Alveley History spans many centuries.
The Church of St Mary the virgin was built in 1140, with many of the houses we see surrounding it today, dating from the 16th and 17th century.
The main 'life-blood' of the village for many years was farming and other related occupations such as wheelwrighting, blacksmithing etc. Later came stone quarrying and coal mining. During the 1700 and 1800s the river was the main artery, there were cottages down by the water and some families even lived on the water. The riverbanks were a hive of industry - Trows and Barges transported goods, people and livestock. Red quarry stone from Alveley and nearby Arley, was transported down river to construct Worcester Catherdral, and other large churches .
There were ferries for people to cross from Alveley to Highley, and other ferries at Hampton Loade and Arley. The water was a very important to village life, with streams, ancient watermills and waterfalls situated along the water course throughout the parish, their remains can be still seen today, at Daddlebrook, Paper Mill and Crowsmill
Alveley is often remembered for its coal. During the early 1800s demand for coal grew and many small local collieries were opened. With the arrival of the Severn Valley Railway in 1862, came great opportunities , the coal industry boomed and a shaft was sunk at Highley in 1874, and a railway line connected to transport coal to local towns and industries , including Kidderminster carpet factories etc. As years went by and demand for coal increased a new shaft was sunk on the Alveley side in 1935, and a concrete bridge spanning the river bank from Alveley to Highley constructed. Coal mining became 'the heart beat' of Alveley, and men came for miles each day to work 'down the pit'. As Alveley's population grew, there was a demand for extra housing, and its first council housing estate was built just after the war, which later became known as 'Peacock Hill'
The pit closed in 1969 leaving unemployment and a ravaged landscape, the land was left untouched for nearly twenty years, but due a landscape reclamation scheme, the spoil tips and surrounding area were converted to a country park and 'The Severn Valley country park' was opened in June 1992.
One of Alveley's most loved monuments is 'the Buttercross' , a solitary sandstone cross situated a mile away from the village on a quiet country lane. Loved by generations of Alveley families and believed to date from the 1300's when the black death struck the village The cross was the village boundary where food and goods were left for the villagers to collect. In later years, it was used as an open air meeting place and market, where local farmer and smallholders met to 'barter' and exchange goods. It may have originally have been 'barter cross' but due to word of mouth and dialect became 'butter cross'... Another place often talked about in 'Alveley history ' is Coton Hall, a large Georgian mansion and country estate famed for its connections to the confederate Robert E Lee and his family.
Another jewel of 'Alveley history' is the 'The Three Horse Shoes Inn' which was first licensed in 1406, and is reputed to be in the oldest inn in Shropshire. Also well remembered by many is 'The Nautical William' which was situated on the main road, and attracted people for many miles, with many a summers day enjoyed at the adjacent Fenn Green bathing pool.
For many years Alveley 'stood still' in time, but during the 1960s/1970s during the re-development of Shropshire, the landscape of Alveley drastically changed, many of the older dwellings, including the old school were demolished and where there had once been open clearings and fields, modern housing estates appeared, and new families arrived. This is the Alveley that we know today, a modern day village, but with a history and heritage to be proud of...
Margaret Sheridan, Alveley Historical Society