"Where trumpets rang and men marched by, none passes but the dragonfly" - Mary Webb

Mitchell's Fold

A mysterious circle of 15 stones on a ridge in the Shropshire Hills erected around 2000-1200 BC, it is a striking testimony to the importance of these uplands to early Bronze Age communities. It probably provided a focus for ceremonial and ritual activities, and for trade in locally produced stone axes.

The Legend

A carving in Middleton Church recalls a time during the Middle Ages when a great drought swept Shropshire. The people were near starving until a kind Fairy Queen took a beautiful white cow to graze on Stapeley Hill. The cow, she said, would produce milk enough for everyone, but they were to bring only one vessel at a time milking. But while the magical animal produced milk in plenty, a wicked witch, Mitchell, was plotting against the fairy, whom she despised. At midnight Mitchell began to milk the cow using a bottomless pail. At once a great storm broke, thunder rolled and lighting flashed to reveal a white river of milk gushing, wasted, down the hill.

standing stone In a fury, the cow kicked out at the hag and galloped off, never to be seen again. Mitchell tried to escape, only to find her way barred by the Fairy Queen, who wreaked a terrible revenge on the crone. Next morning, nothing was found of Mitchell, save a solitary stone which stood where she had been confronted. Local people then placed other stones around her to ensure she never tried escaping again.

To visit the stone circle leave the A488 between Bishop's Castle and Shrewsbury, look for the turn onto a minor road to Priest Weston with a brown sign to the stone circle. After about a mile and a half, park at road end of a rough track and walk up to Mitchell's Fold.