|Caer Caradoc Hill|
|Summit:|| 1,506 feet SO477953 |
Caer Caradoc is a hill in Shropshire overlooking Church Stretton and the village of All Stretton. It is crowned with a hill fort and its summit offers panoramic views to the north towards The Wrekin, east to Wenlock Edge, and west over the nearby Long Mynd. On a clear day it is possible to see the hills of north-east Wales to the north, the high-rise buildings of Birmingham to the east, Worcestershire Beacon in the Malvern Hills to the south-east, and Lord Hereford's Knob in the Black Mountains and the peaks of the Brecon Beacons, to the south.
The name of the hill is Welsh, meaning 'Caradog's Castle' after its hill fort, and it not unique in Shropshire: there is another Care Caradoc half a mile west of Chapel Lawn, near Bucknell, Shropshire.
Caer Caradoc rises sharply and steeply up out of the narrow valley in which the town of Church Stretton is situated, known as the Stretton Gap. It is the highest point on a high, narrow, northeast–southwest "whaleback ridge", sometimes called a hogsback ridge. The Wrekin is a very similarly shaped hill and on the same alignment, some ten miles to the north-east.
The hill is volcanic in origin, like the Wrekin etc., formed of narrow ridges of resistant Pre-Cambrian rock, thrust upwards by movements deep down along the Church Stretton fault. This fault runs from Staffordshire to Glamorgan and its line can be seen on Ordnance Survey maps in a line of springs on this hill.
The summit is crowned by an Iron Age or late Bronze Age hill fort. It is this which the hill is named after - Caer Caradog in Welsh meaning Caradog's fort. Local legend has it that this was the site of the last stand of Caractacus against the Roman legions during the Roman conquest of Britain, and that after the battle he hid in the cave near its summit. Others say his last stand was in the locality but that this was one of his fortresses.
Caer Caradoc may be fairly easily climbed from Church Stretton town but the ascent/descent is steep; a more gentle climb is from the village of Cardington, which lies two miles to the east. A good way of climbing Caer Caradoc is to do a linear walk from along the aforementioned ridge, including the nearby summits of Ragleth Hill and The Lawley to gain the best perspective on each . Otherwise, the ascent of the hill and return is some seven miles from the town.
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