The Inn at Shipley is a three storey Georgian building dating from 1771, which was built by Thomas Farmer Thornes.
The Thornes family had for many centuries been a prominent Shropshire family. From the 15th century and for several subsequent centuries Shelvock Manor, in Shelvock, north of Shrewsbury, was their family seat. One of the most prominent members of the Thornes family was Roger Thornes, who in the 16th century was described as "Wise Thornes of Shrewsbury for that both town and country repaired to him for advice".
Though owner of Shelvock, Roger Thornes retained his family connection with Shrewsbury, and seems to have lived principally in the town, where he had a house in Raven Street, just opposite School Lane. He was a Bailiff six times.
Richard Thornes was Sheriff of Shropshire in 1610. Francis Thornes, son of the Sheriff, married Beatrice, eldest daughter of Sir Andrew Corbet of Morton Corbet, on December 12, 1625, at Moreton Corbet, when he was 19 and she was 15. When the English Civil War broke, Thornes actively sided with the King.
The ruins of Morton Corbet Castle,
Shropshire, where Francis Thornes
and Beatrice Corbet were married
Francis Thornes was one of many county gentlemen captured when Shrewsbury was taken on February 22, 1644 or 1645, by the Parliamentary forces under the command of his first cousin, Thomas Mytton of Halston, and he had to pay £720 for his estate. After this, the fortunes of the Thornes family declined.
Thomas Farmer Thornes in 1771 was nevertheless described as a gentleman, and he and Elizabeth enjoyed a number of servants.
The site of the 1771 property already has a number of buildings on it, and he may have acquired the land from one of the local estates or it may have been part of the landholding of the next door property, Shipley Hall. The three storey house was slotted between the sandstone and timber-frame farm buildings which were adapted and remodelled to become useful ancillary storage.
We know this for several reasons. Firstly, the name T.F.Thomas and datestone of 1771 is carved onto a stone block on the front of the building, but additionally, there is an inscription etched into the window glass within a first floor window which reads 'Joseph Thompson newly leaded this window 1771'. This is authentic.
There are a number of wills and records in which T.F.Thornes is mentioned. Archival data indicated that he was an Attorney-at-Law, and he must have built the house shortly before his marriage to Elizabeth in 1772, but the only lived there for 7 years before he died in 1779.
At that time the house may well have been sold to Thomas Boycott, who we know later acquired the manor and lordship of Shipley on 25th July 1829. In a valuation of his estate in 1798, a property named Thornescroft (presumably after Thomas Farmer Thornes) is mentioned.
Thornescroft was sold on 26th June 1918 by direction of Mrs Wight-Boycott, and was the name of the restaurant when we acquired the property in 2013, although the name was not felt to be engaging enough as the name of a pub, so we renamed it the Inn at Shipley.
The house has lost most of its original windows and external doors buut despite this loss, it is substantially as designed in 1771. It retains its original floor plan, largely intact at ground floor level and complete at both first and second floor level and a high proportion of its original doors and fittings. The building is, therefore, of high significance, as is listed grade II.