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River Severn - - 660453.jpg
River Severn in flood at Atcham
Grid reference: SJ542092
Location: 52°40’47"N, 2°40’48"W
Population: 249  (2001)
Post town: Shrewsbury
Postcode: SY5
Dialling code: 01743
Local Government
Council: Shropshire
Shrewsbury and Atcham

Atcham is a village in Shropshire in a loop in the River Severn, 5 miles southeast of Shrewsbury. To the south is the village of Cross Houses, and to the northwest the hamlet of Emstrey.

An older name of the village is 'Attingham', which is found in the name of the great country house here, Attingham Park. The name is believed to be from the Old English Eatingaham.

Parish church

The parish church, St Eata's Church, dates back to the 11th century. The dedication to St Eata, Bishop of Hexham, is a unique dedication, as no other is to be found in Britain. Quite why St Eata should have attracted a cult at this one church has never been explained

There is a suggestion that the answer may be found in the name of the village. Atcham was, it seems, in Anglo-Saxon times named Eatingaham, which means "Home of Eata's clan", presumably after a landowner named Eata. This may have produced a fondness for a bishop bearing the same name as the village and clan.


A crop photograph from the 1970s of a field in Attingham Park showing the ground-plan of a Saxon hall.

Ordericus Vitalis, the historian, was born in the village in 1075.

The local airfield RAF Atcham (now returned to agriculture and light industry) was home to an American training unit for much of Second World War. They used P-47 Thunderbolts and, later, P-38 Lightnings for operational training for new fighter pilots posted in from the USA. Almost 50 pilots were lost in accidents flying from here.

The A5 London-Holyhead road once ran through the village, but now runs to the north on a new dual-carriageway.


The two bridges at Atcham

Famous landmarks of Atcham include Attingham Park, the seat of the Barons Berwick until that title became extinct in 1953. The hall at Attingham Park is now the regional headquarters of the National Trust.

Also on the estate is the Shropshire office of Natural England. Adjacent to Attingham Park is Home Farm Attingham. Home Farm, now separate to the hall that it traditionally would have supplied, is a family run organic farm and tearoom open to families and the general public to visit.

There are two bridges at Atcham, the older one, built in 1774, is commonly known as Atcham Bridge, while the newer one, which was opened in 1929, carries the Old A5 (B4380) road over the River Severn.[1]

Nearby is the village of Wroxeter, once the site of the Roman city Uiroconium, and today the site of one of Shropshire's commercial vineyards.

The Mytton & Mermaid, on the bank of the Severn

There is a public house in the village called the Mytton & Mermaid (owned at one time by Clough Williams-Ellis as a staging post on the way to his iconic Italianate village of Portmeirion), but the school, Post Office and petrol station have all closed. The former garage remains as a small car sales and vehicle repair business.

Atcham has a timber-framed village hall, named The Malthouse, built in the 17th century as a malthouse but after disuse was converted in the 19th century into carpenter's shop for the Attingham estate. It was opened after restoration in 1925 as the village hall and dedicated in memory of the men of Atcham parish who died in First World War. It has a sprung floor bought from a dance hall in Shrewsbury.[2]

Nearby is Atcham Business Park/Industrial Estate, on the site of the old airfield of RAF Atcham.

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Atcham)


  1. "Panoramic of Atcham Bridge". BBC Shropshire. Retrieved 2008-04-26. 
  2. Francis, Peter (2013). Shropshire War Memorials, Sites of Remembrance. pp. 99-100. ISBN 978-1-909644-11-3.