From his schoolboy experiments in a garden shed to a race against the mailcoach, Shrewsbury played a pivotal role in Darwin’s development. Did the “three pillars of Shrewsbury” and a dash of luck result in his revolutionary theory of evolution?
Hear the name Charles Darwin and the Galápagos Islands might spring to mind, home to giant tortoises and finches with a variety of beak shapes. Or Down House, now in greater London, where the naturalist settled with his wife Emma and strode along his “thinking path”. It’s unlikely your thoughts would turn to Shrewsbury, a mediaeval market town nestled in a loop of the River Severn near the Welsh border. But Darwin was born here back in 1809 and Shrewsbury was instrumental in his life in no less than three ways. That’s according to Jon King, founder of the Darwin Shrewsbury Festival held here in February each year.