New Invention, Shropshire

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New Invention
Houses at New Invention - - 705639.jpg
Houses at New Invention
Grid reference: SO294767
Location: 52°23’3"N, 3°2’18"W
Postcode: SY7
Local Government
Council: Shropshire

New Invention is a hamlet in Shropshire, in the very southwest of the county, amongst the hills that rise into the Clun Forest. New Invention sits on the A488 between Clun and Knighton and is little more than four houses around a cross-roads and a neighbouring farm called The Weir, known in history as the Wear or Ware.

Of the four houses, one was once a blacksmith's shop, one a pub called the Stag's Head, and one a Methodist chapel built in 1874.

The village served as one of many local locations for the film Gone to Earth (released 1950), directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.[1] The River Redlake passes through.


Village sign

There is a story that the village's unusual name came from a local farrier who decided on the idea of fitting horseshoes backwards to confuse the enemy in times of war.[2] A variation of this story is that the farrier reversed the shoes on the horse belonging to Charles I to help him evade capture.

Another explanation put about is that the village was the first in the district where spinning was carried out using water power,[3] but this theory falls down when it is learned that the name 'New Invention' appears already in a document held at Shropshire Archives dated 1677,[4] a hundred years before the invention it was supposedly named for.

Another suggestion is that it is 'New Inn', though how this could expand to "New Invention" is not explained unless by wild and unlikely surmise.

The definitive explanation is revealed by an indenture found in the Shropshire Archives; it is the name of a house which once stood here. This records:

1. Jonathan Page of Parllogue, p. Clunne, gent.

2. Daniel Bee of Cardington, Clerke.

Of Capital messuage and tenement in Parllogue in p. CLUNNE, in tenure of (1); also of messuage and tenement called the New hall in t. Menuttin, p. CLUNNE, in tenure of Thomas Warburton of Menuttin, gent.; also of that new house called the New Invention, lately built upon parcell of the land belonging to ... the New hall; also of water corne Grist mill, near and belonging to the said New Hall.

A recently built house, presumed to be an inn, might well be a "new invention" in the usage of the age, and particularly with a play on the word "inn".

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about New Invention, Shropshire)


  1. Gone to Earth - locations on the Internet Movie Database
  2. Clun - Part of the GO2 Shropshire Visitors Guide
  3. Foxall, H D G. Shropshire field-names, Shropshire Archaeological Society, 1980, p.66
  4. (Shropshire Archives ref 2589/D/108