Mitchell’s Fold Stone Circle

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Things To Do Category: Arts and Culture and Heritage

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  • Prehistoric Bronze Age stone circle 85 feet in diameter, consisting originally of some 30 stones of which 15 are now visible.

    Stone circles attract more fascination than any other ancient monument. Shropshire’s best example is at Mitchell’s Fold, near Chirbury. It sits high in the Shropshire hills, on the long ridge of Stapeley Hill, 1000 feet above sea level and close to the Welsh border. Its exposed position gives fine views of the Stiperstones to the east and the Welsh hills to the west. In approximately 2000-1400BC local Bronze Age communities erected Mitchell’s Fold to be 27 metres in diameter and consisting of thirty stones. Today only fourteen survive, most standing under a metre tall, the tallest nearly two metres .

    Mysterious circle of 15 stones on a ridge in the Shropshire Hills. Erected around 2000-1200 BC, striking testimony to the importance of these uplands to early Bronze Age communities. Probably provided a focus for ceremonial and ritual activities, and for trade in locally produced stone axes. Local folklore tells how on this spot a magic cow sustained good people with milk. Wicked witch Mitchell milked the cow into a sieve. The cow disappeared and Mitchell turned to stone. The circle was erected to imprison her. From Shrewsbury take the A488 south towards Bishops Castle. After about 20 miles take a right turn onto a minor road signed to Priest Weston and Mitchell’s Fold. After about 1.5 miles park at road end of rough track leading towards Mitchell’s Fold.

    Alongside the Circle and running through it, are thin ridges. Their relationship to the circle, (if any) remains unknown. There is even a story that one of the stones is a petrified evil witch who was punished for milking a magic cow through a sieve. The good people of Shropshire then set a circle of other stone’s around her to prevent her from escaping. This legend has even been carved into a sandstone pillar in Middleton Church, near Stapeley Hill.

    Local folklore also suggests that King Arthur drew Excalibur from one of the stones here to become King of the Britons. Like most stone circles, Mitchell’s Fold was probably used for some Bronze Age ritual or ceremonial

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  • Directions:

    From the A489 follow the brown tourist signs. The stone circle is 16 miles south west of Shrewsbury.

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  • Directions:

    From the A489 follow the brown tourist signs. The stone circle is 16 miles south west of Shrewsbury.