Home / Shropshire Hills

Category: Shropshire Hills

Hopton Castle

Hopton Castle

Hopton Castle is a ruined castle keep situated outside the village of Hopton Heath. There was a settlement there before the Norman Conquest but the building that exists today was most likely built in the 13th century but in a style to suggest an earlier date. During the civil war it was owned by the Wallops who where parliamentarians in a part of the country dominated by forces loyal to King Charles. A garrison of 30 men commanded by Colonel Samuel More (who kept a diary of the events) was held siege for 30 days by Prince Rupert Royalists. Although More lived to become the governor of Montgomery Castle, many of the surrendered troops were brutally killed, and ‘Hopton Quarter’ became a byword for treacherous treatment by opponents. You can see a film of the siege of Hopton Castle here.

The castle was restored and opened to the public in 2011. Admission is free.

Bury Ditches Shropshire

Bury Ditches

Bury Ditches, located a few miles outside Bishops Castle and Clun is an impressive iron age hill fort on a beautiful site managed by the Forestry Commission. The ditches themselves are comprised of four massive earthwork ramparts and you can walk around the perimeter and really get a feel for what it would have been like in the iron age. Needless to say the views from the top of Bury Ditches are fantastic, stretching out to Clee Hill, Wenlock Edge and the Stiperstones. The fort was ‘rediscovered’ in 1976 when a storm felled a number of trees at the summit and the ramparts where revealed.

Wenlock Priory

Wenlock Priory

Wenlock Priory is a fantastically atmospheric ruined Anglo Saxon monastery outside Much Wenlock. It was founded in 680 by King Merewalh of Mercia. It was a ‘dual house’ in that it was a community of both monks and nuns. The Priory’s second abbess was Miburga, daughter of Anglo Saxon royalty who was later made a saint and who features in Shropshire myth and legend. Wenlock Priory is now run by English Heritage.

<iframe src=”https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m18!1m12!1m3!1d2423.4663035852222!2d-2.5575008836068474!3d52.59734173824619!2m3!1f0!2f0!3f0!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x4870798470f34af5%3A0x80eee50a24cc70f9!2sWenlock%20Priory!5e0!3m2!1sen!2suk!4v1610127564106!5m2!1sen!2suk” width=”600″ height=”450″ frameborder=”0″ style=”border:0;” allowfullscreen=”” aria-hidden=”false” tabindex=”0″></iframe>

Much Wenlock

Much Wenlock

Much Wenlock is a delightful little market town situated between Bridgnorth and Shrewsbury about 25 minutes drive from Sutton Court Farm Holiday Cottages. It’s main attraction is Wenlock Priory but the town itself is well worth a visit and one of the finest medieval towns in shropshire with an array of beautiful half timbered buildings along the high street culminating in the town square and the Guildhall.

Much Wenlock’s main claim to fame is that it was the birthplace of Dr William Penny Brooks the founder of the Wenlock Olympian Society which was the inspiration for the Olympic Games. Dr Brookes organised the first Wenlock Olympian games in 1850, his stated aim to to ‘promote the moral, physical and intellectual improvement of the inhabitants of the Town and neighbourhood of Wenlock’.  In 1890 Pierre de Coubertin stayed with Dr Brookes in his house on Wilmore Street and witnessed a staging of the Wenlock Games put on in his honour. He later went on to set up the International Olympic Committee and the modern Olympic Games. As a tribute to this relationship one of the mascots for the London 2012 games was called Wenlock.

Here are some of Much Wenlock’s attractions.

Wenlock Priory Wenlock Priory - Wenlock Priory is a fantastically atmospheric ruined Anglo Saxon monastery outside Much Wenlock. It was founded in 680 by King Merewalh of Mercia. It was a ‘dual house’ in that it was a community of both monks and nuns. The Priory’s second abbess was Miburga, daughter of Anglo Saxon royalty who was later made a …
Quad Biking at the Edge Centre Edge Adventures Activities Centre - The Edge Adventures Activities Centre is situated outside Much Wenlock is the home of outdoor adventure in Shropshire. Activities include Segway, Junior Quad Biking trek, Mountain Boarding, Sniper shooting, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Archery, Jacobs Ladder and Zip wire. They have a 30ft climbing wall with four different climbs for different abilities. There are a range …
Flounders Folly Shropshire

Flounders Folly

Built by Benjamin Flounders in 1841 on top of Callow Hill, this 80ft high tower has changed owners several times (at one stage the actor Julie Christie held the deeds) but is now in the safe hands of the Flounders Folly Trust, which restored it and reopened it to the public in 2004.

Benjamin Flounders was a Quaker from Yorkshire who inherited the estate of Culmington. He never actually had a house in the area, instead choosing to lodge at the Angel in Ludlow during his vists to the estate. It fell into disrepair after World War 2, but was restored with the inclusion of a metal staircase so that visitors can climb to the viewing platform at the top. It is worth a visit on any day as the views over the countryside are fantastic from the top of Callow Hill.

You can climb Callow Hill and sound underneath this imposing monolith anytime you like, but it is also open once a month for visitors to climb the 78 stairs for commanding views of the Malverns, the Black Mountains and beyond. You can park at the bottom of Callow Hill but Flounders Folly also makes a good walking destination from The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre in Craven Arm.

Stokesay Castle Shropshire

Stokesay Castle Shropshire

Stokesay Castle, Shropshire, is a fortified manor house is set in a stunning location in the Only river valley between Craven Arms and Ludlow. It is one of the best preserved medieval castles in the country.

The orinal castle was built by local landowners the De Lacys, but the castle as it stands was the work of Laurence of Ludlow, a wealthy wool merchant in the 13th century. It is a symbol of the importance of the area in a europe wide trade of the valuable commodity of British, and particularly Welsh, wool.

Stokesay Castle is made up of the Solar block flanked by the north and west towers, a 17th century half timbered gatehouse surrounded by moat. It was never intended to be a serious fortification and probably served as a manor house. It is one of the best preserved medieval fortified manors in the country. Currently operated by English Heritage it can be viewed from the outside but tour around the buildings is recommended, particularly to see the wood panelling of the solar room.

There are often events in the castle including stagings of Shakespeare’s plays by travelling theatre companies. If you get a chance to see one while you’re visiting it is highly recommended – the backdrop of the castle courtyard is amazing.

There is a tea room in the car park and an English Heritage gift shop with an interesting range of plants for sale at the entrance to the castle. The chapel of St John The Baptist is also with a visit and is just outside the castle grounds. Walks up the hill behind the castle are also recommended, and the visit can be combined with the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre.

 

Mammoth Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre is possibly the best introduction to the Shropshire Hills AONB. It is a particularly good for kids and can be combined with a visit to Stokesay Castle. Learn about the unique landscape and history of the area in the ‘Shropshire Through Time’ exhibition. They have a replica of what is most likely the oldest Wooly Mammoth skeleton found in the UK, found at Condover. There is a spectacular panoramic film of the hills narrated by actor Billy Postlethwaite, who’s father Pete lived in Bishops Castle. There is also a cafe and gift shop which has an excellent range of local interest books and maps. From the centre there are several excellent and well signposted walks including the ‘Wart Hill Wanderer’, the ‘Norton Camp Climb’ which ascends steeply to an old iron age hill fort and ‘Stokesay Walks’. 

The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre is surrounded by ‘Onny Meadows’, a 30 acre site that runs alongside the beautiful river Onny and is being gradually being ecologically restored. Its officially recognised Dragonfly Hotspot is not to be missed in the summer when these magnificent insects are in flight.

The centre also runs lots of events and courses including cinema screenings in it’s fantastic panoramic digital cinema, as well as being the base for ‘Grow, Cook and Learn’ which aims to connect people with the food, landscape and history of the Shropshire Hills.

 

Bishops Castle Shropshire

Bishops Castle Shropshire

Bishops Castle, Shropshire is a delightful and quirky town to the west of the Shropshire Hills. It has something of and alternative feel, with shops such as the Poetry Pharmacy and It’s individually painted townhouses giving it a left field vibe. It makes a great day out – as well as an array of great independent shops, the oldest brewery in the UK in the Three Tuns and the Crooked House Museum it is situated amidst some of the finest scenery in the area including Bury Ditches and The Kerry Ridgeway.

Simpsons Gift Shop Bishops Castle Simpsons Gift Shop Bishops Castle - Simpsons gift shop, Bishops Castle, has a fantastic range of eclectic and quirky items and is the perfect destination for picking up something unusual for the folks back home during your stay in South Shropshire. A good range of books on a variety of subjects but specialising in nature, local interest, regional and traditional culture …
Poetry Pharmacy Poetry Pharmacy Bishops Castle - The Poetry Pharmacy Bishops Castle is a charming bookshop on the High Street. It’s aim is to provide ‘poetry on prescription’ to counter the stresses of modern life. The beautiful victorian shop has a range of poetry and prose tending toward the highbrow – you’ll be unlikely to find Dan Brown’s latest here. You can …
Bury Ditches Shropshire Bury Ditches - Bury Ditches, located a few miles outside Bishops Castle and Clun is an impressive iron age hill fort on a beautiful site managed by the Forestry Commission. The ditches themselves are comprised of four massive earthwork ramparts and you can walk around the perimeter and really get a feel for what it would have been like …
Three Tuns Pub Bishops Castle Three Tuns, Bishops Castle, Shropshire. - The Three Tuns, Bishops Castle is a legendary pub and brewery that has been in operation since 1642, and is by some reckoning the oldest working brewery in the UK. The pub and restaurant serves ‘modern eclectic cuisine’. Check out the ales brewed on site including Clerics Cure and XXX. Visit the website here.
Craven Arms Shropshire

Craven Arms Shropshire

Craven Arms, Shropshire is situated on the A49 between Ludlow and Church Stretton. While perhaps not the prettiest town in Shropshire (it is up against some stiff opposition) it is worth a visit. As the only town inside the AONB, it is a fantastic place to embark on a walk to some of the many beautiful spots accessible from here, including Wart Hill, Norton Camp, Hopesay Common and the southern end of Wenlock Edge.

There are several interesting attractions in or near the town itself, including the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre and Stokesay Castle.

Here is our pick of Craven Arms:

Flounders Folly Shropshire Flounders Folly - Built by Benjamin Flounders in 1841 on top of Callow Hill, this 80ft high tower has changed owners several times (at one stage the actor Julie Christie held the deeds) but is now in the safe hands of the Flounders Folly Trust, which restored it and reopened it to the public in 2004. Benjamin Flounders …
Stokesay Castle Shropshire Stokesay Castle Shropshire - Stokesay Castle, Shropshire, is a fortified manor house is set in a stunning location in the Only river valley between Craven Arms and Ludlow. It is one of the best preserved medieval castles in the country. The orinal castle was built by local landowners the De Lacys, but the castle as it stands was the …
Mammoth Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre - The Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre is possibly the best introduction to the Shropshire Hills AONB. It is a particularly good for kids and can be combined with a visit to Stokesay Castle. Learn about the unique landscape and history of the area in the ‘Shropshire Through Time’ exhibition. They have a replica of what is most …