Ancient routes and commanding views
Hills, grass tracks, stoned lanes
Picklescott Village Hall (donation) see www.picklescott.org.uk for contact no.
Lat/Long: 52.5446901291, -2.8080297867
We take an old hedged way north from Picklescott, named Deadmans Lane after a man found here frozen to death in the snow. It leads us up to the moorland. From up here there are panoramic views to the north, west, and east, with the Pontesbury Hills standing out. Here we can see a patchwork quilt of fields sweeping up to the distant Lyth Hill. We skirt round the aptly named Underhill Hall set amongst trees below us, crossing pasture land to near the old farm of Sheppen Fields. A route from Wilderley, used throughout the Roman and post Roman period, and recognised as a Kings Highway in the Middle Ages, passed by here to the Portway on the Long Mynd. Up above on Cothercott Hill, there was a racecourse on the summit in the early 1800s.
Coming down over pasture land, we then follow the ancient hedged green lane, passing by the old Motte with two Baileys, by Wilderley Hall Farm. The farm is all that remains of the medieval hamlet of Wilderley. Here, another ancient hedged track leads us on, and down to a ford, where bluebells abound in spring, then up to Church Pulverbatch.
Fords are important watering places for horses on a long ride. This one, deep in a wooded valley below Church Pulverbatch, has a raised bridge for walkers over the Churton Brook. Churton was the old name for Church Pulverbatch.
Church Pulverbatch has many old properties. A church was recorded here in the Doomsday Book. Destroyed by the Welsh in 1414, St Edith’s Church, set in a ring of trees, was rebuilt after the 18th century. The Village Hall car park at Church Pulverbatch has great views over the Shropshire Plains to Lyth Hill and Shrewsbury.
Castle Pulverbatch, nearby, with its White Horse Inn, is where the motte and bailey Norman castle of Polrebeche guarded the valley route from Shrewsbury to Bishop’s Castle. Now, just large earth works mark the site.