From Domo CL there are stunning views; in the distance we can see the distinctive Breidden Hill with Criggion Quarry. Looking through the binoculars I can see the Rodney’s Pillar Monument standing high on the hill. Lynnie knows it is bound to be only a matter of time before I am going to walk up this hill and today is the day.
It is only a short drive to reach the car park at the base of the Breidden Hill (Grid Reference SU294149).
The walk is very straightforward, there is a clear track heading steadily uphill leading from the car park.
At a footpath sign on the right I leave the main track and follow the path as it continues uphill.
At a junction of paths I turn right and the path heads over a small waterfall, though it is only a trickle today, before continuing along close to the edge of the stream.
After passing through a gate the path continues to a junction of paths. Here I turn to the right and start the final steep ascent towards the summit and Rodney’s Pillar.
The pillar was built in 1781 to commemorate Admiral Sir George Brydges Rodney, who famously commanded naval forces in the American War of Independence and victory over the French at the Battle of Saintes. It stands at fifty-four feet and is very prominent on top of this hill.
The inscription on the pillar reads: “Erected in honour of Sir George Brydges Rodney, Admiral of the White, by subscription of the gentlemen of Montgomery 1781, repaired 1847. Renewed 1896 by subscription of gentlemen of the counties of Montgomery and Salop.
Apparently the pillar was struck by lightning in 1847 and as part of the repairs the original gilded ball that topped the pillar was replaced by a drum and finial.
Equally impressive as the pillar are the views from this spot, which is 1200 feet above sea level. They are truly panoramic across Shropshire and out to the mountains over the Welsh Border.
Close to the pillar is an Ordnance Survey trig point, which I “bag” as my 140th.
Whilst admiring the view I get into conversation with a young lady, she tells me she lives locally and regularly walks up the hill just to enjoy the view. If I lived nearby I think I would do the same.
Tearing myself away for the view I retrace my steps down to the crossing of paths and turn right to follow the fence line to reach a gate and then continue on the path heading downhill besides a stream. This is a stunning valley with an abundance of Foxgloves.
On reaching a drive towards a farm house I turn left, the map shows this as a footpath, but a lady politely explains that the path has been diverted in front of the farm. So I head back to the main track and then take a footpath sign on the left which first crosses the stream and then passes through a couple of fields of pasture with sheep grazing.
I am happily trotting along crossing another footbridge and entering a field, unfortunately this one has a large herd of inquisitive steers. The far side of the field is a long way off and I am always cautious around cattle, especially when I have the dogs with me. I retreat from the field and check the map.
There is no other option so reluctantly I turn around and retrace my steps to the main track and head back uphill to reach the gate. Now I turn right to follow a footpath, to my annoyance there is a padlock on the gate so I lift Crosby over and then join him to follow a broad track. The path soon passes a pond.
After the pond the track sweeps to the left and starts heading around the hill. It is pleasant walking and very quiet.
The route is very straightforward from here. I stay on the main track, ignoring all footpaths to the left and right, heading downhill to the car park. My walk has covered over five miles, and despite having to change my route it has been very enjoyable. The views from Rodney’s Pillar will live with me for a very long time.
To follow my walk you will need Ordnance Survey Explorer Map 240 – Oswestry
1st July 2019
© Two Dogs and an Awning (2019)