Shropshire

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Shropshire

(shrŏp`shĭr, –shər), county (1991 pop. 401,600), 1,348 sq mi (3,491 sq km), W England; administratively, Shropshire is a unitary authority (since 2009). It is also sometimes called Salop. The adminstrative center is ShrewsburyShrewsbury
, city (1991 pop. 57,731), adminstrative center of Shropshire, W England, on the Severn River. Shrewsbury is a road and rail junction with varied manufactures. It was an ancient Saxon and Norman stronghold.
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. The terrain to the north and east of the Severn, Shropshire's principal river, is level; toward the Welsh border and the south the land is hilly. The county is chiefly agricultural, but there are metal-products, engineering, electronics-manufacturing, and food-processing industries.

The ancient Watling StreetWatling Street
, important ancient road in England, built by the Romans in the course of their military occupation. It ran from London generally north to the intersection with the Fosse Way, c.
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 and Offa's DykeOffa's Dyke,
ancient entrenchment of W England and E Wales, from the Dee estuary to near the estuary of the Wye River. It was built in the 8th cent. by Offa, king of Mercia, as a barrier against the Welsh and lies mainly along the England-Wales boundary.
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 cross the county. In Anglo-Saxon times Shropshire was a part of the kingdom of MerciaMercia
, one of the kingdoms of Anglo-Saxon England, consisting generally of the region of the Midlands. It was settled by Angles c.500, probably first along the Trent valley.
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. After the Norman Conquest it became an important part of the Welsh MarchesWelsh Marches,
lands in Wales along the English border. After the Norman conquest of England in the 11th cent., William I established the border earldoms of Chester, Shrewsbury, and Hereford to protect his English kingdom.
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 and was the scene of much border conflict. There are ruins of many medieval castles and old monastic remains. The quiet beauty of the countryside is depicted in A. E. HousmanHousman, A. E.
(Alfred Edward Housman) , 1859–1936, English poet and scholar, whose verse exerted a strong influence on later poets. He left Oxford without a degree because he had failed his final examinations.
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's Shropshire Lad. Telford and Wreken, in E Shropshire, has been administratively independent of the county since 1998.

Shropshire

 

a breed of semifine-wooled short-haired sheep bred for meat and wool. The breed was developed in the first half of the 19th century in Great Britain, in Shropshire and Staffordshire, by crossing dark-headed ewes with Southdown rams.

The animals are hornless. The rams weigh 80 to 120 kg, and the ewes, 70 to 90 kg. The wool is white (the face, ears, and legs are dark brown), of 54th to 56th quality; it measures about 10 cm in length and is characterized by softness and resilience. The maximum wool clip from rams is 4–6 kg, and from ewes 3–4 kg. The breed is characterized by high fertility: 150 to 170 lambs per 100 ewes. The sheep mature early and transmit their meat qualities well to offspring. They are adapted to various natural and climatic conditions.

The Shropshire sheep is raised in Great Britian, the USA, New Zealand, Australia, and other countries; in the USSR it was used to develop the Latvian Dark-head and Estonian Black-headed breeds.

REFERENCE

Ovtsevodstvo, vol. 2. Edited by G. R. Litovchenko and P. A. Esaulov. Moscow, 1972.

A. A. VENIAMINOV

Shropshire

1. a county of W central England: Telford and Wrekin became an independent unitary authority in 1998; mainly agricultural. Administrative centre: Shrewsbury. Pop. (excluding Telford and Wrekin): 286 700 (2003 est.). Area (excluding Telford and Wrekin): 3201 sq. km (1236 sq. miles)
2. a breed of medium-sized sheep having a dense fleece, originating from Shropshire and Staffordshire, England
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