Okay, as promised – finally! The first of the video location features for Dragon Line. In actual fact, its the place mentioned in the last post that wasn't featured in that little tour of Shropshire from YouTube: Mitchell's Fold Stone Circle! I managed to get up there at the weekend and film the place. Only one major problem: THE SOUND QUALITY IS BLOODY APPALLING!! It was as windy as hell up there! I thought it was worth still doing it, though, as I'd travelled all that way to visit the place. So even if you can't hear much, at least you get to some idea of what a wonderful location it is!
So, to summarise what you can't hear that well in the video: Mitchell's Fold is a bronze-age stone circle constructed around 3000 years ago with dolomite stones from nearby Stapely Hill (you can see the hill in the background). Over the years, many of the stones have been removed, and what you see in the video is now all that remains. The circle is located on the border of Shropshire and Powys at Stapley Common, owned by the Powis Estate (not a spelling error, that is how its spelt!)The stone circle itself is owned by English Heritage with public footpaths leading up to it.
Mitchell's Fold has a famous legend about a fairy cow that supplied an unlimited amount of milk to the local population in a time of famine. A jealous witch heard of this and attended to milk the cow into a sieve. The cow saw what was happening and ran away, never to be seen again. As a punishment, the witch was imprisoned in a stone at the centre of the circle. This pleasant little story has two obvious themes that speak volumes about the ancient beliefs about the circle: that it is associated with the 'old' pagan religion (witch, fairy cow) and was seen as a place of healing.
There are also local legends that say that this was the place King Arthur ritually pulled the sword from the stone. I wouldn't like to say for certain, but there are theories that Arthur himself was based in Shropshire as an ancient ruler of Powys.
The reason why I've used this as a location? Well, to give a vague answer, its all tied up with the two legends about the Fold that I've briefly summarised above. That'll become apparent when you get to read the book (I wouldn't want to ruin it for the reader!) But lets just say, in terms of the story, this place is linked into a very important network that runs across the county as a whole!
If you are ever in this neck of the woods, this is a nice location to visit with open access (nearest villages are Whitegrit, Chirbury and Priest Weston and its accessible from the A488 from Shrewsbury to Bishop's Castle).
Until the next time…