This is Common Land, which lies within the Cannock Chase Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (A.O.N.B.). It was shown on Yates map dated 1775 as “Hitching Hill”. The name seems to be derived from the use of the site by horses and ponies as they were “hitched” or tethered here during the Rugeley horse fairs.
It is believed that in the 1820’s a horse race circuit ran around the base of the hill. In later years there was a firing range on the Mount Road side.
The site is now a popular recreation area for all to enjoy with spectacular views from the top of the hill.
It has been used as a sighting mound and beacons have been lit on the summit to celebrate national events such as coronations, the residents of Rugeley walking in torchlight processions from the Town to the hill summit.
In 1880, the hill and recreation area were left to the local inhabitants by Mr. A.Whitworth, a generous local landowner, hence the name Whitworth Lane alongside the Church Of The Holy Spirit.
The area is a Site of Biological Importance (S.B.I.) and the mount is a Regionally Important Geological Site (R.I.G.S.)
At only 7.5ha the site is small, but includes habitats of dry heath, associated vegetation and an Oak and Silver Birch woodland with a wide range of insects, birds and animals that inhabit the area.
Etching Hill seen from Cannock Chase 2013
Archived Photo of Etching Hill