After my visit to the National Trust owned Sunnycroft in Wellington, I decided to take a drive further down the road then a long walk up The Wrekin.
The Wrekin is a four hundred and seven metre high hill which dominates the Mid Shropshire landscape, located adjacent to Wellington in Telford. At the summit of The Wrekin lies the Wrekin Transmitting Station and atop the transmitter, the Wrekin Beacon. A beacon was originally built at the summit during World War Two, however this fell into disrepair and a new beacon was constructed on the transmitter in 2000 to mark the new millennium.
A Little History
During the Iron Age, The Wrekin was home to a hill fort built by the Celtic Cornovii people of Shropshire, Cheshire, north Staffordshire, north Herefordshire and parts of eastern Powys in Wales. During the Roman conquest of Britain during the first century, the Roman city of Viriconium Cornoviorum was founded a few miles away near Shrewsbury, on the site of the Shropshire village Wroxeter.
The exact actions of the Cornovii, when faced with the threat of the Roman legions, however the huts on the Wrekin were burned down and two Roman javelin heads have been found, indicating fighting did break out between the Romans and the Cornovii. Following the Roman conquest and founding of Viriconium, the Wrekin hill fort was abandoned.
The Wrekin in Folklore
There are a number of legends based around the Wrekin and its formation, one such legend is that the Wrekin was created by a giant.
According to the legend, a Welsh giant who had a grudge against Shrewsbury plotted to flood the town by dumping a spadeful of dirt into the River Severn, causing it to flood and destroy the town, drowning its inhabitants.
En route to Shrewsbury, the giant came across a cobbler whilst having a rest near Wellington. The cobbler, who had walked from Shrewsbury with a sack full of shoes to repair, told the giant who had asked for directions, telling the cobbler of his plans, told the giant that Shrewsbury was a long long long way away. He showed the giant his sack of worn shoes, saying he had himself worn them all out on his journey from Shrewsbury. This immediately put the giant off his plan and he dumped his spade of dirt by the side of the road, then headed home.
The spade of dirt then became The Wrekin, whilst the smaller mound of dirt created by cleaning his boots, became the Ercall, a smaller hill next to The Wrekin.
As I said in my blog post about Sunnycroft, there was a memory card issue with my camera, so all of the photos I took with that have vanished. I did however take a few photos on my phone to send to someone via whatsapp. Thank god for the eight megapixel camera on the iPhone 4S.
After my walk up The Wrekin, I headed home for a good rest before an early start the following day to visit St David’s Cathedral in the city of St David’s in Pembrokeshire, Wales, the smallest city in Great Britain.
- http://www.mythstories.com/giantA.html – The giant and the cobbler
- http://www.theaa.com/walks/all-around-the-wrekin-420893 – The Wrekin walks