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Oswestry’s story began 3000 years ago as the settlement of Old Oswestry one of the most spectacular and best preserved Iron Age hill forts in Britain, with evidence of construction and occupation between 800 BC and AD 43. The site is also named Caer Ogyrfan in Welsh or The City of Gogyrfan, the father of Guinevere in legend.
Oswestry is said to be named after King Oswald. Oswald was killed and dismembered at the great battle of Maserfield. According to legend, one of his arms was carried to an ash tree by a raven, and due to Oswald being considered a Saint, miracles were subsequently attributed to the tree. The town’s name in Welsh is Croesoswallt, meaning “Oswald’s Cross”. St Oswald’s church can be found within the town, along with The Oswestry Visitor and Exhibition Centre, and the original Oswestry School building which is one of the oldest independent schools in the country.
It is a locally important shopping and agricultural centre, yet still retains the intimacy of a rural town serving local people. It’s home to a number of specialist and independent shops with street markets every Wednesday and Saturday, along with a livestock market – that draws visitors from the Midlands, Merseyside and Wales. Oswestry is a vibrant town with a lively cafe culture, flourishing creative scene and a host of eclectic indie shops – a friendly, quirky, historic market town with a thriving and ambitious business and commercial community.
Night time in Oswestry can be as lively or as laid back as you wish. There’s a number of local restaurants where you can enjoy local produce. Oswestry has a number of pubs, serving local ale, or hosting live music, along with wine bars or cocktail establishments.
The Arts scene is alive and well in Oswestry and, as well as a couple of interesting galleries, there is a thriving community of artists. Music features all year and there is a growing pub music scene that gets going every weekend.
The centre piece of the town can be said to be Cae Glas Park – the award winning flowers play their part and it is a hub with traditional games for children and adults. Add free summer concerts in the Victorian band stand and the scene for the amazing Free Hot Air Balloon Carnival and you will see why so much revolves around the beautiful setting.
The Church of St. Oswald, Oswestry Visitor and Exhibition Centre (the original Oswestry School), The Guildhall and Llwyd Mansion reflect Oswestry’s history and, with the recently installed statue of war poet Wilfred Owen in the park all draw visitors to discover more about Oswestry’s history.