Church Stretton in 1841
Stretton, commonly called Church Stretton, is supposed to derive its name from Street-town, so called because it is situated close to Watling Street. It is in the hundred of Munslow. The town is small ; the population of the entire parish in 1831, was only 1,302. The town lies in a narrow valley, bounded on one side by a picturesque range of hills known as the Caradoc Hills, and on the other by the Longmynd. Caer Caradoc, one of the Caradoc Hills, has entrenchements on its summit, and was one of the military stations of Caractacus. It was at one time supposed to be the place where that chief fought his last battle ; but that supposition was subsequently abandoned, as the situation does not correspond with the description of Tacitus. Another of these hills also has deep entrenchments, called Brocard's Castle. The town contained a picturesque market-place and town-house of the Elizabethan age, which has however been recently removed. Five fairs are held here annually. The turnpike-road from Ludlow to Shrewsbury passes through this place. The living is a rectory, with an income of the annual value of £542. There are two infant-schools and three day-schools here : one of them, called the free-school, is partly supported by funds accruing from bequests. There is also one Sunday-school.