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BROWN CLEE

gastropods  fish

Brown Clee is one of the two Clee Hills (the other being Titterstone Clee).  There are two summits, Clee Burf and Abdon Burf (the highest point in Shropshire at 546 metres above sea level).

These hills are therefore very prominent in the landscape and are made more so by the radio masts that are on both summits.

Brown Clee is one of the best exposures of a type of rock called "Old Red Sandstone". This purple/red rock comes from a time when Shropshire was on the border of a giant continent, criss-crossed by rivers. There were few land plants to bind the soil together, so the land was being eroded very quickly, and thick layers of sediment were deposited very quickly.

The area was later submerged completely by a clear warm, tropical sea resulting in the deposition of limestones. The sea later rose slightly and because this area was now on the edge of the land the environment fluctuated between dry land that was being eroded and wet deltas where forests of tree ferns grew and died to form coal. This happened in the Carboniferous Period and before earth movements caused the whole area to rise up into a landscape that would be familiar today.

Brown Clee was the site of the highest coalfield in Britain.  But coal is not the only rock to have been taken from this area. Limestone and the igneous dolerite (locally known as Dhustone) have both been quarried here; all these activities have resulted in a wealth of industrial archaeology on the hills.

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