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Location Information

More detailed version of the story

More background Information

Suggestions for Illustration Discussion points

Location Information

heather on the Stiperstones The Stiperstones ridge lies between the A488 Shrewsbury to Bishop's Castle road, and an unclassified road from Shrewsbury to Bishop's Castle, via Longden.

To access the Stiperstones main car park either take the unclassified road, take the turning towards the ridge at Bridges across the cattle grid and follow the narrow road steeply uphill. The car park is on your right near the summit. Alternatively, take the A488 and turn off to Snailbeach (from Shrewsbury) or Shelve (from Bishop's Castle). Follow the road, passing, The Bog field centre with its alternative Car Park, continuing round the ridge until reaching the main car park on your left. As you can tell from these directions, it is advisable to take a map!

In Spring and Summer you can catch a shuttle bus click here for full details.

March to early November The Bog Centre is open as a tourist information point. Home made refreshments are available. There are interesting displays on the area and its history and locally-made handicrafts for sale. There are toilet facilities here, too, but these are rudimentary.

There is a family-friendly pub, The Stiperstones Inn, open all day all year round serving good food at very reasonable prices. Don't miss out on the whinberries picked from the hills - available in pies, crumbles or with ice-cream.

More detailed version of the story

If you've ever travelled out to the Stiperstones you'll have noticed a rosy glow about the cheeks of the locals. No, its not just a healthy blush caused by those brisk winds that blow up around the hills. Look again and you will see a righteous gleam in the eyes of the men and the women, too. It comes from leading a good life on the straight and narrow path, there's not even a hint of evil in these noble Shropshire folk.

Don't think you're the first to have noticed either. Oh, no! The Devil passed through many years ago and wasn't at all pleased with the sight that greeted his eyes. So many good people in one place, it shouldn't be allowed - he wouldn't let it be allowed!

In those days the people used to grow crops on those hills, he decided to put a stop to that. He went over to Ireland and fetched some good stout rocks and scattered them here, there and everywhere across the hills. Well, that put an end to profitable farming, they soon stopped after breaking a plough share or two. But did they starve? No they didn't. Those people on the Stiperstones are resourceful folk, never short of an idea, they got by.

The Devil he didn't stop peppering the landscape with stones 'though. He'd got a new idea; weigh Shropshire down and sink it beneath the ocean's waves. That would get rid of those irritating righteous inhabitants for once and for all. Of course, it didn't work. It would take more than a stone or two to drown such virtue as you find in these hills.

The stones caught another eye though. A giantess who must have spent too much time watching garden make-over programmes on her tv passed by one day and immediately thought "fashionable rock feature". She hoisted up her apron like a great big cradle and piled it high with bits to take home. Quartzite can look mighty attractive when it catches the afternoon sun in your rock garden you know.

Well the Devil wasn't going to let the Stiperstones be changed into a trendy drop-in garden centre with free offers for giantesses and he swooped down on the outsized old crone and cut her apron strings, sending all the rocks tumbling into a great big pile. The giantess was shocked out of her leathery old skin; some of the rocks had only just missed her delicate flat feet. She set off at such a run it made the ground shake for metres around. She never came by the Stiperstones way again and probably worked on a water-feature instead.

But something good comes of most things and the Devil, surveying the pile, thought it looked just like a comfy armchair and decided to make it his own special seat.

Some says he sits on his chair only at night but the truth is he sometimes sits there by day. You won't see him though. When he sits down he looks around and sees all those good Shropshire folk and he gets all of a strop and a bother. So hot under the collar and angry is he that the steam starts to rise. Before you can count to three, there's such a mist that you can't see a thing. Ah! But if you sniff a good blast of that misty dank air you'll smell the brimstone as he sits fuming there in the Devil's Chair.

More background Information

The red grouse The Stiperstones ridge is one of the most beautiful walking areas in this part of the borders, with stunning views and rare wildlife and plants. It is not easy walking country, the ground is rocky and stout footwear is essential. The weather can change very quickly and care must be taken at all times.

The main car park is also the start of the All-ability Trail, opened by English Nature in 2002. This 500 metre trail allows easy access to the area for those in wheelchairs (and of course pushchairs).

More information about the unique geology of the area and other stories can be found elsewhere on the Mythstories' website, Click here.

Suggestions for Illustration Discussion points

Illustration 1:
How can you tell that's not a real man?
What is the animal behind the devil?
Do sheep like to eat rocks?

Illustration 2:
How tall do you think the lady is?
What do you think the scissors are going to cut?
What might happen next?

Illustration 3:
Who is sitting on the rocky chair?
Do you think he is happy?
Is it day-time or night-time?

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