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Mitchells Fold

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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

"There was a claim for a central stone and a very dubious eighteenth-century report that 'there was a stone across your two Portals, like those at Stonehenge, and that the stone at eighty yards distance was the altar.'" but that the "probability of a trilithon, otherwise unique to Stonehenge, at Mitchell's Fold, like an identical claim for Kerzerho in Brittany, should be regarded as rumour rather than reality."

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.

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See also

Our section on stone circles

The discussion on the purpose of stone circles

Planning Grid


Mitchells Fold, Near Chisbury, Shropshire

Grid Reference


Map Link:


Google maps aerial photograph

Getting there:

16 miles SW of Shrewsbury and 6 miles N of Bishops Castle. Off the A488, take the minor road towards Priest Weston, about a mile and a half along this road the track is on the right. Watch out for the sign, it's not easy to see.


As at 2002, up a very narrow, very bumpy off road single track, about a mile as far as a vehicle can go. Park up and then the rest of the way is uphill on foot.


Small amount of parking room at the end of the track.



Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Remains of a bronze age stone circle. 15 stones still visible although many are laid down. On a good weather day you can probably get some good panoramas of the surrounding countryside, it was a bit cloudy and overcast when we visited.

What to take:

Camera, Tripod, panorama kit, grads

Nature highlights:

Country location plus sheep, open country no trees or hedges

Best Times to Visit:

When its not too coooold












Opening times:

open at all times



Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions: none
Special Needs Access: probably difficult.
Special Needs Facilities: none
Children Facilities: none, can  be very cold, high chill factor from wind.
Dogs Allowed: No dogs stated on English heritage site, probably due to sheep.

Other useful websites:


CIN Page Ref:


Date Updated: 02/08

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