The United Pack is a well supported and much loved part of the South Shropshire rural scene. Its hounds are a familiar sight along the back roads around Bishops Castle in the summer and across the Country in the autumn and winter when legally trail hunting. Its fund raising activities attract a great deal of interest when it seeks not only to support itself but to also raises money for charities such as the air ambulance and mencap.
Today the United country is essentially that of A.E.Housemans blue remembered hills. From Bucknall in the south it stretches to Shelve and Leighton in the north. To the east it runs to Rushbury and Craven Arms whilst in the west it is bounded by the Rivers Teme and Severn. Some 300 square miles of sparsley populated upland country containing numerous wooded dingles and heather topped hills with the Bishops Castle kennels at its very heart.
The United Pack dates from1839 when it was created by the uniting of two private packs, those of William Pinches of Tickleton and of the Beddoes family of Cheney Longville. The pack remained in private ownership until 1876 when its last owner, Francis Beddoes, died. A committee was promptly formed to administer the United and later in that year the Hunt became a subscription pack.
The United Hounds were initially kennelled by Pinches at Tickleton, the Pack was moved to Acton in 1849 and to Cheney Longville in 1862. The committee took the hounds to Rockhill, outside Clun in 1876 and had new kennels built there the following year. Subsidiary kennels were built at Bishops Castle during the 1880s. The Clun Kennels were finally abandoned in 1893 and in that year the Hunt took possession of newly built kennels just outside Bishops Castle and the United pack has remained in that location ever since.
The United has a continous existence from 1839 but its origins in the Beddoes Pack go back to at least the 1790s. During both world wars the Hunt was severley reduced and little hunting took place from 1916 - 1919 or from 1940 - 1945 but the core of the United was maintained ready for expansion in happier times.
Archivist to the United Pack