Walking 11 miles along The Shropshire Way over Brown Clee to Wilderhope Manor takes you through a landscape used by man for centuries.
Some steep sections and high moorland
Cleobury Mortimer, Ludlow, Much Wenlock
Lat/Long: 52.4299264213, -2.5951380542
On Brown Clee it’s a different world of high moor and windswept hill so hope for good weather and make sure you are well prepared. This is no gentle country walk. You will be at the highest point in Shropshire and there is no higher land to the east until the Urals. This hill has seen it all from Iron Age man to Iron mines, from tar pits to telecommunications.
Brown Clee is Shropshire’s very own twin peaks. Clee Burf and Abdon Burf, both now topped with towers once were surmounted by ancient earthworks, Bronze Age cairns, two great Iron Age settlements and medieval coal mines, even Stone Age tools have been found here. Now all has been swept away by great machines and little is left but towering heaps of spoil, water filled quarries and the gaunt skeletons of once so busy workings. An inclined plane over 2 kms long took the crushed stone to the railway in Ditton Priors. Now all is slipping back to nature.
Perched high on Wenlock edge is the picturesque Elizabethan Manor house of Wilderhope. Thomas Smallman, a Major in the Royalist Army once lived here until caught by the Roundheads. By some miracle he escaped on horse and galloped the length of Wenlock Edge only to be surrounded. In desperation he leapt from the cliff. The horse died but he fell into a crab apple tree and lived. Now his ghost is said to haunt the spiral staircases of the Manor.
What a contrast to Brown Clee, a gentle rolling dale with the memories of busier times. When iron from the hill was smelted to make the cannonballs that helped defeat Napoleon. Vanished villages where the churches are the only remains of once thriving communities abandoned when the Country entered a mini ice age.