|Council:||Telford and Wrekin|
Madeley is recorded in the Domesday Book, having been founded before the 8th century. Historically, Madeley's industrial activity has largely been in mining, and later, manufacturing, which is still a large employer in the town, along with service industries. Parts of the parish fall within the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ironbridge Gorge, the site of The Iron Bridge, and a key area in the development of Industry.
Historically, Madeley was a mining town serving the now defunct Kemberton Colliery. It was also home to the Madeley Wood Company. As of 2001, manufacturing is still a large employer in the town, with 33.1% of parish residents employed in that area. 20.7% are employed in wholesale, retail and hotels, and 11.8% in finance and business services.
There are three churches in the centre of Madeley:
- Church of England: St Michael's, designed in its present form by Thomas Telford
- Baptist: Madeley Baptist Church
- Roman Catholic: St Mary
The Fletcher Methodist Centre can be found in the town, and on the Tweedale Industrial Estate near Madeley is the Springfield Christian Fellowship.
The settlement of Madeley is recorded as far back as the Domesday Book. The town was founded prior to the 8th century, and subsequently became a market town in the 13th century.
Sigward, a local ruler in the time of King Æthelbald of Mercia, is said to have held 3 hides of land at Madeley. Between 727 and 736 he sold his holdings to Mildburh, daughter of Merewalh, sub-king of the Magonsæte. She was the founder and first head of Wenlock Abbey. The monastery was refounded as a Cluniac priory after the Norman Conquest but the manor of Madeley belonged to the church of Wenlock, throughout the Middle Ages, until the Dissolution of the monasteries. It passed to the Crown in 1540 and in 1544 was sold to Robert Broke, a prominent lawyer and politician from Claverley.
Mining of coal began before 1322, and the extraction of ironstone had begun by 1540.
The town played a role in the Civil War, as it was home to a garrison of Royalist soldiers in 1645, although this post was abandoned after the fall of Shrewsbury. Two months later, Paliamentary forces occupied the parish church. At Madeley also is a barn in which King Charles II hid after the Battle of Worcester in 1651.
In the 17th century, Madeley was a small market town, but local tradesmen began to specialise, working in the river trade and in mining. In the 18th century, The Iron Bridge was built between Madeley Wood and Coalbrookdale and the settlement of Ironbridge grew by it, which took some of the commercial trade away from the old town of Madeley, including its market.
In the 1970s, significant construction of new housing and recreation areas was undertaken by the Dawley Development Corporation, later known as the Telford Development Corporation, as part of the development of Telford New Town.
Several of Madeley's historical sites of interest are waypoints on the South Telford Heritage Trail including: Madeley Court, Madeley High Street, Jubilee House, St. Michaels Church, Madeley Windmill and the Madeley Salop Railway Station.
Near Madeley is Madeley Junction, a railway junction and its accompanying signal box. The line from this junction runs to Lightmoor Junction, and is used to carry coal to Ironbridge Power Station. The nearest National Rail station to the town is Telford Central.
- Victoria County History: Shropshire, volume 11: Telford, chapter 13: Madeley - Manor and other estates, s.1
- A History of the County of Shropshire, 1985 pages 21–23
- "Upper House". Madeley Local Studies Group. http://www.localhistory.madeley.org.uk/buildings/upperh.html. Retrieved 2008-04-12.
- "When Steam Ruled the Rails". Madeley Local Studies Group. http://www.localhistory.madeley.org.uk/buildings/railway.html. Retrieved 2008-07-02.