Click on Images to see a larger version
A Bronze Age stone circle on exposed and remote (though easily accessible) moorland with extensive views into Wales.
In the beginning there may have been some thirty stone pillars. The survivors 14 or 15 stones still visible that still stand range in height from 10ins to 6ft 3ins, and stand in an ellipse 89ft NW-SE by 82ft. The tallest is at the south-east end of the major axis, standing, perhaps by coincidence or design, close to the line of the southern moonrise. This pillar and a companion have been taken to flank an entrance about 6ft wide.
Its doleritic stones came from nearby Stapeley Hill. Many of them are now missing and others are fallen.
Mitchell's Fold (sometimes called Medgel's Fold) is a Bronze Age stone circle in South-West Shropshire, located on dry heathland at the south-west end of Stapeley Hill, in the civil parish of Chirbury with Brompton, at a height of 1083ft (330m).
As with most sites of this type, its true history is unknown. The name of the circle may derive from 'micel' or 'mycel', Old English for 'big', referring to the size of this large circle.
I have read that “This circle was the site of vandalism by a local farmer in the summer of 1995 when several stones were uprooted by a mechanical digger. The stones were promptly righted and "planted" again and the culprit punished. Ongoing unsympathetic use by both local youth and townie pagans, such as the creation of numerous fire pits and the leaving of litter and broken glass after the festivals, does nothing for the atmosphere of this site.”
Aubrey Burl has stated in his 2000 book 'A Guide to the Stone Circles of Britain, Ireland and Brittany' that
Local folklore also suggests that King Arthur drew Excalibur from one of the stones here to become king of the Britain’s.
There is a traditional folk story that a giant whose marvellous cow gave unlimited amounts of milk used the circle until a malicious witch milked the cow using a sieve until it was drained dry, as a result of which it fled to Warwickshire where it became the Dun cow. As a punishment, the witch was turned into stone and surrounded by other stones to prevent her escaping. What became of the giant is unknown. This legend has even been carved into a sandstone pillar in Middleton Church, near Stapeley Hill.
HOARSTONE STONE CIRCLE (2.5 miles north east)
Nearby, the remains of the Hoarstone Stone circle can still be found. This circle sometimes called the Marsh Pool or Blackmarsh Circle is only two and a half kilometres north east of Mitchell’s Fold.
Its name ‘Hoarstone’ may have derived from its position at the junction of three parish boundaries, ‘Hoarstone’ meaning ‘boundary stone’.
The Hoarstone circle is made up of 37 or 38 stones, circle 22 metres in diameter. A large boulder stands in the centre of the circle and to the north there are two small round cairns, they are undressed sarson (stones). Most are less than knee height and there is a single stone in the centre.
There used to be a third circle called ‘Whetstones’ which was lost in the nineteenth century.
Click on Images to see a larger version
Please let us know any other information that we can add to this Planning Grid or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote the CIN Page Ref at the bottom of the Planning Grid above. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.
Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.