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Newport is an interesting and picturesque market town with a population of around 10,000. It is located on the Shropshire/Staffordshire border in the centre of a rural farming area.
Newport might seem an odd name for a town that is about as far from the sea as you can get in the UK, but there is actually a very good reason behind it. Newport once contained many lakes which supplied the Norman kings of England with fish, and so it gained its name. The town crest, in fact, depicts three fishes.
Thomas Brown (1663 - 1704), the irreverent satirist is thought to have been born in Newport and was educated at Adams Grammar school, founded in 1665.
Charles Dickens stayed in the Bear Hotel and modeled Miss Haversham in his novel 'Great Expectations' (1861) on Elizabeth Parker, a recluse who lived at Chetwynd House in the town.
Nearby in Tong you'll also find the grave of Little Nell.
Four miles south of Newport are the ruins of Lilleshall Abbey, founded in 1145 under a charter from King Stephen. Today the Abbey is a romantic looking ruin, ideal for picnics or short walks.
Newport’s most famous visitor was nineteenth-century novelist Charles Dickens who stopped over in the town on many occasions as he travelled the country getting inspiration for his books and giving highly popular public readings of his works He spent many a night at Newport’s Lion Hotel, now Barclays Bank, and tradition has it that he based the character of Miss Haversham from Great Expectations on a local jilted bride.Sarah Parker lived at Chetwynd House in Chetwynd End, known locally as Haversham House.She was jilted on her wedding day and closed the room where her marriage feast was to be held, never entering it again.Sixty years later, the door of the room was forced open and there was the wedding table, decked out for the feast but covered by cobwebs
OZZY OSBOURNE: The wildman heavy rocker was born in Birmingham, but lived at Gnosall on the east Shropshire border for a brief time in the 1970s. He owned a wine bar in Newport – although it’s no longer his, Ozzy’s in St Mary’s Street still carries his name
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