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

The Wrekin

Wellington sits at the foot of The Wrekin, a wooded hill of 1,335 feet, it is perhaps Shropshire's best known landmark, a curious legendary hill that, from this way it looks like a mountain, and that way, it crouches low. From the top you can see fifteen counties.

needles eye Seek the spiritual heart of Shropshire and you'll find the Wrekin, it plays an important role in Shropshire folk-lore. To us it represents home, and we love it. Visitors, pilgrims, honoured guests - we give you the Shropshire toast. "All friends round the Wrekin". It boasts magnificent views and exposes 1,000,000,000 years of geological history. Although the Wrekin is not a volcano it is made up of lava and ash. The views from the top are spectacluar and there are still remaining mounds of an Iron Age fort. When you get to the top pleasure can be had by scrambling through the Needles Eye, which is a narrow gap in a rock out crop and don't forget to make a wish in the Cuckoo's Cup!

It was also the inspiration for Tolkien's Middle Earth in the acclaimed series of books - The Lord of The Rings. Tolkien used to live nearby and drew inspiration from the magnificent Shropshire landscape. Who would have guessed that Shropshire folk-lore tells us it was built by a giant who took a dislike to Shrewsbury. Read this fascinating tale »

25 facts about The Wrekin

the wrekin 1. The Wrekin was never a volcano, though it has many volcanic rocks.
2. It was formed when faults appeared in the Earth's crust; part of an upheaval called the Caledonian Orogenesis.
3. The Wrekin's most ancient rocks were formed as far south as the Falkland Islands and have slowly moved north.
4. The legend of The Wrekin Giant is that he made The Wrekin with a shovel full of earth.
5. Everest, the Alps and the Andes are hundreds of millions of years younger than The Wrekin.
6. The Wrekin is one of the most important pre-Christian religious sites in Britain, ranking with Stonehenge.
7. All 'True Salopians' have climbed through the Needle's Eye.
8. It used to be said that a girl who looked back when going through the Needle's Eye would never be married.
9. The Cuckoo's Cup or Raven's Bowl is supposed always to contain water.
10. Bonfires have been lit on The Wrekin for special occasions for many centuries.
11. An aircraft Warning Beacon was erected during the Second World War.
12. The Welsh for The Wrekin is Caer Gwrygon, a name older than the Welsh language.
13. The Wrekin is not the highest hill in Shropshire, several are higher, but is supposed to be the highest in Britain for the circumference of its base.
14. A Fern Ticket is a mythical permit to adventure in The Wrekin Forest.
15. The Wrekin's medieval forest extended from Haughmond to Lilleshall and the Weald Moors to the River Severn.
wrekin summit 16. The Hillfort was begun in the Bronze Age, extended by the Celts and abandoned in Roman times.
17. A Bronze Age necropolis (city of the dead) is at Willowmoor.
18. Roman Viroconium, also Anglo-Saxon Wroxeter and Wrockwardine were named after The Wrekin.
19. Medieval Wellington was known as Wellington under The Wrekin.
20. Most of The Wrekin has been in the county of The Wrekin since 1998.
21. The toast to "All Friends Round The Wrekin" was said to be 'ancient and traditional' in 18th. Century.
22. The Forest Glen Pavilion was a venue for dinners and dances for nearly a century.
23. The Wrekin Wakes were held on the first three Sundays in May until the mid 19th. Century.
24. At Halfway House Miss Birrell had swingboats and cooked ham and eggs.
25. The Normans renamed The Wrekin as Mount Gilbert or Gilberti Mons, but when the English language was restored it became The Wrekin again.