Ridges, Vista and Nature
Hilly, grass and stone tracks
Manor Farm, Rushbury
Church Stretton, Much Wenlock
Lat/Long: 52.5240208658, -2.7160612361
Long ridges, wonderful views and nature in abundance- this ride has them all. Discover mediaeval houses, ancient churches, wonderful woodlands and the quietest of country lanes. At Middlehope be careful when you ride through. The farm dogs here still seem to guard the remains of the motte and bailey castle where the Norman lord once ruled.
Make sure you stop at the Harton Hollow Nature Reserve. This ancient woodland of oak, ash and coppiced hazel is littered with small limestone quarries. Once the stone was dug it was burnt in kilns then spread on the fields as lime fertilizer. Look for orchids and a profusion of woodland plants, over 125 types have been counted. Buzzards, woodpeckers, treecreepers, stoats, weasels and badgers also find homes here. One of your landmarks on Callow Hill is the Victorian Flounder’s Folly. Built by a Yorkshire industrialist in 1838 it has just been renovated. There is no bridleway, but a footpath takes you to the top. Return one day and pay a visit.
Many of the villages you pass are mentioned in the Doomsday Book. There are halls, manor houses and wonderful medieval churches along the way. Go into the church at Eaton. A wonderful place famous for the green men carvings that adorn its wooden roof beams.
Eaton under Heywood Church
The squat, square tower, topped with battlements, dominates St Edith’s Church (St Edith is an Anglo Saxon saint) Inside there is a Norman nave, 13th century chancel and a rare 14th century life-size wooden effigy.
The tower built on Callow Hill dates from 1838, when it was erected by Benjamin Flounders to mark the boundaries between four large estates.
Mr Flounders was a prominent Quaker business man with interests in many new industries in the 19th century. It is 80 feet tall and 16 feet square and has been renovated by volunteers.