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Having just launched our new dessert pear wine, I am being asked how we came to name it "The Wonder".

As well as being appropriate in terms of dictionary definitions,

  1. "Wonder" - a thing or a quality of something that causes wonder // - a surprising event or situation
  2. "Wonder" - a feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar...

the main reason is a local landmark known as "The Wonder", a land slip that occured in 1575 on the nearby Marcle Ridge.  This description hangs in the nearby "Slip Tavern" in Much Marcle:

On the 17th February 1575 a very remarkable landslip occurred here: on the evening of that day Marcle Hill began to move, and in its progress overthrew the chapel at Kinnaston, together with hedges and trees and after destroying many cattle finally rested at its present position on the 19th.

Camden gives the following account: “near the conflux of Lug and the Wye, east, a hill which they call Marclay Hill did in the year 1575 rouse itself as it were out of sleep and for three days together shoving its prodigious body forward with a horrible roaring noise and overturning everything in its way, raised itself to the great astonishment of the beholders, to a higher place.

The place where this hill originally stood is now a chasm 40ft deep and 400ft in length. About 1840 during the ploughing of the site of the landslip at a place called “The Wonder” the bell of Old Kinnaston Chapel was unearthed and brought to Sir James Kyrle Money, Lord of the Manor, who placed it in the tower of Homme House, where it still hangs.

I particularly like the following quote from the book "The Natural History of Selborne", by Gilbert White (1720-93) who quotes the words of John Philips, describing how whole trees were uprooted and transported into neighbouring fields:

'I nor advise, nor reprehend the choice Of Marcley Hill; the apple nowhere finds A kinder mould; yet 'tis unsafe to trust Deceitful ground; who knows but that once more This mount may journey, and his present site Forsaken, to thy neighbour's bounds transfer Thy goodly plants, affording matter strange For law debates!'

In Victorian times people came from far and wide to view 'The Wonder'. It is shown on the Ordnance Survey map at reference SO6236.

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