The Modern Antiquarian. Stone Circles, Ancient Sites, Neolithic Monuments, Ancient Monuments, Prehistoric Sites, Megalithic MysteriesThe Modern Antiquarian

The Wrekin



On the one hand i'm disgusted at myself for taking so long to get up to this hill fort on the Wrekin, but on the other I couldn't have picked a much better day for it.
I parked at the northern end of the hill near the actual car park, and made my way up where I'd seen a dog walker come from. a bit muddy but frozen ..... but slippy.
On the way up, the dog walkers path turns into a bigger track, big enough to drive on. Five big signs warning me of a military firing range punctuate the steep track. Cripes, i'll not wander far off course today. Big bangs sound reassuringly far off though.

All too soon some height is gained, the air is cooler, ice and old crunchy snow makes walking slower and more precarious. There are quite a few people up here, Shrewsbury and Telford are close by big towns with lots of people some of whom like to hill walk now and then.
Just before the track gets very steep an information board shows up, does the information board think "ay up another walker, please read me.... please"
I duly oblige and instantly feel more informed, firstly I pass through the Hell gate, then through the Heaven gate, with plenty of ramparts all over the place. Brilliant !!!

Passing through the Hell gate, the mounds either side of it are maybe six feet high. A car then starts up behind me and i'm perplexed as to how he got up here, he shows me by leaving, slowly that's the key. Gawd you can drive up here ? not in my car I'll bet. Between the Hell gate and the heaven gate I slink off into the trees to locate some of the ramparts, they are very worn down, little more than terraces now, I follow along one up to the heaven gate, my second favorite fort entrance on the Wrekin.

It has to be said, the ramparts aren't that well preserved , but the entrances to it all are. Heaven gate is high up, 1300 feet high, rising to a height of five feet either side of you as you pass by. Apparently the gate names derive from perhaps two civil war battles, the Hell gate battle went badly but the Heaven gate one more favorably, for who I don't know. Cromwell presumably.
Ahead, at the top of the hill is a trig point and Toposcope, these both sit on top of a now cared for, but worn and torn barrow. It isn't recognisable as such but map says it's so.
Passing the walker swamped trig point you exit the inner fort by another gate, a gate with no name and not marked on the artists impression on the information board. The hill top isn't so wide here, vertical rocks guard the south side and a worn rampart on the north side, they both meet up at the south west gate, the last gate and my favorite on the hill. From here Caer Caradoc and the Lawley are very visible to the south west. The fort on the Wrekin is surely meant to be seen mostly from there.

I was always told that the Wrekin is an extinct volcano, but it isn't so, it was made by volcanic happenings, but it isn't a volcano, volcanic plugs rather. The rocks above the south west gate are very volcanic in appearance, slippy too, don't look over the side it's a long way down. One large rock has broken off the main outcrop leaving a slim gap between them, is this the needle. Don't know, nor could I find anything that is supposed to be a solar alignment wotsit on such and such a day. Oh well, summer wont be long.
Ive been up here for hours now it is time to go and pick up the kids from school, this morning was so much better than sitting at home watching day time TV wishing I was else where.
postman Posted by postman
16th January 2013ce
Edited 16th January 2013ce

Comments (1)

I've read through this fieldnote a few times Postie, you always bring the human touch to your notes. The Wrekin is definitely on my list of places to visit. tjj Posted by tjj
19th January 2013ce
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