c1732 – c1804
24 Market Square
Shropshire Archive documents of 1732 and 1743 recorded Thomas Drew of Bishops Castle, barber, leasing a dwelling house and burgage plot in Bishops Castle known by the ‘sign of the Owl’ from Robert Waring of Owlbury, near Bishop’s Castle. After his death in 1771, his wife Clare continued with the business and auction sales of land and properties around Bishop’s Castle took place at ‘Mrs Drew’s, The Owl Inn, in Bishop’s Castle’ in 1785 and 1796, the year of her death.
Clare seems to have run a successful business, listed in The Universal British Directory 1791 as a ‘principal Inn’, with Clare Drew, Victualler. In 1793 Archdeacon Plymley lists Mrs Drew as occupier of the Owl Inn, with Lord Clive as the owner.
A 1796 survey and plan with particulars of properties in Bishop’s Castle identified the location of the Owl Inn, stabling and yard in Market Square. In 1800, a lease document for the Owl Inn shows Messrs Drew & Lister leasing to Daniel Gregory – Messrs Drew refers to daughters and sons Mary, Ann, Thomas and Samuel. Perhaps none of this generation had an interest in running the business, though sales catalogues could still be collected there – e.g. for a sale in Chirbury in 1801.
In 1804 Messrs Drew and Lister surrendered their lease to Mr. Probert, agent for Lord Powis. It is not clear when the Owl ceased trading – there was an advert for it as a ‘principal inn’ in Crosby’s Directory that year, but none have been found after that.
The Drew family had been leasing 3 properties in Welsh Street since c1790 and an 1840 map of Lands & Tenements also recorded a piece of land south of Welsh Street with the name Samuel Drew (son of Thomas and Clare). In 1841 & 1851 the census recorded three daughters of Samuel Drew: Clara 45, Sarah 45 and Mary 40 (Independent means) living in Welsh Street.
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Map and text images reproduced with the consent of the Trustees of the Powis Castle Estate.