Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire on the River Severn with a population of around 72,000; it is a historic market town whose town centre has a largely unaltered medieval street plan and over 660 listed buildings, including several examples of timber framing from the 15th and 16th centuries. Shrewsbury Castle, a red sandstone fortification, and Shrewsbury Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery, were founded in 1074 and 1083 respectively by the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Montgomery. The Shrewsbury Flower Show is one of the largest horticultural events in England.
9 miles from the border, Shrewsbury is a gateway to much of Wales. By road, the A5 runs north-west to Oswestry, Llangollen and Betws-y-Coed and the A458 west to Welshpool and onto Dolgellau or to Newtown and Aberystwyth. From Shrewsbury railway station, trains run to Newport and Cardiff via Abergavenny, to Swansea on the Heart of Wales line, to Aberystwyth and Pwllheli on the Cambrian line via Machynlleth and to Wrexham, the North Wales coast and Holyhead.