The modern Olympic games all began in Shropshire……..
You can discover the unexpected origins of the modern international Olympics in the quintessentially English town called Much Wenlock, only 4 miles from Ironbridge.
Much Wenlock is the birthplace of Dr William Penny Brookes, the inspiration for the modern Olympic Movement and founder of the Wenlock Olympian Society. He was a local doctor who wanted to improve the moral, physical, and intellectual well being of the inhabitants of Wenlock by encouraging outdoor recreation, and by the award of prizes annually at public meetings for skills in athletic exercises.
It was Brookes’s dream to see the ancient Games revived, and he invited Baron Coubertin, a young French aristocrat, to visit the Wenlock Olympian games. He was so impressed by Brookes’s visionary ideas that he decided to revive and develop the Olympics on an international level. Sadly Brookes died just four months before the first Games, held in April, 1896. Brookes was born, lived and died in the little market town of Much Wenlock which was a ward in the Wenlock Borough.
It was in 1850 that the first ever Wenlock Olympian Games took place in Much Wenlock and they are still held here annually. In 2012, the 126th Games will take place, consisting of five days of sporting competition in and around the town.
The next games will take place on 8, 9, 13, 14 & 15 July 2012.
The Torch is coming to Ironbridge
It has been announced that the London 2012 Olympic torch will light up the Shropshire communities of Ludlow, Clee Hill and Cleobury Mortimer on 24th May, and on 30th May it will pass through Oswestry, Pant, Llanymynech, Shrewsbury, Cressage en route to the historic part of its journey as it passes through the former ancient Borough of Wenlock - including Benthall, Broseley, Ironbridge and Much Wenlock.
The flame’s historic journey through Wenlock honours the birthplace of William Penny Brookes, founder and inspiration of the revival of the modern olympic movement. It also pays tribute to the many years of hard work given by the volunteer members of the Wenlock Olympian Society past and present who have maintained and preserved Brookes’ ideals.
Wenlock The Mascot
The London 2012 Olympic Mascot 'Wenlock' is named after Much Wenlock in recognition of the towns' role in inspiring the modern Olympic Movement.
Wenlock was a VIP guest at the 2010 Wenlock Olympian Games.
Much Wenlock Market Town
Much Wenlock is a stunningly beautiful medieval town. You can stroll around the town centre and it may seem you have stepped back fifty or more years. You will find a great selection of traditional shops, all offering good old-fashioned personal service.
Much Wenlock has been a market town for over 700 years and has a history that stretches back much further.
In the town there are holy wells, shuts, cobbles, whipping posts, stocks and all sorts of Olympic artefacts can bee seen in the Much Wenlock Museum.
TO BOOK ACCOMMODATION IN IRONBRIDGE (4 miles from Much Wenlock)
BEST WESTERN Valley Hotel
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