Hawkstone Park and
Close to Shrewsbury, Shropshire
Hawkstone Park lies in open
countryside a few miles to the north of Shrewsbury, in
Shropshire. Here there are almost 100 acres of woods and parkland
in beautiful surroundings.
For hundreds of years from the mid 16th Century the Park was
owned by the wealthy Hill family - one of them, Rowland Hill, was
largely responsible for the formation of the post office as we
know it today. During the 18th Century the family landscaped the
grounds, and as a part of this landscaping they built a range of
buildings and monuments, or follies. The buildings and grounds
fell gradually into disrepair, but were restored in the early
There are various follies or curiosities within the park, all
accessible or visible on foot. The White Tower is now red brick,
but was at one time lime washed - hence its name.
The 112 feet high Monument (or obelisk) was built in 1795 to
commemorate the first Sir Rowland Hill. Climb the 152 steps to
the top (using a narrow, circular internal staircase) and from
the open platform there is a view stretching for miles;
supposedly it is possible to see landmarks in 13 counties on a
The Swiss Bridge is a narrow and unusual wooden bridge spanning a
natural, 8o feet chasm in the rocks.
The Gothic Arch sits on top of Grotto Hill, inside which a
network of caves is waiting to be explored. These are thought to
have originated from Roman copper mines. Legend has it that these
caves might have been the burial place of King Arthur.
A walk through the park to see the follies can take around 3
hours. Much of the route is strenuous with frequent ascents and
descents, but the scenery is splendid. There is an admission
charge, and opening times are restricted.
Sir Rowland Hill on top of the Monument
The 'White' Tower
The Gothic Arch on top of Grotto Hill