The Mary Webb Society

The Mary Webb Society realised a dream in 2016 when the bust of Mary Webb was unveiled in the grounds of Shrewsbury library. This was achieved in the centenary year of the publication of The Golden Arrow.

The Mary Webb bust on its elegant Grinshill stone column, created by Jemma Pearson was unveiled by Dr Gladys Mary Coles and great nieces of Mary Webb, Juliette Binfield & Lucille Rennie, on 9th July 2016. The stonework was created by Will & Lottie O’Leary.

The project was made possible thanks to the generous legacy of the late Muriel Furbank.

The beautiful, historic county town of Shropshire is renamed “Silverton” in Mary Webb’s novels.

In Seven for a Secret chapter 7, “Gillian Comes to Silverton” ..”Then came straggling houses, a village church, houses clustering thicker, roofs all huddled together, a square church tower, two silver spires, a great bridge across the Severn – Silverton

In Gone to Earth chapter 12, Hazel goes into Silverton with the formidable Mrs Marston to buy clothes..” In Silverton Mrs Marston lingered a long while before any shop where sacred pictures were displayed…..Hazel, all in a fidget to go and buy her clothes, looked at them, and wondered what they had to do with her.”

Shrewsbury also features in the poem The Elf

A Fair town is Shrewsbury-

The world over

You’ll hardly find a fairer,

In its fields of clover

And rest-harrowed, ringed

By hills where curlews call,

And, drunken from the heather,

Black bees fall………

When Mary and Henry lived at Pontesbury Mary would frequently walk to Shrewsbury market to sell her garden produce as part of her war effort during World War 1

“Early there come travelling

On market day

Old men and young men

From far away,

With red fruits of the orchard

And dark fruits of the hill,

Dew-fresh garden stuff,

And mushrooms chill,

Honey from the brown skep,

Brown eggs, and posies

Of gillyflowers and Lent lillies

And blush roses…..From The Elf

Mary Webb is buried in Shrewsbury and her grave has recently been restored and is regularly maintained by The Mary Webb Society

Directions
On entering Shrewsbury Cemetery from Longden Road, Post code SY3 7HS, leave your car just inside the gates by the toilet block and take the first left opening into the older part of the cemetery.
The cemetery is divided between the more modern part and the older part by a wall and hedge (indicated in black on the map) Mary Webb’s grave is sited in the older part.
On entering the oldest part look out for the first Mary Webb direction sign and follow it.
Keep on this track (indicated in white on the map), there is a water tap on your right and a bin for old flowers and wrappings.
Pass two tracks running off towards the left and opposite the second track is another Mary Webb direction sign pointing towards the grave itself which lies on your right near the hedge.
Every month a member of our society provides flowers for Mary’s grave but you are very welcome to take your own during any visit.
Map of Shrewsbury cemetery

Map of Shrewsbury cemetery