Download a PDF of Heritage Overview HERE
Titterstone Clee is one of the richest cultural landscapes in the West Midlands with a wealth of surviving remains both on and beneath its surface. The earliest known surviving man made structures on the hill are a series of Bronze Age burial mounds surrounding the hill summit. They are clear evidence that the hill has had a significance for at least some 4000 years. Finds of flint tools in the stream valleys on the slopes of Titterstone are even earlier, suggesting that after the glaciers of the last Ice Age retreated and the wild wood returned, some 7000 years ago, Mesolithic hunters moved along the river valleys, perhaps following the landmark of the familiar domed outline of Titterstone standing proud above the tree line. With a little imagination we can see such a party on its summit, looking out over one of the best views in England, the same view we too enjoy (on a clear day).
There are innumerable archaeological monuments upon the hill spanning from these earliest times to the industrial remains of the 18th to 20th centuries. Perhaps the most remarkable of these monuments is the stone built prehistoric enclosure which encircles the summit of the hill. Although now damaged by quarrying around the south side of the hill, it remains the highest and largest in area of any of Shropshire’s prehistoric enclosures. The perimeter wall is 1.3 miles in length and encloses an area of 30 hectares. To construct the full length of this enclosing rampart would have required a substantial and well organised workforce. Its position demonstrates considerable engineering skill in terms of its uniform height, running close to the 490m contour throughout its entire length.
Skill in working with stone therefore has a long history on Titterstone; whether coal, dhustone, iron ore or limestone, all are industries which have flourished upon the hill. All have required the sweat, courage and skill of the men and women of the communities of Titterstone Clee. An vital part of Titterstone Clee are its communities, their contribution in moulding this area during its industrial evolution, their way of life and dialect.
In the 1860s when the railway system developed people came here from every part of England and Wales to seek work in clay, lime industries, coal mining and stone quarrying.
They welded with the indigenous Shropshire population and helped develop their hill farming. The remoteness of the hill producing a breed of determined, hard working people, whose life had few frills. Women tackled every casual job imaginable to help keep home and family together.
The links with this existence are disappearing daily and TCHT believed from its conception that an Oral History Record was essential and urgent; its aim being to capture vital links with the past to be recorded for posterity. John Hughes and Alf Jenkins, both Clee Hill ‘boys’, were the obvious choice to head this project.
TCHT applied for a grant to the Lottery’s ‘Awards for All’ grant scheme and successfully obtained a grant for £8,264 to purchase equipment and undertake an oral history. This is now nearing completion.
A DVD, audio CD and booklet are planned and will shortly be available for purchase.
More recently TCHT has been successful in obtaining the promise of a grant for £25,000 from the District Council towards the purchase of the Novers Limeworks site. This is also the subject of an ongoing Lottery Bid.