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Titterstone Clee Hill, sometimes referred to as Clee Hill or Titterstone Clee is a hill in the rural Englishmarker county of Shropshiremarker, rising at the summit to 533 m above sea level.

It is in the Clee Hillsmarker, in the Shropshire Hillsmarker Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The nearest town to the hill is Ludlowmarker.


Titterstone Clee is the third-highest hill in Shropshire, beaten only by the nearby Brown Clee Hillmarker (546 m) and Stiperstones (536 m). Much of the higher part of the hill is common land, used for the grazing of sheep, air traffic control services and working or disused quarries. The summit of Titterstone Clee is bleak, treeless and shaped by decades of quarrying. Many of the structures still remain, and lend to the ghostly atmosphere of the hill top, especially during the prolonged winter fogs that descend over the hills.

The weather on Titterstone Clee Hill can be particularly hazardous, with locally infamous fog and drizzle being commonplace. Snow can also cause problems in winter, as well as gales.

Most of the summit of the hill is effectively man-made, the result of years of quarrying dhustone (dolerite) to be used in road-building. Also, many derelict quarry buildings are scattered over the hill, now used only by sheep sheltering from the worst of weather. Combined, these give the summit of the hill an eerie, other worldly feel.

The A4117 between Cleobury Mortimermarker and Ludlowmarker runs along the southern slope of Titterstone Clee, and rises to 381 metres above sea level at its highest point on Clee Hill Common. Because of this, the road is often affected by snow in winter.

The small village of Cleehillmarker lies on this road as it crosses the hill, and at 395 metres above sea level, it is home to the highest pub in Shropshiremarker, called "The Kremlin".

From the hill it is possible on a clear day to see west to Snowdoniamarker, north to the Peak Districtmarker, north east to the Black Countrymarker, east to the Cotswoldsmarker, south east to the Malvern Hillsmarker, south to the Black Mountainsmarker and south west to the Brecon Beaconsmarker. The hill is said to provide one of the best views in Englandmarker on a clear day.

History, quarrying and land usage

Over the years Titterstone Clee has been subject to much quarrying for Dhustone or Dolerite. It is because of this that the hill is littered with many of abandoned quarries and mine shafts, one of which in has now flooded to form a lake. The largest quarries have sheer drops of up to around thirty meters (one hundred feet).
Titterstone Clee Hill has a towering appearance over Ludlow.
Here it is seen from Ludlow Castle.
Before the Second World War, the area would be described as industrial, because of the presence of wide-scale quarrying and associated activity. Men came from places such as Bridgnorthmarker and Ludlowmarker to work in the quarries, and the village of Dhustone on Titterstone Clee was built especially for the quarry workers. Crumbling remains of quarry buildings now litter the hill, reminders of a bygone industry that once employed more than 2,000 people here. An old railway incline is still visible on the hill, and a large concrete structure, under which the wagons were filled with stone, still remains next to the modern day car park. Railway infrastructure remained until the late 1950s. In the past the quarries have also been worked (on a much smaller scale) for coal and limestone.

Early in the 20th century, a second quarry opened on Titterstone Clee Hill and an aerial ropeway was built to carry to stone off the hill to the railway at Detton Ford. The footings for the tall pylons which supported the wires still remain near the summit, parallel to the modern day track to the radar domes.

Titterstone Clee is still quarried, but on a much smaller scale than in its heyday, on the lower slopes behind Cleehill village. Quarrying resumed in the late 1980s 50 years after the summit Dhustone quarry closed, and some old workings have been restored. The main buildings of the quarry are just visible from the A4117 road.

Several radar domes and towers operate on the summit of the hill. The radar arrays are part of the National Air Traffic Services (NATS) radar network, and one of 30 overlapping sites across the country controlling UK airspace. The ones on the Clee Hills monitor all aircraft within a 100-mile radius. The domes and masts are well-known local landmarks, with one in particular often being nicknamed "the golf ball" because of it looking like a giant tee-ed up golf ball. They can be seen for many miles, even from some parts of The Black Countrymarker.

A 20th Century triangulation pillar marks the summit, whilst just to the left of it is the remains of a Bronze Age cairn, dating back up to 4,000 years and indicating that the summit was a likely ceremonial site. Although badly damaged by quarrying, Titterstone Clee's Iron Age hill fort has fared better than those on Brown Cleemarker. It is of note that the walls of the fort are made up of stone blocks, instead of earth banks. Also near the summit is the "giants chair" - a pile of boulders left behind in the ice age.

Titterstone Clee is popular with walkers, but on a much smaller scale than neighbouring hills such as the Long Mynd. Walkers can access the summit by taking the A4117 from just past Bewdleymarker and Ludlowmarker. About three quarters of a mile to the Ludlow side of Cleehillmarker village, turn right up the single-track road signposted "Dhustone" and "Titterstone Clee summit". Drive to the top of the track and park on the old railway yard near the old quarry buildings. To walk to the summit follow the track around the radar installations.

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