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BOWMEN OF CARADOC

History of Caer Caradoc

Caer Caradoc is a hill in the county of Shropshire. It overlooks the town of Church Stretton and the village of All Stretton and offers panoramic views to the north.

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.

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 (3 km) 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 7 miles (11 km) from the town.

Cardoc is volcanic in origin, like the Wrekin, 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 South Wales and can be seen on OS maps as a line of springs on this hill.

Caer Caradoc Cave

The summit is crowned by an Ancient British 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.