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Things to do in Ratlinghope, Shropshire

Ratlinghope © Jeffrey Darlington
Ratlinghope © Jeffrey Darlington

The small village of Ratlinghope and its equally tiny offshoot Bridges lie in the beautiful valley of the Darnford brook, which rises at Wildmoor Pool on the Long Mynd. Its name is pronounced "Ratchup" by some locals. Ratlinghope is widely scattered, with so few buildings in its centre that it was once described as "... a bit blowed off a village". It does however have a church, St Margarets. It was called Slepe in the novels of the Shropshire author Mary Webb (1881-1927).

Bridges, the hamlet around the Horseshoe Inn, was once the name of the inn itself, which served a major coaching road between Shrewsbury and Bishops Castle. The inn changed its name in 1890 to reflect the activity at the smithy next door, which was working until 1940 and still survives on the corner of the road to the left of the pub. The purple sandstone of the smithy's walls was quarried nearby, and is obvious in many of the buildings locally.

There are fine walks from here, up the Darnford Brook to Golden Valley and into the Long Mynd.

Description by Jeffrey Darlington

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