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Grinshill[800 x 600 JPG]
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|Description ||One of the mesolithic microliths brought along by the archaeologist on the walk, found at this very site. The storage bag (which contained numerous other microliths from this location) is visible at the bottom.
Country (if not listed above):
Grid Reference: SJ519237
Type of site: Mesolithic & Neolithic Settlement
Nearest village: Grinshill
Nearest town: Wem
Access Rating (1 to 5) - 5 is best: 5
Condition Rating (1 to 5) - 5 is best: 1
Ambience Rating (0 to 5) - 5 is best: 5
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Description of the site:
Grinshill is a findspot for dozens of microiliths, giving evidence of Mesolithic and Neolithic Settlement - something very rare in terms of Shropshire archaeology. Since the 1980s dozens of flint microliths and flakes have been discovered here. Given there is no flint in Shropshire (excepting some of extremely poor quality in the far east of the county), this is indicative of human activity within the mesolithic to neolithic period (7,000 to 2,500BC), bringing in tools and resources from other areas.
The visibility from the hill is superb, as is the inter-visibility of other significant hills and largely later Iron Age settlements. The Wrekin, Titterstone Clee, Haughmond Hill Camp, Caer Caradoc (Church Stretton), The Long Mynd, The Stiperstones, Corndon Hill (site of Cwm Mawr axe factory), Breidden Hill, Cefn y Castell, and even Maiden Castle (Cheshire) are all visible with suitable conditions.
Grinshill may not look much from the north - quite inconspicuous - but heading north from Shrewsbury on the A49 (approaching the hill from the south), the prominence of this ridge is unmissable. The highest point is 630 feet above sea level, and mounted by a red-lit beacon, making the site clear from the road, and the train line running parallel a couple miles to the west. It is this visibility that would provide the hunter-gatherers with better chance of tracking and locating food.
The finds are ongoing from erosion of soil at the hilltop, facing south, and seem to be found with infrequent regularity following heavy rain.
It is also worth noting the quality of the sandstone from Grinshill. It has unique properties that make it very desirable to use in buildings. It has a buff colour, it is extremely tough, but will give a sharp, straight side whichever way it is cut. This is in contrast to the usual red sandstone of the area. The buff coloured sandstone was subjected to extreme heat from underground volcanic activity, resulting in its differing properties.
Grinshill sandstone has been used most notably for the door surround and lintels of Number 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister's residence at Chequers, buildings in Shrewsbury such as the library, and the Romans knew of its quality in constructing Wroxeter (Viroconium Cornovium), once the 4th largest city in the country, and now under the care of English Heritage. Some of the quarry workings are visible, and penetrate a breathtaking sheer depth into the hillside.
Access to Grinshill, and parking is best at Corbet Wood SJ525237 from the A49, with a network of footpaths leading to the west.|
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