The Dawley Trail is a self-guided heritage walk which aims to bring alive much of the parish’s rich history and culture. On the ground is a wealth of surviving buildings, artefacts, and often humble commemorations to an era of industrial enterprise, as well as the lives of important local characters.
Nature has softened - and at the same time enriched with wildlife - much of this industrial legacy, including that of the pit mounds, but from the number encountered on this walk it is possible to imagine the scale of the collieries that once characterised so much of the Dawley landscape. At the Castle Pools you might pause a moment to picture in medieval times a castle that once stood there, or, as you walk along, take in the lines of old tramways, follow canals, imagine the once busy activity at long-silenced wharves and railway platforms.
There are churches and chapels, the places of squatters’ cottages, the site of a natural spout , furnace pools, a cinderhill, and a pottery where you wouldn’t have expected one, all with their own fascinating and often socially important stories to tell. There are memorials to tragedies, and also plenty of historic houses, buildings, monuments to mark some of Dawley’s prominent individuals, such as Captain Webb, William Ball ‘The Shropshire Giant’, and more recently, Edith Pargeter, the author ‘Ellis Peters’ of the Brother Cadfael stories.Download the Dawley leaflet (PDF)