Taking you to Stapeley Hill and the Bronze Age Monument of Mitchell's Fold I am transporting you more than 3000 years into the past, into a time and a land of Celtic power and myth. Mitchell's Fold is a stone circle, a focus of many legends, set in dramatic moorland on Stapeley Hill; the area is a large and important remnant of common land, where all men had the right to graze their animals; today the stones and the area are maintained and cared for by English Heritage.
Even on a misty day in March you can get an idea of the wide open spaces, where sounds are as important as sights. Prehistoric man probably felt his heart uplifted as much as I do by the trilling of skylarks, the bubbling of curlews and the croak of the ravens. Up here, listening to the silence and the calls of the wild provides solace for the spirit too often and persistently beset by the noise of modern life.
It is difficult to photograph the fifteen remaining uprights out of the original thirty, millennia of unfettered wind and rain have worn them down to stumps, with only a few standing proudly erect. The circle measures 23 m in diameter. Why these circles were built, nobody knows for certain, but they were probably of religious and astronomical significance.
The site and the surrounding hills are exhilarating walking, with splendid views to the west, and you are never far from ancient history. There are burial sites up here, barrows and tumuli - there are remains of a tumulus no more than 20 m away from the circle itself; nearby is Cwm Mawr or Hyssington Axe Factory, where Bronze Age man quarried a distinctive volcanic rock which he worked into axes.
Legend has it that a cow was enfolded in the stone circle, destined forever to give a pail of milk to all who asked for it. One day the wicked witch Mitchell milked it into a sieve, whereupon the cow disappeared and the witch was turned into a pillar of stone. The stone remains to this day, much worn, alas, but still imprisoning the spirit of the witch.
This is instalment No 3 in an occasional series of posts on the hidden beauties of the South Shropshire Hills on the border between England and Wales in the wider context of That's My World.