Castle Ring on Cannock Chase is a Green Flag Heritage Award-winning site. Sitting at 242 metres above sea level, it’s the highest point of Cannock Chase’s area of outstanding natural beauty. From here, you can see some stunning views of the surrounding Staffordshire countryside. Particularly looking towards Rugeley and the Trent Valley area.
Some locals believe that Castle Ring on Cannock Chase is a haunted site. You’ll occasionally find visitors there at unsociable hours. Given that the site has a few occupiers over the last 2,000 years or so, they might be onto something.
Castle Ring on Cannock Chase is an Iron Age hill fort and was built and occupied by the local Cornovii tribe. It’s one of several hill forts in the area. The Cornovii tribe had their main home on the Wrekin in Telford, which is visible from parts of Cannock Chase. It would be visible from Castle Ring was it not for the trees blocking the view.
As the highest point on Cannock Chase, before the forestry commission began using the area for logging in the early 1900s, any structure sitting on Castle Ring would’ve been an imposing one. And it would be visible for miles around.
If you were to go back a couple of hundred years you’d also find a medieval hunting lodge at Castle Ring on Cannock Chase. This was independent of the original hill fort and built when the area was owned by the crown. That’s before Henry VIII gave the lands to Sir William Paget. Unfortunately, none of the structures remains today.
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. It’s also a popular spot for people to take their dogs for a walk. At the site, you can find plenty of free parking. Across 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 and plants to take pictures of if that’s what you’re into. From personal 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.