John Sheldon

John Sheldon

Posted on 02/12/2014

Photo taken on November 13, 2011

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Malvern Hills

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On the Malvern Hills

On the Malvern Hills
This is our main local geological landmark. The Hills rise 1394 feet (425 metres) above sea level at their highest point and measure 9 miles (15 km) in length. The highest hill still shows clear signs of use as a major Iron Age hill fort.
The bed rock of the Malvern Hills was formed 650 million years ago (late pre-Cambrian, igneous/metamorphic) making it some of the oldest and hardest rock in Britain. About 400 million years ago it was thrust up through the floor of the Silurian Sea (then in the Tropics) and it is still a significant landmark for miles around.
The Hills are a walker’s paradise. Regular walkers here were the writer J. R. R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings) and composer Sir Edward Elgar (Enigma Variations). The British chieftain Caractacus is supposed to have fought his last battle against Roman invaders here in the 1st century ad and Elgar wrote music about that legend. The Hills also inspired poets Piers Plowman (1362) and W H Auden.