Take your kids to an ancient monument, and hike up some remote hills, and get them to tell some stories along the way…
When you mention ‘stone circle’ to a lot of people, they immediately think of Stone Henge in Wiltshire.
I remember watching some TV programmes on Stone Henge some years ago (could even be a decade ago!), and it was ‘Shock! There’s some other Stone Circles nearby! Stone Henge must have been a very special place!’. Well actually there are stone circles up and down the country.
Yes, the ancestors of these isles were very busy with their circles, mounds, and ditches. Busy builders.
You can often find these ancient relics all over the wild places of Britain. But why did they build in these wild places? I don’t think they did. I think they built everywhere. It’s just we’re even busy builders and have obliterated a lot of ancient sites a long time ago. Plus, back then it was also better to inhabit a hill top or an island in marshland as it gave you protection. These days those locations aren’t practical places to live, and so society moved away and left those places to become wild once again.
ancient relics all over the wild places of Britain
Ancient ruins in wild places does have a mystical charm though. Even more so as we don’t know what they were actually built for: may be they were ritual sites (the common theory); or may be they are just prehistoric garden features (less likely!).
we don’t know what they were actually built for
One of those wild and mystical places is Mitchell’s Fold stone circle in Shropshire.
Mitchell’s Fold Stone Circle
There are 15 stones laid out in a circle. Some small; some big.
English Heritage (who manage the site) say that there could have been as many as thirty stones at one time.
There are quite a few prehistoric sites in the area (if you want to find more megalithic structures in the area, have a look at megalithic.co.uk).
We had visited Mitchell’s Fold many years ago (over a decade), but thanks to our friends at @shropshirewalks for reminding us of this fantastic spot.
Myths & Legends
As with many of these places they have attracted their own stories and legends.
The stones are said to encircle a witch that was turned to stone
The stones are said to encircle a witch that was turned to stone (see the info board at the circle when you get there for the full story).
There are a number of legends and stories in this part of the country. The Giant’s Cave is only a short walk away. The area has also inspired modern stories from local writer Hilary Jane Jones (see Briar Ridge Books).
The stories always get young kids’ imaginations running. Why not get them to come up with their own stories for the stones? (Tip: useful distraction technique for young ones if you want to walk bit further!).
Walking to Mitchell’s Fold & The Pillows
This wild location is easy to get to by car. The stone circle is not far from the car park and easily walked to if you have kids.
There are also walks you can take from the circle and back to your car.
We went for a bracing walk from the stone circle up to the pillows, on a cold and windy day in November.
The Pillows are a pair of tumuli, one on each hill top next to one another. You can get some good views from up there.
One of the pillows is shown in this picture (click for a large photo). It does not usually have a stick coming out of the top. That was a contribution from our youngest 😉
Where to find Mitchell's Fold Stone Circle
Latitude: 52.5759315, Longitude: -3.0301666
Mitchell's Fold is in Shropshire, 16 miles SW of Shrewsbury. However, you do drive into Wales if you are parking, and Welshpool is only 10 miles away. There is parking at the end of a pot-holed track, and then it's a short walk up from there. I have marked on the map the parking location. Unfortunately if your sat nav doesn't have Mitchell's Fold I don't have a nice neat post code for the parking spot (I did say it was up a lane!). So use the map and these coordinates: 52.5759326584977, -3.0301666259765625Show on Google Maps Show on OS Maps
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