The Churches Concervation Trust guide book for St Andrew’s Church at Wroxeter provides and informative introduction to both the Wrekin and Wroxeter.
The name Wroxeter appears to mean ‘fort by the Wrekin’. This hill, which is prominent for miles around, has an Iron Age fort at its crest and the Celtic name for it is thought to have been Wreocen. When the Romans came they founded a large fortified town five miles (8km) away from the fort and close to where Watling Street crosses the River Severn. This ‘castrum’ supplies the second half of the name.
The Roman name for Wroxeter is Viroconium, also an echo of Wreocen. Their town was one of the largest they built in England, smaller only than London, St Albans and Cirencester, and became an important provincial capital. It extended to the Severn beyond the church and nearly as far in the other direction towards the present A5 road.
In his article in the June 2013 edition of the Wrekin News, George Evans refers to ‘The Wrekin’ as ‘The little mountain with many secrets’. The article explains how he persuaded the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) that The Wrekin was worthy of being included in their 100 best walks in Britain. His article mentions the local folk law, history and geology of the surrounding area. He explains that the hill still retains some of its secrets.
The Calendar stones are an enigma. They don’t look natural but I’m told no archaeologist has ever investigated them. Surely it’s not accidental that a shaft of light shows each equinox is it? The hill-fort was started about 3,500 years ago (we think), extended 2,500 years ago and disused after the Romans invaded. That’s 1,500 years. How was it built, who used it and for what purpose? There’s a nice little story to tell about the Magic Tree in the Druid’s Circles on the Little Hill and there are tales about the Devil’s Coach-house, where the four winds meet and King of the Wrekin.