We’re in border country here – between the Shropshire Hills and Wales and I’m standing inside a Bronze Age stone circle, Mitchell’s Fold, looking in a northerly direction. And if the circle is a little raggedy after three millennia, then its location is surely still impressive.
Here is the southerly view towards Corndon Hill on whose flanks are the remains of several prehistoric burial cairns. To the right are the hazy Welsh uplands.
This westerly view towards Wales shows more of the Bronze Age circle. Several of the stones have been laid flat or damaged, and this apparently happened long ago. Perhaps when the land through the circle was being worked. You can see here the rig and furrow outlines of medieval fields. I think the climate must have been milder back then or they grew very tough crops.
Now looking east, the furthermost ridge is one of Shropshire’s most mysterious and curiously named hillscapes: the Stiperstones with its lunar Manstone and Devil’s Chair outcrops. This ridge is formed from quartzite laid down some 480 million years ago.
All these places loom darkly in local legends and folklore. I’ve told the story before of Mitchell, the wicked witch for whom Mitchell’s Fold is named. You can read about her grim deeds and sticky end in an earlier post: Witch Catching in the Shropshire Wilds which also comes with snow-scene photos courtesy of he who no longer uses his camera.