Ratlinghope is a village and civil parish in Shropshire, England. It is situated four miles west from Church Stretton and twelve miles south from Shrewsbury.

Historically it is located in the hundred of Purslow. For Church of England purposes it is in the rural deanery of Bishop's Castle, archdeaconry of Ludlow, and diocese of Hereford.

It is said that it is sometimes pronounced "Ratchup" by the locals, though none of the locals currently do so - the shortened version is thought to have been created by the post office. The village is scattered around a valley in the hills of the Long Mynd and Stiperstones, an AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty). The population is around 100.

Castle Ring, the earthwork of Ratlinghope Hill, is the fort described by Mary Webb in her novel "Golden Arrow".


Its area is 5,456 acres, of which, at the turn of the century, 3,756 were arable and pasture, 200 woodland, and about 1,500 common. The population in 1901 was 197. The surface is hilly, and the soil is sand and clay, on a rocky subsoil. An old Roman road, the Portway, runs between Ratlinghope and Church Stretton, and is continued along the crest of the Long Mynd in a north-easterly direction. In the neighbourhood are some British camps and tumuli.cite book |last=Fletcher |first=W. G. D. |title=The Register of Ratlinghope |origdate=1909-05-01 |url=http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/20926 |format=HTML |accessdate=2007-11-20]

Ratlinghope, in Domesday "Rotelingehope", means the hope or valley of the children of Rotel, "Rotel" being the Saxon name from which the County of Rutland was called. At the time of the Domesday survey, Rotelingehope was a manor of two hides, which were waste, and was held by Robert fitz Corbet of Earl Roger de Montgomery. In Edward the Confessor’s reign, Seuuard had held it. Robert fitz Corbet was a younger brother of Roger, the builder of Caus Castle; he left two daughters, his heirs, Sibil (or Adela), and Alice. Sibil, who had been one of Henry I's mistresses, married Herbert fitz Herbert, whilst Alice became the wife of William Botterell. Before 1209 Ratlinghope was acquired by Walter Corbet, an Augustine Canon, and a relative of Prince Llewelyn ap Jorwerth, who gave him a letter of protection. Walter Corbet founded here a small cell or priory of Augustinian Canons of St. Victor, in connection with Wigmore. Nothing is known of its history, but at the dissolution there was a Prior and 29 Canons; and the possessions of the Priory, valued at £5 11s. 1½d., per annum, were sold in May, 1546, to Robert Longe, citizen and mercer of London.

In 1845 the manor and advowson of Ratlinghope were purchased by Robert Scott, of Great Barr, Member of Parliament (MP) for Walsall, and at his death in 1856 they passed to his son John Charles Addyes Scott, who died in 1888, and on the death of his widow in 1907, their son, James Robert Scott, became lord of the manor and patron of Ratlinghope.

Stitt and Gatten, two miles north-west, were members of the Domesday manor of Ratlinghope. Between 1204 and 1210, William de Botterell confirmed a moiety of Stitt to Haughmond Abbey. Robert Corbet, of Caus, also gave to the Canons of Haughmond his culture of Gateden, and an assart situate near their culture of Gatteden. There was a church at Stitt in the reign of Henry II, but since the dissolution of Haughmond Abbey nothing more is heard of it, and its district with Gatten was annexed to the parish of Ratlinghope. At the start of the 19th century, W. E. M. Hulton-Harrop was lord of the manor of Gatten, which he inherited in 1866 from his maternal grandfather, Jonah Harrop

On 29th January 1865, the Rector of Woolstaston, the Reverend Edmund Donald Carr, was walking from Ratlinghope in order to attempt a second Sunday evening service at another church when he was caught in a blizzard, lost for 22 hours, snow-blinded and almost dead. He emerged in the Cardingmill Valley and must have crossed Wild Moor and Hiddon Hill, some of the wildest country, in his desperate search and struggle to survive. His account of the ordeal "A Night In the Snow" has become well-known in Shropshire. It causes amusement in summer, with its tale of the reverend gentleman sheltering beneath a dead and frozen horse and plummeting down near-vertical snow glissades clutching his bible, but is a memorable reminder of the dangers of this area in Winter.

Filming location

Ratlinghope appears in an episode of Dalziel and Pascoe.

In 2005, the village acquired a further degree of fame when it became the main filming location for the BBC sitcom Green Green Grass.

External links

* [http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/20926 The Register of Ratlinghope, by W. G. D. Fletcher] from Project Gutenberg, giving details from the parish registers from 1755-1813



*"This article incorporates text from "The Register of Ratlinghope", a publication in the public domain.

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