A HISTORIC guild is preparing to celebrate a landmark anniversary.

The Shrewsbury Drapers Company – which formed in 1462 – will mark its 550th anniversary next year.

They have joined forces with the Friends of Shropshire Archives to stage a history day celebrating the origins and success of the Drapers.

Guided walks around Shrewsbury will reveal hidden aspects of the history of the town and the importance of the cloth trade to its success.

There is also the rare opportunity to take tea with the Master of the Drapers Company in the impressive surroundings of Drapers Hall.

Councillor Mike Owen, cabinet member for economic growth and prosperity at Shropshire Council, said: “This event is a great opportunity to find out more about Shrewsbury’s history, and the key national economic contribution made by the town.”

The history day is part of a month-long celebration.

Earlier this month Madge Moran, author of Vernacular Buildings of Shropshire, gave a lecture on the history of Drapers Hall.

And medieval re-enactment experts Milles Des Marche demonstrated what life was like in the early days of the Drapers.

A free textile design exhibition will also run at St Mary’s Church until September 30.

Nigel Hinton, Master of Shrewsbury Drapers Company, said: “We are proud to be marking our 550th anniversary with a month of activities and hope members of the public join us in celebrating by attending some of the wonderful events we have planned.”

There are currently 80 elected Freemen of the Guild who are trustees for two charities which manage and support almshouses in Shrewsbury, and are actively involved in other charitable work.

The history day is at St Mary’s Church on Sunday, October 2.

Call 01952 252814 for tickets at £5 for members of the Friends of Shropshire Archives and £10 for non-members.

Tea at Drapers Hall is available for an additional £8.