c/o Much Wenlock Tourist Information Centre
"On Wenlock Edge the wood's in trouble; His forest fleece the Wrekin heaves;" A.E. Housman - A Shropshire Lad
Wenlock Edge is a sixteen mile (26 km) escarpment that began life as a coral reef south of the Equator millions of years ago, and was left there under a shallow tropical sea. Today it is probably Britains best fossil-rich, natural feature and is in the hands of the National Trust. It is formed from a thick band of limestone on which sits extensive woodland which acts as a haven for an abundance of local wildlife.
The Edge streches between the Shropshire towns of Ironbridge and Craven Arms and along it you will find panoramic views, remains of ancient quarries and limekilns, fossils, wildlife and rare flowers. In fact forty or more species of flowering plant have been found in one square metre of the Edge. You'll find species like cowslip, ladies bedstraw, and wild thyme.
During the middle ages, most of Wenlock Edge lay within the preserve of Long Forrest, which was so named because of its length, extending along the full length of Wenlock Edge. It was also during the middle ages that the Edge provided some economic benefit to local builders, who mined the Edge for its limestone. This limestone was then used as a building material for many local buildings. A good example of this can be found at Wenlock Priory. The remains of the limestone industry can be found at various places along the Edge and near the town of Much Wenlock, there are still some working quarries.
The Edge is also an area that has long been associated with ghosts. 'Major's Leap' takes its unsual name from the spot where major smallman made his horse jump over the edge whilst trying to evade capture from the pursuing Roundheads. While Smallman survived, his mount died and his ghost still haunts there. The area is also famed for its literary connections not just with Housman, a quote from whom can be found at the top of this page, but with the novelist Mary Webb, who was author of Precious Bane and Gone to Earth. She used to ride with her father along the Edge in a pony and trap.
The details displayed on this page are correct at the time of publication however, Shropshire Tourism would like to advise all visitors to check prices & opening times with the venue prior to traveling in case of changes that might have occured since the publication of this page. Whilst Shropshire Tourism endeavours to ensure that the information on this site is correct, no warranty, express or implied, is given as to its accuracy and Shropshire Tourism does not accept any liability for error or omission. The directions above are for planning purposes only and should be used alongside a general roadmap or satnav system. Variables such as road/construction works, traffic, weather conditions etc may cause alterations to the route.