A challenging four mile walk on stone tracks, grassland and moorland taking around two hours, taking in Mitchell’s Fold stone circle and views across mid Wales.
A number of steep climbs and descents along tracks and over grassland and moorland
The Miner's Arms, Priest Weston
The Miners’ Arms car park, Priest Weston, SY15 6DF
Lat/Long: 52.5683486053, -3.0440445925
This fairly challenging circular route immediately affords wonderful views to the west overlooking mid-Wales. Further along the walk you will find one of Shropshire’s best-known prehistoric monuments Mitchell’s Fold, a bronze age stone circle at the top of Stapeley Hill. Heading north along the ridgeway from Mitchell’s Fold you will see the Shrewsbury plain and the odd circle of trees at Bromlow Callow believed to be a landmark for drovers.
This path has lovely views of the hills to the west over the farmland cottages of Priest Weston and Middleton. Workers were attracted to the area by the mining of barytes in the 19th century. Barytes is the stuff of barium meals, and as filler in ceramics, golf balls, paints, paper and leather.
Mitchell’s Fold Stone Circle is Shropshire’s best-known prehistoric monument. Erected during the period 2000-1200BC it is a testimony to the importance of the Shropshire Hills for the early Bronze Age communities. Some 90 yards to the south east is a standing stone set on a small bank. To the immediate north of the stone is a low mound – probably the remains of a prehistoric cairn. Long ago, a magic cow on Stapeley Hill gave milk to all good folk, until Mitchell, an evil witch, milked her into a sieve. The cow disappeared never to return. The witch was turned to stone and the circle erected to keep her in.
A survey in 2007/8 identified an area of small-scale quarrying on Lan Fawr which may have been the site of a prehistoric stone axe factory. Numerous picrite – hard igneous rock – battle axes and axe hammers have been found.
Enjoy the panoramas. To the east, the distinctive Stiperstones, to the west, Montgomery nestled into its hillside, and beyond the mountains and uplands of Wales.
There are buses along the A488 between Shrewsbury and Bishop’s Castle (service no 552/553), although this would mean a 1½ mile walk to the pub.
Food, drink and accommodation
If you stop for a drink at The Miners’ Arms, Priest Weston, you’ll be in thirsty company. Imagine patrolling the border or mining for barytes without a decent pub. How would Offa’s Dyke have been built without them? Over a thousand years later, keep up the tradition and call in. The pub serves excellent local beers as well as a range or wines, soft drinks and snacks. Call 01938 561352.
Find accommodation listings on www.visitshropshirehills.co.uk