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29 October 2014
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The Devil's Chair
An artist's impression of what the Devil might look like in his chair
Reconstruction of the Devil on his chair.

Shropshire is a county of contrasts of landscapes.

Compare the flat and featureless plains in the north east of the county, with the hilly, woodland punctuated by the lakes of Ellesmere.
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Spooky Shrewsbury
Shrewsbury's wealth of historic buildings means we have no shortage of ghosts in the county town... from the milkmaid who wonders Raven meadows to the husband murdering Mrs Foxall who can still be seen walking through The Dingle.

Haunted Ironbridge
The birthplace of the industrial revolution harbours many ghostly tales, including spirits at the power station, victorian apparitions at Benthall Edge, monks at Madeley Court, Devilry at the Boat Inn and the ghosts of drowned children at Ferry Road.

Weirdness in Wem
The small north Shropshire Town isn't short of a ghostly tale or two, including the famously haunted town hall - see our photos.

Enjoy the best of this year's halloween festivities with our guide to Shropshire's events.

The ancient town of Much Wenlock unsurprisingly has a story or two, including a recently uncovered cemetery and the wandering ghosts of local saxons and romans.

Wilderhope Manor
if you're planning on visiting the manor, beware of the ghost of the Cavalier.

Moreton Corbet
A Puritan and a curse - need we say more?

Devil's Chair
If you want to keep your soul, think twice before a visit to the Devil's Chair!

But by far the the most spectacular scenery can be found in the southwest of the county, in the hills south of Pontesbury.

This was once a bustling area dotted with mines like Snailbeach, but today many of the traces of mining have blended into the landscape and the area is popular with walkers.

Click to see our 360 degree panoramic image of the Devil's Chair

Chief among these hills is the long ridge of the Stiperstones, with its dramatic rocky outcrops.

With such breathtaking - and spooky - scenery, it's hardly surprising that the area abounds in legends and myths. The best-known of these is that of the Devil's Chair.

The ridge of the Stiperstones
The ridge of the Stiperstones

The Devil's Chair is the highest - and the most imposing of these outcrops.

According to legend, the rocks of the Devil's Chair were brought there by the Devil himself.

Curiously, perhaps, he was carrying a load of stones in his apron and apparently travelling across Britain from Ireland, when he fancied a bit of a rest.

As the legend goes, the Devil was actually planning to use his load of stones to fill in the valley on the other side of the Stiperstones, which is known as Hell's Gutter.

Stiperstones Slider Puzzle game
Stiperstones Slider Puzzle: Rearrange the tiles to see a view of the Devil's Chair. How quickly can you complete it? Click here to play

Unfortunately for him, as he got up after his rest on the highest rock of the Stiperstones, his apron strings snapped and the rocks tumbled out.

Instead of picking them up, the Devil left the rocks scattered all over the ridge and the legend has it that you can smell the brimstone on them in hot weather.

Outcrops on the Stiperstones
Outcrops on the Stiperstones

However, the claim that the Devil wears an apron is quite unique and the legend doesn't offer an explanation for this.

Mind you, this isn't the end of the Devil's involvement on this rocky outcrop.

The Evil Guy is also said to use the Devil's Chair as... er... a chair.

I don't think you're going to make the grade
Judging the annual 'Most Evil Witch in Shropshire' awards

On the longest night of the year, according to legend, he sits on his chair and summons all his local followers - witches and evil spirits, mainly - and they choose their king for the year.

The Stiperstones are actually made up of a unique rock - Stiperstones Quartzite - which emerges from the ground to form its distinctive rocky crest.

When the ridge was first formed it is thought to have been covered by softer rock, which has weathered away over many thousands of years.

The ridge itself has been shaped most recently by the action of ice and frost shattering on the rock during the last ice age.

This has created the tors that line the top of the ridge that make this site so recognisable from the surrounding countryside.

 
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