The village is/was the site of one of England's last remaining sacred trees, an exceedingly rare black poplar, which was decorated with ribbons and other such things on Arbor Day (29th May). This appears to be one of the last traditions of tree-worship in Britain, though it is generally rationalised as being connected to celebrations for the escape of the then Prince Charles (later Charles II) who hid in an oak tree to escape his enemies (hence the widespread pub name of The Royal Oak).
“The old tree fell and was destroyed in 1995 during a spring storm, but the council decided that the custom was too important to let die so a new sapling was planted and is now around 30 feet tall (2005).”
The Pool is inhabited, according to local legend, by a fish wearing a baldric and sword which given to him for safekeeping by local hero Wild Edric. The legend further says that the fish will only hand over the sword either to Wild Edric himself or to his lawful heir and that any attempts to take them by force are doomed to fail. One attempt, in which a steel net was thrown over the fish, failed when the fish apparently drew the sword and cut his way to freedom - giving rise (according to local pagan writer Jonathan Sant in one of his saner moments) to the traditional fisherman's cry of "You should have seen the one that got away!"
There is more about Wild Edric and this miraculous fish in the article about Wild Edric in The Dragon's Hoard.
Remains of a an early Bronze Age stone circle on the hill at Pen-y-Wern, about 1.5miles SE of the town. The site of Clun itself has apparently been inhabited continuously since the Bronze Age, which makes it one of the oldest still-inhabited settlements in the country. The Sun Inn is a very famous boozer.
Donington - SJ 808045 - Albrighton
St Cuthbert's Well lies in stone housing set into a bank in wooded parkland below the church. It is traditionally associated with cures for eye problems.
Michell's Fold - SO 305984 - Lydham
Bronze Age stone circle on exposed and remote (though easily accessible) moorland with extensive views into Wales. The circle's diameter is around 45m with some 14 stones still visible, ranging in height from 0.6 - 1.8m.
“This circle was the site of vandalism by a local farmer in the summer of 1995 when several stones were uprooted by a mechanical digger. The stones were promptly righted and "planted" again and the culprit punished. Ongoing unsympathetic use by both local youth and townie pagans, such as the creation of numerous fire pits and the leaving of litter and broken glass after the festivals, does nothing for the atmosphere of this site.”
Local legend tells of the White Cow of Mitchell's Fold which gave milk to all who brought a container, until "one of evil life" milked her into a sieve, whereupon she disappeared.
A stone axe factory, whose products were traded throughout the Midlands, operated somewhere in the vicinity but its exact site has not been discovered.
St Oswald's Well (SJ 284293) commemorates the killing of the Christian King Oswald of Northumbria by the pagan King Penda (hurrah!) at the battle of Maserfield in 642ce. The well is situated close to the school grounds, though whatever its sacred uses may once have been it is now used as a wishing well.
Old Oswestry Hill Fort (SJ 296310) is situated 1 mile N of the town. Well worth a visit for its spectacularly preserved multiple ramparts and ditches which enclose an area of about 15 acres. The site was inhabited from about the 6th or 5th centuries bce, ie before the fortifications were built, and development continued until the Roman occupation.
St Millburgha's Well was created, according to local legend, by the saint as she fled from her enemies. Her horse stumbled and threw her, cutting her head. Finding no water to bathe the wound, she commanded the horse to strike the ground with its hoof, which it did, and water poured from the earth. Continuing her journey, she commanded farm-labourers nearby to tell her pursuers that she had indeed passed that way, but just after the barley had been sown, and instantly caused the crop to grow and ripen so that it was being harvested when her persecutors arrived.
This time-shift effect is a well-known faery or otherworldly phenomenon in folklore and traditional stories. There is actually no historical evidence for a St Millburgha and it is considered most likely that she is a convenient Christianisation of Lady Godda, Wild Edric's faery wife who was probably the Goddess of Shropshire and the Marches in earlier times. If so, her horse was almost certainly white like that of Rhiannon in the First Branch of the Mabiniogi who is also connected with a time-and-space shift in that only her Chosen One, Pwyll, could catch her.
Jagged outcrop of shining quartize with a number of pinnacles. The highest point is called The Devil's Chair because, in local legend, Satan himself used to sit there to survey the surrounding countryside. On the four traditional festival dates, witches were said to frequent the outcrop for their meetings and (not to be outdone and just for good measure) Wild Edric leads the Wild Hunt across the hill in his search for his lost faery wife, Lady Godda. Another local legend says that on Midwinter Night, the local devils and demons gather there to choose their leader for the next year. It must get quite crowded up there at times .....! (Picture shows Jagged Tor).
Woolston - SJ 322244 - near Oswestry
St Winifred's Well - a rare example of a holy well covered by a non-religious building, in this case a 16th or 17th century half-timbered building. The water was reputed to be good for healing broken bones, wounds and bruises, and another nearby spring cured eye problems.
Can be quite difficult to find; the easiest approaches are both from Maesbury Marsh either (1) by walking along the bank of the canal to the ruined bridge and then to turn right and walk across the fields to Woolston or (2) turning left into Woolston and then following the lane to the left where the road turns right. At the end of the road, follow the path through the gate marked "St Winifred's Well".