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The view from Sedgley Beacon Hill
January 2009

View from Sedgley beacon Hill
The view from Segley Beacon, Dudley, West Midlands, UK - December 2008
Here's a place to visit in the West Midlands, UK. You can see for miles and miles. And it was part of an ancient network...

Turn off Sedgley High Street, find Beacon Lane, and there you are.

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In the middle of the Beacon Housing Estate is Beacon Hill - one of the highest points in the region at nearly 237 metres above sea level.

Beacon Hill is reputed to be the highest point of land between Sedgley and the Ural Mountains in Russia. The views, especially on summer evenings, can be spectacular.

Sedgley Beacon Tower
Sedgley Beacon Tower

A crumbling tower, erected in 1846 stands on the highest point of the hill. When the tower could be climbed, it's been said that it was possible to see the Bristol Channel from its top.

The views to the west are of the mainly rural county of Shropshire. To the east is the more industrial area of the Black Country.

Ancient communications

Sedgley Beacon Hill got its name from being a place where warning beacons were lit. It was part of a communication network that covered England.

The Romans used beacons in Britain, writes R. W. Burns in his book Communications: An International History of the Formative Years. He says that it was not until medieval times that a system of beacons was organised on a national scale.

View from Beacon Hill
View from Beacon Hill

They were used to signal the alarm when the country was under attack, so that preparations could be made.

Important sites, like the Isle of Wight could light up to three beacons to signal the strength of the invading force. Coastal high points used two beacons. Inland, sites such as Sedgley Beacon would have lit a single signal fire.

In August 1588, the beacon system was used to call the entire nation to arms when the Spanish Armada attacked. Beacons in the West Midlands part of chain were sited at Barr Beacon and Cannock Chase.

Today, Sedgley Beacon is still part of a network - a radio mast stands close to where the beacon would have lit up the night sky.

Address - how to get to Sedgley Beacon Hill

When in the area, head towards the towering radio mast.

Get to Sedgley High Street, in Sedgley, West Midlands, UK.
Head south on A459/High St toward Townsend Avenue.
Turn left at A463/Bilston St
Turn left at Beacon Lane - and head towards the radio mast.

Refreshments

The nearby Beacon Hotel, Sedgley is an award winning old-style brewery pub.

 
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