Shrewsbury ( (listen) SHROHZ-bree, (listen) SHROOZ-) is the county town of Shropshire, England. The town is on the River Severn and the 2011 census recorded a population of 71,715. Shrewsbury is a market town whose centre has a largely unspoilt medieval street plan and over 660 listed buildings, including several examples of timber framing from the 15th and 16th centuries.
Shrewsbury Castle, a red sandstone fortification, and Shrewsbury Abbey, a former Benedictine monastery, were founded in 1074 and 1083 respectively by the Norman Earl of Shrewsbury, Roger de Montgomery. The town is the birthplace of Charles Darwin and is where he spent 27 years of his life. Located 9 miles (14 km) east of the Welsh border, Shrewsbury serves as the commercial centre for Shropshire and mid-Wales, with a retail output of over £299 million per year and light industry and distribution centres, such as Battlefield Enterprise Park, on the outskirts. The A5 and A49 trunk roads come together as the town's by-pass, and five railway lines meet at Shrewsbury railway station. The town is located 150 miles (240 km) north-west of London. The town was the early capital of the Kingdom of Powys, known to the ancient Britons as Pengwern, signifying "the alder hill"; and in Old English as Scrobbesburh (dative Scrobbesbyrig), which may mean either "Scrobb's fort" or "the fortified place in the bushes".