From packhorse to railway: Changing transport systems from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries and their impact upon trade and industry in the Shropshire area

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This thesis considers the development of transport networks from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries with particular reference to the county of Shropshire and its wider hinterland, which has been designated `The Shropshire Area'. It examines how road-transport networks evolved in the Shropshire area during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and how links were formed with other areas of Britain. It questions historical assumptions which have been made about the viability of road transport systems, and explores the difficulties which can be experienced by scholars who attempt to measure the growth of carrier systems. The development of transport on navigable rivers and canals, and their links to coastal shipping are explored and how with road-transport they formed an integrated transport system. Further it considers how these integrated networks were a factor in the development. of specialized areas of production and manufacture. In the nineteenth century Shropshire the impact of the railways on the existing road and waterway systems is studied and in particular how the evolution of new networks affected the economy, industry, culture and the population of towns and their hinterlands. Overall this thesis takes a holistic view of local history, by placing the particular within the general and by using the study of transport systems as a unifying theme around which other socio-economic topics are explored.

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Hill, Trevor G., “From packhorse to railway: Changing transport systems from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries and their impact upon trade and industry in the Shropshire area,” Centre for English Local History Theses and Papers, accessed December 7, 2022, https://elhleics.omeka.net/items/show/28.