Shropshire’s Most Unsettling Hillscape: The Stiperstones


Well, the name alone is enough to set the nerves jangling. Stiperstones. There’s more than a hint of menace here, and local Shropshire folk will tell you exactly what that menace is. They will say that when the mist settles on this ridge of strange and craggy outcrops, that the devil has come, returned to his quartzite throne to preside over a gathering of witches and evil spirits.





These photos were all taken on a summer’s day, though it’s hard to believe looking at them here. For more about that particular visit and more about the Stiperstones go here.

Lens-Artists: creepy  Ann-Christine has set the challenge this week. She has posted some marvellously creepy images. Please take a look.

43 thoughts on “Shropshire’s Most Unsettling Hillscape: The Stiperstones

  1. “It is a wild and brooding place, …” it surely is – but beautiful as well. Though I can understand the old stories – not least when the mist rolls in. Thank you, Tish, for a creepy experience!

  2. Most atmospheric, Tish! I remember hearing of the Stiperstones as a kid, might have been one of Malcolm Seville’s Lone Pine books…..

      1. Well, I had completely forgotten him, until your Stiperstones image came up, and whether related or not I suddenly recalled ‘The secret of Grey Walls’, and looked up the author…. I remember being seriously disappointed that the book didn’t explain some mystery about grey walls per se, but rather that it was a novel with a house called Grey Walls at it’s centre…. 😳

    1. I think it’s a lot to do with the quartzite. It seems to loom. Also the surrounding hills are all quite different – smooth and rolling so you can see too how the Stiperstones struck the locals’ imaginations. Lancashire brooding is pretty darn good too 🙂

    1. The devil appears to have been very active in Shropshire if the old tales are anything to go by, though sometimes similar yarns are told about a giant. Both involve dropping monumental piles of stones about the place.

    1. It is a pretty strange area geologically speaking. In the valleys below there were lots of lead mines, some going back to Roman times. It’s hard to imagine now that this was once a highly industrialised landscape.

    1. It’s a quartzite ridge, Saurab. Formed 480 million years ago. When the ice sheets covered much of Shropshire during glacial periods the ridge remained exposed. Repeated rounds of freezing and thawing apparently caused all the fracturing.

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