Last orders are usually taken 15 minutes before closing time but some takeaway refreshments may be available.
Tuesday - Friday
11:00 - 16:00
Saturday & Sunday
10:00 - 16:00
History and Information
This page contains some brief history and information about The Bog. The Visitors Centre has a wide variety of books, information boards and leaflets for visitors to browse and purchase, these provide a wealth of information about the area and its history.
Our staff are also very knowledgeable in local information or can point you in the right direction to find out more so do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have!
Shropshire's Lost Mining Village
The Bog was once a thriving village with over 200 buildings. Now just a few remain, including the Visitor Centre; based in the old school. The school was open at the Bog 1839-1968, 129 years in total. In 2021 the Visitor Centre celebrated 25 years of being open to the public!
Census records are held at the Centre for visitors to browse through to find out more about those who once lived in the area. We also have a remembrance panel showing some of those locals who served during the Second World War.
Some of the old school pictures are dotted around the Centre, these are of great interest to some visitors, especially those who can spot family members among the rows of faces!
Mining at the Bog
Visitors to The Bog today often question the naming of the area, given that now it is not very boggy at all! During the mining and working of the area a tunnel called the ‘Boat Level’ was cut to take water away from the plateau where the centre sits and dry the land out for building and mineral exploration.
Lead and Barytes mines were once dotted around the landscape, though lead was more predominantly extracted at Snailbeach, further north along the Stiperstones ridge.
An aerial ropeway once extended from The Bog down the hills towards Pontesbury, Malcolm Saville, an author inspired by the Shropshire Hills in many of his books writes about the ropeway in his novel Seven White Gates. A more modern ropeway trestle can be found at the Visitors Centre to give an idea of what structures once appeared in the landscape.
Quartzite, deposited around 480 million years ago in the Ordovician period forms the Stiperstones Ridge. The source of the area's rich mineral deposits are the Mytton Flags, the veins within these rocks are known locally as 'setts'.
The mine at The Bog and the adjacent Stiperstones outcrop are the result of millions of years of geological movement. Over time movement of tectonic plates and other geological processes have formed the amazing outcrops and landscape features we can see today. The Stiperstones ridge outcrops above the Bog Visitor Centre are a breathtaking sight.
A number of books are available in the Visitor Centre giving information of Shropshire, a very geologically diverse county.
Wildlife at the Bog
The stoppage of mining left a variety of habitats relatively undisturbed since closure. Old buildings have become home to nesting birds, bats have roosted in abandoned mine tunnels, reservoirs and ponds have become aquatic havens, and old gardens have become colonised, allowing cultivated plants to escape into the wild.
A rich variety of flora and fauna covers the landscape of The Bog and the Stiperstones. The area remains relatively untouched and its natural beauty preserved for all to enjoy. Lots of information about the local wildlife can be found on boards and in books within the centre, our staff can also be a rich fountain of local ecological knowledge so do not be afraid to ask!
I first saw Swifts at the Bog Centre in June 2014 – a real surprise to find a small group on what is now such an isolated building. Perhaps there were many Swifts there in years gone before all the buildings were lost.
These birds are almost 100% dependent on our buildings to provide small spaces in nooks and crannies for them to build their nests, lay eggs and raise their 1 or 2 chicks each year. There are a handful of nest sites in old trees in Scotland, inland cliffs and sea cliffs in Wales that have Swifts nesting but this is very rare.
Swifts find very small gaps in eaves or under roof tiles to nest – you will never see a Swift nest. Don’t confuse Swifts with House Martins and Swallows that build mud cups to raise their young.
Swifts never land – other than when they are breeding – they leave the nest after 6 weeks, growing from a newborn bald chick to a bird ready for life on the wing, and do not return until they are ready to breed aged 3 or 4 years. But today’s building methods and materials mean that there are fewer places for Swifts to nest and it is believed that this is a major reason for the 50% loss of these birds in the last 20 years.
The Swifts here at the Bog have returned each year and I have always timed a visit to the centre in the few weeks that the birds are here between the start of May and the start of August to see them. They nest in natural gaps on the west gable – however a couple of boxes were put up on the north wall in spring 2019 to offer them more nesting opportunities.
In autumn 2019 further Swift nesting opportunities will be provided by installing a box at the apex of the west gable.
These birds are amazing aerial acrobats, their screaming parties bring life and joy to our town centres during their brief 12 weeks with us and they eat vast numbers of insects – you may see them feeding over rape fields in summer.
Do look out for them when you are here in the summer, look at the poster in the display area and take a Swift group information card.
Many talk about the days when the skies were black with Swifts but sadly this is no longer the case. So if you are able to help offer Swifts a home by creating or retaining existing nest sites when carrying out repairs, putting up a nest box or installing Swift bricks into your new build or extension then please see the following websites for advice.
Swift Conservation - https://www.swift-conservation.org/
Action for Swifts - http://actionforswifts.blogspot.com/
Bristol Swifts - https://www.bristolswifts.co.uk/
RSPB - https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/swift-family/
Peak Boxes – supplier of the custom made apex box - https://www.peakboxes.co.uk/
Or contact Shropshire Swift Group firstname.lastname@example.org who have been helping the county’s
Swifts since 2011.
If you find a grounded Swift please contact :-
Cuan Wildlife Rescue https://www.cuanwildliferescue.org.uk/ or on 01952 728070 without delay –
these birds need specialist care.