Charles Darwin in Shrewsbury

Shrewsbury most famous son is the scientist Charles Darwin. He was born there in February 1809. His father was a well-respected Doctor and his mother was the daughter of Josiah Wedgewood (of Wedgewood Pottery fame). He was baptised in St Chad’s church, although Charles along with his siblings and his mother attended the local Unitarian chapel and it was in the school attached to that chapel that the young Charles began his interest in natural history investigating the banks of the river Severn and two local parks the Dingle and the Quarry. In 1818, he gained a place as a boarder at Shrewsbury School. In 1829 he left Shrewsbury to study Medicine (which he found unattractive) and was then sent to Cambridge to study for ordination to the priesthood, before finally returning to that childhood love for natural history.

Charles Darwin

This statue is outside Caste Gates Library in Shrewsbury. The library is housed in the 16th-century building which housed Shrewsbury School when Darwin was a pupil.

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