Lying on the south eastern edge of Cannock Chase is a quiet site with some stunning views of the surrounding Staffordshire countryside, particularly overlooking Rugeley. That site is Castle Ring. It’s relatively well known in Cannock, and some believe that the ancient site, which is thought to have been occupied around 2,000 years ago, is haunted.
Castle Ring is an Iron Age hill fort, and was built and occupied by the local Cornovii tribe. Although it may not seem like it, it sits at 242 metres above sea level, which makes it the highest part of Cannock Chase’s area of outstanding natural beauty.
It isn’t the only hill fort in the area, there are believed to be at least another seven on Cannock Chase. The Cornovii tribe had their main residence on the Wrekin in Telford, which is visible from parts of Cannock Chase, and would be easily visible from Castle Ring were it not for the trees blocking the view.
There are remnants of a medieval hunting lodge on the site too, though these would have been built hundreds of years later. Unfortunately, none of the structures remain, and the area is more or less flat with a walking trail which goes around the outer ring of where the fort formerly stood.
Now, forgetting about the rich history of the place, which requires a lot of speculation, Castle Ring itself is a great spot to go for a short trek, and it is a popular spot for people to take their dogs for a walk. At the site you can find plenty of free parking, and just over the road is a dog-friendly pub where you can go for a nice refreshing pint on a hot summer day. Or to warm up if you’re out and about in the winter.
Like the rest of Cannock Chase, it’s a pretty place. You’ll find plenty of wildlife around, and pretty plants to take pictures of if that’s what you’re into. From experience, it seems to be a good place to find woodpeckers, though I have no idea why that is. If you’re out early enough, you’ll also have a pretty good chance to encounter the deer that frequent this part of the chase.
Either way, if you’re around the area and want to get away from the busier parts of Cannock Chase that were popularised by the mountain biking trails and Go Ape, Castle Ring is a brilliant place to start. You can walk much further than the site too, though you may want to keep a map with you.