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Posts Tagged ‘Agnes Hunt’

Oswestry Heritage Comics - week 5

Oswestry Heritage Comics – week 5. Click for larger image.

Oswestry’s medical heritage goes hand-in-hand with its military heritage. The orthopaedic hospital in Gobowen began life as a small cottage hospital in Baschurch, but quickly grew as it treated soldiers returning from the First World War. Some of the pioneering surgical and post-operative care treatments devised at the hospital by Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt were adopted by the army, and are still used today. It is only one example of the way in which two aspects of local heritage can become intertwined. Health is woven in many aspects of Oswestry’s history and heritage. The new health centre opposite Morrisons was once the main works for the Cambrian Railway. It demonstrates how as the needs of the town change, so people and places adapt – leaving behind evidence that becomes part of our history and heritage. Although the need for a railway works in Oswestry has been and gone, the building itself survives to house a new enterprise. Sometimes the physical evidence of history vanishes, however. There is no trace of the mediaeval hospital on English Walls, for instance. Place names and mentions in accounts are really all the evidence we have. Perhaps the hospital’s foundation in Oswestry owed some of its origins to another place of healing in the town: Oswald’s well, said to have sprung up from where a Raven (or an Eagle) dropped Oswald’s severed arm following his death at the battle of Maserfield. The spring was once noted as a place of healing and pilgrimage, and one can still see the occasional visitor there, looking for the water. It’s a shame that the well isn’t better known around town – because this is what happens to these places: people forget what once made the important, and they “fall off the radar”. But local interest and enthusiasm go a long way to preserving and maintaining these overlooked places – places that show how layered, complex and connected local heritage really is.

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