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Wilfred Owen Birthplace Listing Moves to Consultation Phase


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The Listing process for Plas Wilmot in Oswestry has now entered a consultation phase. Interested parties have been invited to comment on a Factual Report produced by English Heritage. It is not known at present what recommendation for Listing (if any) will be made. The application for Listing is supported by Oswestry Civic Society. If successful, this will be the first Wilfred Owen linked heritage asset in the UK to be given such recognition.

The eight bedroomed gentleman's residence was originally constructed in 1829 by Wilfred's great grandfather Edward Salter and was much extended and altered before and after Wilfred's birth there in March 1893. Salter kept accounts of the building in a small pocket notebook which is now archived at Oswestry Library.

Wilfred Owen spent only four years in the house; it had to be sold on the death of his maternal grandfather in 1897. He is known to have played at soldiers in the grounds (photographic evidence) and to have sailed a small model steam ship on a pool near the house. One incident, according to the second-hand recollections of Wilfred's brother Harold, involved the ship catching fire and being rescued by Wilfred's father who jumped fully clothed into the pool.

The influence of Plas Wilmot certainly did not end when the Owen's left Oswestry, they are known to have named at least two of their subsequent houses in its memory. The relative prosperity of the early years of the Owen marriage and the connection with this upmarket property entered the family mythology and apparently sustained them through more difficult times.

See www.youtube.com/user/plaswilmot for more about the history of Wilfred Owen's birthplace.

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