Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Haunt Of The Highwayman Walk - Nesscliffe

The Haunt of The Highwayman Walk takes you high into the Nesscliffe Hills. We started this walk at The Oaks Car Park. Nesscliffe Hill rises to a height of 150m (450ft).

Near the summit is the site of the old hill fort it was occupied around 700 BC. Excavations in the 1950`s revealed Roman pottery and coins.

From the fort the trail sent us to Oliver`s Point. Here apparently named after Oliver Cromwell. It was here is is thought Oliver Cromwell and / or his men quite possibly rested whilst on there way to take Shrewsbury form the Royalists ( 1645) . There are round holes in the rock that are said to be the anchor points of the cannons.

From this point the views across the Severn valley to the Breidden Hills in the south west are fantastic. The hills look like volcanoes and that is just what they were. From here Sharpe eyes can also pick out the pillar on the top of this hill. Rodney`s Pillar commemorates the 18Th century Admiral Rodney, who distinguished himself in the sea battles against the French and Spanish.

Moving on we headed through the rhododendrons along the path still taking in the glimpses of the passing views

We came across a wonderful clearing in the woodland. A lovely picnic area. A great place to play hide and seek.

Next we headed back down the cliff face, again the views were beautiful of the Shropshire countryside.

At the bottom under the cliff face we came across Kynaston`s Cave. The cave was the residence of a highwayman.
Humphrey Kynaston ( 1474 - 1534 ) was of noble birth but in his youth became something of a tearaway. Wanted for murder, he took refuge in the cave with his horse, Beelzebub. From here he began preying on the wealthy wool merchants returning along the Holyhead road with their profits from London markets. Sharing his spoils with the local poor who fed him, he was regarded as a sort of Robin Hood and his exploits became legendary.
Beelzebub apparently had magical powers and one story tells of him vaulting the Severn at Montford Bridge to escape the sheriff`s men.
The cave is not accessible to the public, but if you could climb up to the cave, you would see two rooms, one for Humphrey and one for his horse, with the initails HK engraved on the partition between.
This place is a very interesting but spooky place to walk in.

Heading back towards the car, Aaron found a place to act out lord of the rings above his is pretending to be Golem, taking him off to a TTT with "my precious". He can be a very scary freaky son sometimes.

Next we headed back to the car along the lower paths of the woodland. This was a very interesting walk with lots to see.
Length of walk 1 1/2 miles starting at The Oaks car park Hopton Nesscliff (GR: Sj 385199 ) Map OS Explorer 240 Oswestry. to get to the car park turn opposite The Old Three Pigeons an ancient coaching inn (1405) Nesscliff country park is directly opposite the old inn.

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