South Shropshire is known for its rich and fascinating history, which includes a number of intriguing myths and legends. Rich in history and folklore, there are many Shropshire tales that have been passed down through the centuries, some of which date back to the pre-Christian era. Whether you’re interested in ghosts, giants, or mermaids, there’s something here for everyone.
The Legend of Mitchell’s Fold
Nestled in the southwest of Shropshire, Mitchell’s Fold is a prehistoric stone circle that has become the center of a captivating legend. According to the tale, the village was once in a period of famine. A fairy gifted the village a magic cow that provided an endless supply of milk with one condition – each household could only have one pail of milk per day. One stormy night, an evil witch heard of the magic cow and milked her into a sieve – using up all of the milk. Once the cow realised the trick, she kicked out and ran away, never to be seen again.
The townspeople awoke the next morning to find their magic cow nowhere to be seen, and in it’s place the evil witch turned to stone by the lightening. Held fast in place, they began to build a stone circle around the petrified form in order to stop the witch from ever leaving Stapeley Hill. Whether the witch lives on inside her stone prison is unknown, but reports of ghostly cackles whenever lightening strikes stay true to this day.
According to the legend, there was once a Welsh giant who held a grudge against the people of Shrewsbury and planned to flood the town. One day, while carrying a spade full of soil to put into the River Severn, the giant grew tired and took a rest. A cobbler from Shrewsbury came across the giant and, realizing his intentions, convinced him that the town was far away. Exhausted, the giant left his spade by the road, cleaned his shoes on it, and returned home. The soil from the spade grew into The Wrekin, and the nearby hill, the Ercall, is said to be where the giant cleaned his shoes.
The Ghost of the Feathers Hotel
The Feathers Hotel in Ludlow is one of the oldest and most historic hotels in the area, and it is also said to be one of the most haunted. The hotel is said to be haunted by the ghost of a jealous woman in Room 211. Although never seen, she is known to take a dislike to female guests. Guests in the hotel have reported a sense of foreboding, strange noises or occurrences and children upstairs clapping and playing.
The Devil’s Chair
The Devil’s Chair is a mysterious and ancient monument located on Stiperstones Hill in South Shropshire. According to local legend, the chair was left behind by the devil himself, who was said to have been chased away by the local villagers. It is said that those who sit in the chair will be cursed by the devil himself.