Wenlock Edge
Wenlock Edge is a limestone
Limestone is a sedimentary rock composed largely of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different crystal forms of calcium carbonate . Many limestones are composed from skeletal fragments of marine organisms such as coral or foraminifera....

An escarpment is a steep slope or long cliff that occurs from erosion or faulting and separates two relatively level areas of differing elevations.-Description and variants:...

 near Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock
Much Wenlock, earlier known as Wenlock, is a small town in central Shropshire, England. It is situated on the A458 road between Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth. Nearby, to the northeast, is the Ironbridge Gorge, and the new town of Telford...

, Shropshire
Shropshire is a county in the West Midlands region of England. For Eurostat purposes, the county is a NUTS 3 region and is one of four counties or unitary districts that comprise the "Shropshire and Staffordshire" NUTS 2 region. It borders Wales to the west...

, England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. It is 24 km (14.9 mi) long and runs from South West to North East between Craven Arms
Craven Arms
Craven Arms is a small town and civil parish in Shropshire, England, located on the A49 road and the Welsh Marches railway line, which connect it north and south to the larger towns of Shrewsbury and Ludlow respectively. The Heart of Wales railway line joins the Welsh Marches line at Craven Arms...

 and Much Wenlock. It is roughly 330 metres high (above sea level). The deciduous
Deciduous means "falling off at maturity" or "tending to fall off", and is typically used in reference to trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, and to the shedding of other plant structures such as petals after flowering or fruit when ripe...

 woodland which runs along it covers much of the steep slopes of the escarpment and in parts it is very well preserved.
It is perhaps best known as the setting for A. E. Housman
A. E. Housman
Alfred Edward Housman , usually known as A. E. Housman, was an English classical scholar and poet, best known to the general public for his cycle of poems A Shropshire Lad. Lyrical and almost epigrammatic in form, the poems were mostly written before 1900...

's poem "On Wenlock Edge the Wood's in Trouble". Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

 composed 'On Wenlock Edge' in 1909. It is also the subject of several works by the famous artist L. S. Lowry
L. S. Lowry
Laurence Stephen Lowry was an English artist born in Barrett Street, Stretford, Lancashire. Many of his drawings and paintings depict nearby Salford and surrounding areas, including Pendlebury, where he lived and worked for over 40 years at 117 Station Road , opposite St...

 with the best known piece "A Bit of Wenlock Edge" which is a fine pencil drawing of the escarpment detailing the woodland.

It was featured on the 2005 TV programme Seven Natural Wonders
Seven Natural Wonders
Seven Natural Wonders was a television series that was broadcast on BBC Two from 3 May to 20 June 2005. The programme took an area of England each week and, from votes by the people living in that area, showed the 'seven natural wonders' of that area in a programme.The programmes were:The series...

 as one of the wonders of the Midlands.

Wenlock Edge contains many interesting features such as Flounder's Folly
Flounder's Folly
Flounders' Folly is a tower, built in 1838, on Callow Hill, between Craven Arms and Ludlow, Shropshire, England. The tower is approximately tall and square and is clearly visible from the Cardiff-Crewe railway line, just north of Craven Arms and also from the busy A49 Shrewsbury to Hereford road...

, Wilderhope Manor
Wilderhope Manor
Wilderhope Manor is a country manor house in the care of the National Trust in the county of Shropshire, England, United Kingdom.- Location :Wilderhope Manor is located on Wenlock Edge some 7 miles south west of Much Wenlock.- History & Amenities :...

 and Shipton Hall and waymarked walks such as the Shropshire Way
Shropshire Way
The Shropshire Way is a waymarked long distance footpath running through the English county of Shropshire. It runs 224 kilometres / 139 miles around the interior of the county in a large loop.- The Waymarked Route :...

 and bridleways such as the Jack Mytton Way
Jack Mytton Way
The Jack Mytton Way is a long distance footpath and bridleway for horseriders, hillwalkers and mountain bikers in mid and south Shropshire, England. It typically takes a week to ride on horseback....

. It is a popular area for hillwalking
In the British Isles, the terms hillwalking or fellwalking are commonly used to describe the recreational outdoor activity of walking on hills and mountains, often with the intention of visiting their summits...

, cycling, mountain biking
Mountain biking
Mountain biking is a sport which consists of riding bicycles off-road, often over rough terrain, using specially adapted mountain bikes. Mountain bikes share similarities with other bikes, but incorporate features designed to enhance durability and performance in rough terrain.Mountain biking can...

 and horseriding and is also frequented by tourists and sightseers.

Robert Hart created a model forest garden
Forest gardening
Forest gardening is a food production and agroforestry system based on woodland ecosystems, incorporating fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables which have yields directly useful to humans...

 from a small orchard on his farm called Highwood Hill in Wenlock Edge.



Local legend tells of a local robber and bandit named Ippikin, who buried his ill-gotten gains in the vicinity of the edge. Tales tell that should anyone stand on the escarpment and say "Ippikin, Ippikin, keep away with your long chin" that they will be pushed over the edge by the ghost of the erstwhile villain.

Major's Leap

In the English Civil War a Major Thomas Smallman of nearby Wilderhope Manor
Wilderhope Manor
Wilderhope Manor is a country manor house in the care of the National Trust in the county of Shropshire, England, United Kingdom.- Location :Wilderhope Manor is located on Wenlock Edge some 7 miles south west of Much Wenlock.- History & Amenities :...

 was a Royalist officer who was forced to flee from Cromwell’s approaching troops after escaping from his manor. As he was carrying important dispatches, he was cornered on the Wenlock Edge. Rather than surrender, he galloped his horse off the edge falling some 200 feet. His horse was killed but the Major was saved by falling into an apple tree. He made his way on foot to Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury is the county town of Shropshire, in the West Midlands region of England. Lying on the River Severn, it is a civil parish home to some 70,000 inhabitants, and is the primary settlement and headquarters of Shropshire Council...

where he delivered the despatches. The area where he made the jump is known as Major's Leap and is said to be haunted by the Major and his horse.

External links

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