Mondays from 7 September 2009 at 10:05 a.m. It was broadcast in the US on Masterpiece Theater starting April 30, 1989. Nigel Havers – Ralph Ernest Gorse Rosemary Leach – Joan Plumleigh-Bruce Bernard Hepton – Donald Stimpson Fiona Fullerton – Clarice Mannors George Baker – Harold Bennett Judy Parfitt – Alison Warren Abigail McKern – Pamela Bennett Gillian Raine – Phyllis Bennett Andrew Bicknell – Archie Linal Haft – Henry Patrick Godfrey – Mr. Norris Writing for The Los Angeles Times, Ray Loynd wrote "The world loves a delicious scoundrel.
"The Charmer," which begins a six-week run on "Masterpiece Theatre" Sunday, is a suave romp of a diversion... Havers is so devilishly decadent you root for him not to get caught." The Charmer on IMDb
Francis Finlay, known as Frank Finlay, was an English stage and television actor. He was Oscar-nominated for his supporting role in Olivier's 1965 film of Othello and got his first leading role on television in 1971 as Casanova, which led to appearances on The Morecambe and Wise Show, he appeared in the controversial drama Bouquet of Barbed Wire. Finlay was born in Farnworth, the son of Josiah Finlay, a butcher, Margaret Finlay, he was educated at St Gregory the Great School, but left at the age of 14 to train as a butcher himself at the family firm, gaining a City and Guilds Diploma in the trade. Finlay made his first stage appearances at the local Farnworth Little Theatre, in plays that included Peter Blackmore's Miranda in 1951; the current Little Theatre president in the cast of that Miranda production, remembers him as a perfectionist in his craft. He played in rep in Scotland, before winning a scholarship to RADA in London. There followed several parts in productions at the Royal Court Theatre, such as the Arnold Wesker trilogy.
He became associated with the National Theatre during the years when Laurence Olivier was director. Playing Iago opposite Olivier's title character in John Dexter's 1965 production of Othello, the 1965 film adaptation Othello of that production, Finlay's performance as Iago left theatre critics unmoved, but he received high praise for the film version and he gained an Academy Award nomination; the critic John Simon wrote that the close-ups in the film afforded Finlay the chance to give a more subtle and effective performance than he had on stage. At the Chichester Festival Theatre, he played roles ranging from the First Gravedigger in Hamlet to Josef Frank in Weapons of Happiness, he had parts in The Party, Saint Joan, Hobson's Choice, Much Ado About Nothing, The Dutch Courtesan, The Crucible, Mother Courage, Juno and the Paycock. Finlay made appearances on Broadway, in Epitaph for George Dillon and in the National Theatre and Broadway productions of Filumena opposite Joan Plowright in 1980.
Between November 1988 and April 1989, Finlay toured Australia, performing in Jeffrey Archer's Beyond Reasonable Doubt at theatres in Sydney and Adelaide. One of his earliest television roles was in the family space adventure serial Target Luna, as journalist Conway Henderson. Finlay's first major television success was as Jean Valjean in the BBC‘s 1967 ten part adaptation of Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, he played the title role of Dennis Potter's BBC 2 series Casanova. Following this, he portrayed Adolf Hitler in The Death of Adolf Hitler for London Weekend Television. Finlay portrayed Richard Roundtree's nemesis, Amafi, in Shaft in Africa, before playing Porthos for director Richard Lester in The Three Musketeers, The Four Musketeers and The Return of the Musketeers, he appeared including The Wild Geese. Finlay starred as the father in the once controversial Bouquet of Barbed Wire, its sequel Another Bouquet, he was reunited with his Bouquet of Barbed Wire co-star, Susan Penhaligon, when he played Professor Van Helsing in the BBC Count Dracula, with Louis Jourdan.
He appeared in two Sherlock Holmes films as Inspector Lestrade. He played a role in an episode of the Granada Television adaptation of Sherlock Holmes starring Jeremy Brett, in which his son Daniel played a minor role as well. Finlay appeared on American television in A Christmas Carol playing Marley's Ghost opposite George C. Scott's Ebenezer Scrooge, he guest-starred as a farcical witchsmeller in an episode of The Black Adder opposite Rowan Atkinson. Finlay played Sancho Panza opposite Rex Harrison's Don Quixote in the 1973 British made-for-television film The Adventures of Don Quixote, for which he won a BAFTA award, he won another BAFTA award that year for his performance as Voltaire in the BBC TV production of Candide. Finlay played the role of Justice Peter Mahon in the award-winning New Zealand television serial Erebus: The Aftermath. In the Roman Polanski film The Pianist, he took on the part of Adrien Brody's father, he starred alongside Pete Postlethwaite and Geraldine James in the BBC drama series The Sins in 2000, playing the funeral director "Uncle" Irwin Green.
He appeared in the TV series Life Begins and as Jane Tennison's father in the last two stories of Prime Suspect. In 2007, he guest-starred in the Doctor Who audio adventure 100. In November 2008, Finlay appeared in the eleventh episode of the BBC drama series Merlin, as "Anhora, Keeper of the Unicorns". Finlay met his future wife, Doreen Shepherd, when they were both members of the Farnworth Little Theatre, they had three children, Stephen and Daniel, lived in Shepperton, Middlesex. She died in 2005 aged 79. A devout Roman Catholic, he was a member of the British Catholic Stage Guild. Finlay was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the New Year's Honours of 1984 and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Bolton in 2009. Finlay died on 30 January 2016 at his home in Weybridge, England, aged 89, from heart failure after an unspecified illness. Frank Finlay on IMDb Frank Finlay at the Internet Broadway Database Obituary at the Bolton News Retrieved 7 February 2016
Much Wenlock is a small town and parish in Shropshire, situated on the A458 road between Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth. Nearby, to the northeast, is the Ironbridge Gorge, the new town of Telford; the civil parish includes the villages of Homer, Wyke and Bourton. The population of the civil parish, according to the 2001 census, was 2,605, increasing to 2,877 at the 2011 Census. Much Wenlock was the chief town of the ancient borough of Wenlock; the "Much" was added to the name to distinguish it from the nearby Little Wenlock, signifies that it is the larger of the two settlements. Notable historic attractions in the town are the Guildhall; the name Wenlock comes from the Celtic name Wininicas, meaning "white area", plus the Old English loca, meaning "enclosed place". The town was recorded in the Domesday Book as Wenloch; the Wenlock Olympian Games established by Dr William Penny Brookes in 1850 are centred in the town. Dr Brookes is credited as a founding father of the modern Olympic Games, one of the Olympic mascots for London 2012 was named Wenlock after the town.
Richard Fletcher mentions Much Wenlock as one of the possible locations where a Sub-Roman British Christian community may have survived the Anglo-Saxon occupation and integrated with the conquerors and influenced their culture. The town of Wenlock is known to have grown up around an abbey or monastery founded around 680 by Merewalh, a son of King Penda of Mercia, with the small town within its parish boundaries. King Penda installed his daughter Milburga as abbess in 687. Milburga of Wenlock was credited with many miraculous works; the abbey flourished until around 874. The Domesday Book of 1086 records the manor as'Wenloch' and forming part of the hundred of Patton, it was at this time a large settlement, with 73 households. The abbey is recorded in the book, separately. In the 11th century another religious house was built on the same site by Leofric, Earl of Mercia and Countess Godiva his wife. In the 12th century this was replaced by a Cluniac priory, established by Roger de Montgomerie after the Norman conquest, the ruins of which can still be seen and, now in the hands of English Heritage.
Early in the 12th century the hundred of Patton was merged with Culvestan to form the hundred of Munslow, but in 1198 Much Wenlock, together with the other manors held by Wenlock Priory, was transferred to the hundredal jurisdiction of the Liberty of Wenlock. In 1468 Edward IV granted the men of Much Wenlock a charter forming the Borough of Wenlock, at the request of Sir John Wenlock, "in consideration of the laudable services which the men of the town performed in assisting the king to gain possession of the crown." The charter was confirmed in 1547 by Henry VIII after Wenlock Priory was suppressed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539. The charter was again confirmed in 1631 by Charles I. Over the years the borough asserted jurisdiction over the liberty of Wenlock; the lands of the liberty included rural areas and a number of detached parts well outside the town, this resulted in an unusual, geographically dispersed borough. At its height, it was – by area – the largest borough in England outside London and encompassed several of the towns that now constitute Telford.
The borough had unusual boundaries, covering Much Wenlock itself, but Little Wenlock and Ironbridge, a total area of 71 square miles. In 1836 the borough was reformed as a municipal borough under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, lost some of its rural areas and detached parts; the borough was further reduced in size in 1889, was abolished in 1966. 11-year-old Alice Glaston from Little Wenlock was hanged together with two men in Much Wenlock on 13 April 1546, for an unknown crime. She is the youngest known girl executed in Great Britain. Sir Thomas Wolryche, 1st Baronet was an English landowner and politician who sat in the House of Commons for Wenlock between 1621 and 1625, he fought in the Royalist army in the English Civil War. In 1611, Thomas Wolryche's father, had taken over the mortgage of the manor of Hughley, about 6 km from Much Wenlock; the debt was cleared in 1623 in return for the freehold of an estate of 1,400 acres. In the 19th century the town and much of the surrounding land came into the possession of James Milnes Gaskell, from his wife's family the Williams-Wynns.
James was MP for Wenlock for many years. His son Charles Milnes Gaskell restored the Priory lodging as a home with his wife Lady Catherine, daughter of the Earl of Portsmouth. There they entertained many famous people of the day, politicians and explorers, among them Thomas Hardy, Henry Adams, Henry James, Thomas Woolner, Henry Morton Stanley, Isabella Bird and Phillip Webb. Much Wenlock has become known as the birthplace of Wenlock Olympian Games set up by Dr William Penny Brookes and his Wenlock Olympian Society in 1850. In 1861 he was instrumental in setting up the Shropshire Games and in 1866, the National Olympian Games. Dr Brookes is credited as a founding father of the Modern Olympic Games. In 1890 it was the turn of the Raven Hotel to be the venue for the annual post Wenlock Olympian Games' dinner, Baron Pierre de Coubertin was the guest of honour. Copies of some of the WOS's archive images are on display in the hotel, including letters from Coubertin to Brookes; the Wenlock Olympian Games, a nine-day event staged on eight sites across Shropshire, are still held annually durin