A hidden history and a dramatic location combined with the unique gas-lit setting of the Bog Visitor Centre make this a must-visit site!
Free parking is available all year round (disabled parking available outside the visitor centre).
Six miles north of Bishops Castle, east of the A488. Grid ref SO 355979.
Lat/Long: 52.57329, -2.9516867
The site is open at all times.
The visitor centre is open 7 days a week between April and end of October.
Times: April – end of September, 10am – 5pm. October 10am – 4pm. The only exception is Mondays when the centre opens at midday (to allow cleaning).
A Christmas fair is normally held during mid November. For the dates and more details please see the Bog VC webpage.
Take a walk around the remains of a lost mining village on the edge of the Stiperstones National Nature Reserve. Wildlife watching and walking opportunities in this area are plentiful and you can be sure of a warm welcome at the Bog Visitor Centre. Their home-made cake is the stuff of legends!
During the 1870s the Stiperstones area was one of Britain’s main sources of lead. It was a highly prized metal, used for roofing and plumbing as well as paints and bullets. Visit the Bog Mine and Visitor Centre for a unique opportunity to see the remains of one of the oldest mines in the area. The site is served by a large car park. The mine itself has a series of walks that visitors can follow around the remains of the mine site. Look out for the old miners institute and various mining relics such as the Somme tunnel and the powder house (where explosives used to be stored!)
Commercial mining started at the Bog in the 1730s making this one of the oldest mines in the area. Miners laboriously dug out tunnels along the veins of ore using picks and shovels. This was the start of almost 200 years of lead mining at The Bog, with several small mines operating between here and Snailbeach. Although the veins were rich in lead ore, mining was not continuous; leases changed hands frequently and companies went bankrupt. Lead mining stopped at The Bog in the 1880s, but the mines were re-opened in the early 1900s to extract barytes, a mineral found with the lead ore. German prisoners of war constructed an overhead aerial ropeway to carry the barytes. However, mining for barytes at The Bog soon became uneconomic and production finally ceased in 1922.
There are useful interpretation boards to give information to visitors about the mining history of the Bog. Nature has now started to reclaim the area. The old mining reservoir is now an excellent site for newts and dragonflies. The spoil heaps are very useful habitat for a range of invertebrates. A project instigated by the Stiperstones and Corndon Landscape Partnership Scheme aims to remove scrub to maintain open habitat for invertebrates. This is one of the most important sites in Shropshire for the grayling butterly. These insects bask on the spoil heaps and are very hard to spot with their cryptic markings.
The unusually named Bog Visitor Centre is the old school house and one of last remaining buildings from The Bog Village, demolished in 1972. The centre is the only visitor facility for the Stiperstones upland region in the heart of the Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and provides a wealth of information about its mining history, its people and wildlife. It is also a useful source of information about ongoing work to restore the surrounding landscape.
Stepping inside the visitor centre is like stepping back in time. Gas lamps remain as a reminder of a bygone age. The unique character of the building has become part of the visitor experience. The centre is staffed by a team of volunteers, who have set themselves up as the Bog Visitor Centre Volunteer Group. Members of the group are from the local community and they give a warm welcome to visitors, providing information, tea and homemade cakes, as well as selling locally produced crafts.
A 'Your Heritage' lottery grant has helped to improve the visitor welcome and understanding of the mine remains, and provided new interpretation within the visitor centre, along with a fantastic landscape mural of the Stiperstones by a local artist.
Things to see and do
- Wander around the relics of the mine and try to picture the scene in the 18th century with men busily digging and working the site.
- Come butterfly spotting in July when the grayling butterflies are in flight. This is a very well-camouflaged insect so you will need to look carefully. Populations have declined and now the bog is one of the best places in the county to see them.
- After a bracing winter walk, sample some home-made cake in the visitor centre.
You can use the Shropshire Hills Explorer Bus to get to this site.
The visitor centre is run by the Bog Volunteer group. They are always looking for people to help out! Visit their website for more information.