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Chirbury is located in the southwest of Shropshire, close to the border of the Welsh county of Montgomeryshire. The parish church at Chirbury was part of a priory of Augustinian Canons who moved to Chirbury sometime before 1227. A fragment of the priory buildings can be seen in the churchyard and are thought to be the remains of the central column of the chapter house.
Prior to the foundation at Chirbury the community was located at Snead (to the southeast of Chirbury on the border with Powys), following the foundation by Robert de Boullers, earl of Montgomery. This was a mainly pastoral area and they received only small gifts of arable land in Montgomery and Chirbury with the right to clear land for buildings in the woods and moors round Snead. The founder's gifts included generous pasture rights for up to 300 mares and 200 cows with their offspring and for the canons' ploughbeasts, sheep, and pigs. Before 1198 Robert resolved to move the community to Chirbury and provide what was to be their principal source of income: the church of St. Michael of Chirbury.