Catherton Common Circular Walk | 3.3 Miles | 2.5hrs +
Andy Stevenson of Point2 Guides takes us on his circular 3.3 mile walking route that takes in magical views, the industrial heritage still visible on the hill and the surrounding area as well as remote commons around Titterstone Clee Hill in South Shropshire.
Roadside Common car park at DY14 0EU
The first part of the walk takes you up through open common land and on to the ridge at Silvington Hill. The views to the north, at this point down over Silvington Common and on to the hills beyond are stunning on a clear day. The route continues along the ridge on the Jack Mytton Way and then down into the picturesque little hamlet of Cleeton St Mary. Closed during lockdown St Mary’s Church sometimes offered-up basic tea and coffee-making facilities for local walkers for a small donation.
The walk then continues slowly but surely uphill over moorland from St Mary’s Church on bridleways to a junction of paths near the curiously-named ‘Random’ farm and cottages in the saddle below Titterstone Clee Hill and Magpie Hill.
The landscape now begins to change from open moorland to one showing the occasional remnants of the area’s long lost heavy industries such as coal, dhustone and ironstone mines. The hill’s past prominence is only further underlined by the fact that it’s one of the few hills marked on the famous 13th Century ‘Mappa Mundi’ (map of the ancient world) held in Hereford Cathedral.
From Magpie Hill the route continues along tracks and bridleways descending slowly as it passes nearby the little village of Doddington. The path here is indistinct at times, but if you look out for the bridleway posts you should still be able to make your way down to the junction of tracks and the Cleeton St Mary road.
From here the route continues across some curiously undulating moorland as you head back towards the hamlet of Crumpsbrook. They’re not easy to spot but if you can see the mounds here on the last stretch of moorland then they often have a sunken centre — evidence of what was known as a ‘Bell Pit Mine’. This was a simple pit shaft mine used from the medieval period onwards in which miners would descend on a rope and tip out the ore and earth excavated around the sides of the shaft to form a large mound. Local farmers were known to dislike these mines as they were often not properly covered after use by the miners — resulting in numerous lost livestock!
The walk culminates in a last stretch back through the hamlet of Crumpsbrook along the roadside, care must be taken on this stretch until you reach your starting point again and car park.
It’s about now that the walker’s reward of a refreshing drink at a pub or similar comes to mind. Thankfully, this walk’s finish is just a few minutes drive away from the excellent Crown Inn at Hopton where you can be sure of a relaxing end to your time out walking.
On the Point2Guides website viewers can go to the ‘guide shop’ and look at the Shropshire routes to find this free download.