SHROPSHIRE ROCKS!

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Clee Hill

Remarkably the Clee Hills (reaching 540 m) survive as the highest points in Shropshire despite being on the 'lowland' side of the county. This is due to the baking of the surrounding rock by the intrusion of a sill of dolerite which caps the hills, thereby protecting the summits from erosion.

The top of Titterstone Clee provides one of the best views in England (on a good day!).  From the summit there are 360 degree views: West into Wales, north to the North Shropshire Plain and the Wrekin, east to the Clent hills and south to the Malverns and Black Mountains.

 

There is a long set of steps taking you to a spectacular viewpoint into the deep hole of the active quarry on Clee Hill. The map shows where to walk from the road leading to Titterstone Clee, along the track from the cattle grid marked by the red arrow; there is limited parking close to the cattle grid. Follow the track until you reach the foot of a long flight of steps; this will take you up to the viewpoint.

In the wake of the Cretaceous–Palaeogene extinction event that ended the preceding Cretaceous Period, the end of the Palaeocene (55.5 Ma) was marked by one of the most significant periods of global change during the Cainozoic, the Palaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, which upset oceanic and atmospheric circulation and led to the extinction of numerous deep-sea benthic foraminifera and on land, a major turnover in mammals.

During the late Cretaceous Shropshire experienced significant uplift and the upper levels of the modern day landscape evolved. The Palaeocene brought a period of much warmer climatic conditions accompanied by intense subtropical weathering. Remnants of this ancient weathered landscape can still be seen, for instance here in Clee Hill quarry where red laterite soil has developed within the dolerite sill, rotting the otherwise strong black rock to a clayey mush that is so weak you can stick your finger into it. No good for roadstone! Which is why this part of the quarry has been abandoned!

 

 

 

For more details on the geology of the Clee Hills, click here

 

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