With its series of other-worldly outcrops, the Stiperstones ridge has to be one of Shropshire’s most compellingly strange landscapes. The cragginess was wrought by the scything, crushing and cracking action of ice during the last glacial period. But natural forces alone don’t explain the sense of weirdness. It is also a place of old lead mines (going back to Roman times), and of older-still Bronze Age burial cairns.
And on the supernatural front, there are ghosts there, most notably of Saxon lord, Wild Edric, our local King Arthur, who rampaged against the Norman invaders and is said to have been imprisoned in an abandoned lead mine. When he rides again, it is said the natural good order of things will be restored to the land.
And last, but scarcely least, there are the sinister witchy happenings, especially when the mist falls and Old Nick himself is said to occupy the most mysterious of all the outcrops – otherwise known as the Devil’s Chair. (See Mary Webb’s novel Gone to Earth whose heroine Hazel Woodus is tragically enthralled by the landscape and legends of the Stiperstones.)
As a 6/7th Shropshire lass, I’m ashamed to say I have not yet got myself to the Devil’s Chair. On our last two expeditions we did not get further than Manstone Rock. This year’s ambition perhaps. On a mist-free day of course!
25 thoughts on “Odd Rocks On The Stiperstones”
The Stiperstones always has me thinking of Malcolm Saville’s Lone Pine books, Tish! Must have been where I first came across them
I loved those books. Time I re-read one.
Doubt they would be easily available now?
Now then, you would be surprised. There is quite a following and not only in Shropshire. Lone Pine enthusiasts still going strong, and the books v collectible:
Well, who knew!
I loved those books too!
I did re-read one not long ago, and was surprised that my grown up self still enjoyed it.
Wow Tish that’s something new to me. Interesting very much and love you rock photos!
Pleased you like this, Agnes.
They look very intriguing Trish!
It’s very unusual place. Lovely on a bright summer’s day though.
I wish I had taken geology. Perhaps it’s not too late. I am fascinated by rocks, especially yours today!
My thoughts too, Ruth. I’m sure it’s not too late, though it’s not the easiest of disciplines to grasp in the abstract. Learning about one’s own territory/or some particular place that fascinates seems the likeliest way in.
Good point, Tish. Studying rocks and realizing their age puts our existence into perspective.
It certainly does. Also shows how many times the world’s climate has changed, both within and between Ice Ages.
oh my you can feel the mystery even in photos. What a place – make sure you don’t get lost up there!
I love this series. And Shropshire, like North Yorkshire, is among the counties that wear their geology on their sleeves. Love it.
I like that notion of geology on their sleeves!
It definitely has atmosphere. And you won’t get me on the Devil’s Chair.
Thanks, dear Tish, to show us this weird landscape. Now we know what we’ll visit the next time when we’ll go to Wales. That must be a great place for photographing.
The Fab Four of Cley
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
I think Dina would have a fine time with her camera around the Shropshire-Wales border, and especially on the Stiperstones.