All Around The Wrekin
Myths and Legends
The Wrekin was created over 566 million years ago during a process of mountain building known as the ‘Caledonian Orogeny’, an event which in itself unfolded over a period of at least 200 million years. At the time the hill was formed, England and Wales were situated in the southern hemisphere and separated from Scotland by the Iapetus Ocean, which gradually contracted and caused the continental blocks of the two land masses to collide. The impact of this event led to highly explosive, volcanic eruptions that were responsible for the creation of The Wrekin and produced uplift that eventually brought Britain above sea-level. The hill itself is not a volcano but is made from layers of solidified magma and lava that are over a mile thick. The Wrekin has some of the best and most well preserved Uriconian lavas in the country, exposed examples of which can be seen on the summit, at the main entrances to the hill fort.
Here Be Giants!
Geological explanations for The Wrekin’s existence have not always held sway and numerous myths and legends have arisen to account for its creation. Could it be, for instance, that the hill was fashioned by the hand of a giant? Several stories, whose origins have long since been lost in the mists of time, present conflicting images of this incredible event. Depending on which tale you choose to believe, it may be that The Wrekin is the handiwork of two oversized siblings who were outlawed from their own community (the giant equivalent of an ‘ASBO’) and chose to set-up home in the area; or, perhaps, the feat of a gargantuan curmudgeon with a grudge against the people of Shrewsbury!
Supposedly, it was this disgruntled giant’s intention to drop the hill on the County Town after they refused to send him their food stocks. On his way to wreak havoc with the citizens of Salop, the colossus accosted a local cobbler travelling from Shrewsbury who had already worn out a bag of shoes just getting to Wellington. Feeling disinclined to go any further, the giant dumped the hill where he stood, brushing off the remaining mud from his spade and creating The Ercall in the process!